How TeachMeets and MirandaMods are one of the best and most cost-effective resources for teacher training, reflection and good practice.
I have now built up over 500 hours of film of teachers demonstrating, to other teachers, effective teaching and learning techniques.
Each TeachMeet session consists of a number of teachers who have agreed to meet up (usually in the evening) and share best practice in either a seven or two minute presentation.
My role at each of these meets has been to live stream the video out for a wider audience much like a TV broadcast and to capture the sessions to film for free distribution later.
TeachMeets are extremely popular and growing in number. They are usually held in the evening towards the end of the school week or at weekends.
COST EFFECTIVE CPD – IT’S POPULAR AND FREE!
TeachMeets cost nothing for teachers or schools to put on, as all food, drink, accommodation and other publicity costs are increasingly paid for by commercial educational sponsors. The sponsors do not get to present but they do give out publicity matter and prizes for raffles. (e.g. a year’s free subscription to their services).
In many cases, as in the Blackpool Teachmeets last year, more teachers turned out for TeachMeet CPD than “official” scheduled LA CPD. This is increasingly becoming the norm – the main reasons for their popularity is that it that the CPD is coming from the teachers themselves and not the the LA advisers; the CPD is also a social event with food and drink and a chance to catch up with others on best practice. Teachers are often best placed to know more about current practice and innovative ways in which to reflect on and manage classroom teaching and learning so it is not surprising that this method of CPD has now caught on like wildfire.
I also film and archive MirandaMods which follow a similar pattern to TeachMeets except the films document longer and more reflective discussions.
People will discuss face to face and remotely the issues outlined in the MirandaMod sessions but also be able to amend documents in real time online as each session progresses.
CPD IN HARD TO GET TO PLACES
One of the main distinctions of MirandaMods over TeachMeets is that they are often broadcast from exhibitions or difficult to get to places for broadcast. I pride myself on being able to broadcast from almost anywhere in the country and with the most meagre of equipment. Last year I even managed to broadcast an educational discussion from a treehouse in the middle of Regents Park
Have a look at this broadcast from a table on a stand at the recent BETT show – the commercial partners, academics, teachers and others introduce themselves and the debate begins. Not only is the discussion going on face to face but also globally and all the notes and other exemplars are being gathered and sourced onto a collaboratively written document in real time saving hours of collating and dissemination.