I am excited to write a guest post for EdchatNZ. I regularly participate in the twitter discussions and often via the discussions I make connections with presenters for TeachMeetNZ. This post is about TeachMeetNZ and how excited I am at hosting our up and coming first anniversary session on the 3rd of May. I will also share my learning in this first year and share some of the exciting sessions that have happened.
On May 4th 2013, I launched TeachMeetNZ as part of my TeachNZ 2013 Sabbatical.
The project was seeded from my Coreeducation efellowship in 2011.
So much has happened with the national project over the past year. That first session was a huge learning curve as a team of educators came together and helped me use Google Hangout. Together we problem solved and learnt how to use the tool together. Basically that has been the framework for all sessions. Each time we use Google Hangout is a little different to the previous sessions because the tool is always evolving and changing.
In this first year over 30 educators have joined a TeachMeetNZ live Google Hangout session from across New Zealand and also from around the world. The sessions happen once each term and usually are about 40 minutes long. Currently the site has over 30 nano presentations from New Zealand educators sharing everything from research, learning strategies, collaborative projects to tools that they are using for teaching and learning.
I have hosted a live session at Ulearn and also at the Festival of Education. I have shared about TeachMeetNZ on the Virtual Learning Network and on twitter.
I have also supported an Eduignite session by bringing in educators via google hangout to a distant face to face session.
As an educator, I have learnt a lot about myself when I replay the sessions as I am editing. My conscious effort this year is to work on feedback and I have been actively seeking blogposts to give written feedback and have been reading around the subject.
Probably the most exciting development is the connections that have been made between educators who have taken part in a session. These connections are not just with New Zealand Educators but also with TeachMeet Educators from around the world. Each session has everyone learning together as we prepare for a live streaming Google Hangout session.
Where to next, I am hosting my first TeachMeet specialist session in July when I have asked for language teachers to join me for a CLESOL Session. I am also involved with the connected Educators month happening in October.
I would like to see more subject and area educators running their own session like Tim Gander did last year when he hosted a TeachMeetNZ PENZ session. I encourage you to have a go at hosting a session. I also have planned to have discussions with global guest educators sharing with us here in New Zealand.
I enjoy seeing the growth and confidence of educators when they have taken part in a TeachMeetNZ session. The process of participating in a session is where the real learning takes place as educators prepare their slides, practise their presentation against the clock, upload and embed their slides onto their pages, learn how to use google hangout, learn how to share their screen and show their presentation and support and mentor each other in the process. The discussion that takes place on twitter before and during the sessions are fabulous. Every so often I am asked by an educator from somewhere else in the world if they can take part. I usually direct them to the TeachMeetInt site that caters globally. I target New Zealand educators firstly and have brought in New Zealand educators teaching overseas.
I really like the way that the educators are responsible and own their own creation. Slides are created and embed back onto the site. Blog reflection are created and linked back to the site. Some educators have even created their own videos that we ran as part of our sessions. Even when I create a clip, educators can grab the code and embed that back into their own spaces.
From Chris Dillon I developed the idea of digital badges that can be linked from their portfolio back to the TeachMeetNZ site.
Overall I believe that TeachMeetNZ is an organised but informal platform for teachers to share good practice, practical innovations and personal insights in teaching with technology. As Ewan Macintosh commented, “TeachMeet was never about technology 100%, it was about the Teach first of all, and the tech was instrumental to achieving what we wanted to achieve pedagogically and never the other way around.” Ewan Macintosh.
Do join in the TeachMeetNZ Google Hangout on the 3rd of May streaming live at 2.00pm NZ (UT + 12 hrs) from www.teachmeetnz.wikispaces.com