What are Teachmeets?

TeachMeets are meetings/un-conferences where teachers share good practice, practical ideas and personal insights into teaching with technology. All participants are encouraged to share an idea, a tool or a website that they have delivered in their classroom whether from a presentation, soapbox or while socialising with other teachers. Anyone can host a TeachMeet.

The goals of Teachmeet are

• Take thinking away from the formal conference floor, and provide a safe opportunity for anyone to pitch their practice to those other looking to innovate their own practice

• Provide a forum for more teachers to talk about real learning happening in real places

• Showcase emerging practice that we could all aim to undertake; sales pitches not allowed

• Be all about the Teach, with only a nod towards tech that paved the way for new practice

• Provoke new ways of sharing our stories. Presenting using other modes other than bullet laden powerpoint slides

• Want people to tell stories in ways that challenged them, and the audience

• Empower the audience to critique, ask questions and probe, all online

The first TeachMeet was held in 2006 in Scotland. Since that time this ‘unconference’ concept has spread rapidly throughout the world. Teachmeets are part of a GLOBAL community of teachers doing professional development for teachers, by teachers. The Computers in Education Society of Ireland (CESI) organised the first Teachmeet (called CESIMEET) as a pre-conference event in 2009.

What does a Teachmeet look like?

Basically, it is series of short presentations of 5/7 min, or 2 min duration with an option of a 15 min soapbox for more detailed presentation/discussion. The presenters sign up before hand to present and are selected at random. There should be a social element to it with either food or drink depending on the venue.

Have a look at teachmeettv which hosts a number of recorded Teachmeets from the UK or the Irish Teachmeet archive where recordings are available.

Two useful resources to those new to Teachmeets are the Teachmeet wiki and the sidebar on Irish Teachmeet wiki.