Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The 1st TeachMeet Fraser

On Tuesday 26 August the very first TeachMeet for the Fraser Coast region took place. My first experience of TeachMeets was during EduTech 2014 in Brisbane where I was fortunate to be one of the presenters. I love the idea behind TeachMeets, and this inspired me to organise a TeachMeet for the Fraser Coast. The venue for TM Fraser would be Carriers Arms Hotel in Maryborough, with a dedicated area set up for the afternoon. Here is a rundown of the first TM Fraser.

4:30 - People started to slowly arriving, and by 5pm we had 16 attendees. Several from my school, Riverside Christian College, and teachers from Aldridge SHS, Maryborough Special School, and Glendyne. Coen Ashton, and a pre-service teacher from USQ, plus a few other non-teaching guests with them. Also a Braydon Wilson driving all the way from Kingaroy to come be part of the TM (2hrs drive).

5:00 - Session 1
I kicked off the TM with an introduction and a video message from Matt Esterman from TM Sydney
What is TeachMeet

Next up TM Fraser was very fortunate to have Alfina Jackson presenting virtually via Google Hangouts. It was a fantastic talk about how she is 'Flipping the Classroom with Powtoon her K-2 classes'. Everyone loved the virtual element, but also the amazing work she is doing with Year 1 students. Here is a link to her presentation: 

Thirdly we had Year 4 teacher, Kylie Cook, presenting a fun interactive talk about how she explores fractions through chairs and chocolates. Lots of fun, and a few bagged some chocolates for their efforts.

We then had a 20 minute break where people could get a drink and have a chat.

5:45 - Session 2

First up we had an amazing and powerful talk by, 17 year old, Coen Ashton. He has a tremendous life story and delivers talks to students regarding the power of organ donation, talking about cystic fibrosis and providing inspiration. Have a look at his website for details here: Coen Ashton

Up next was Braydan Wilson all the way from St Johns Lutheran College, Kingaroy. He talked about the use of Microsoft Office365 that is part of the Lutheran system, how it has improved since earlier versions and the collaborative power it possess. Also a short mention about education podcasts, how inspiring and challenging they can be, and where to go looking for them. Braydan is now keen to start up a TeachMeet in his area in the coming months.

Lastly was Larry McKeown, Year 8 teacher from Riverside, about the way that students learn and a fascinating discussion on brain-friendly learning and what he termed 'sticky learning'. Great talk and perfect finish to presentations.

There were still a number of discussions afterwards, ideas being shared and everyone is keen for another TeachMeet soon, and that will be in the pipeline for Term 4.

Thank you to all the presenters and the guests that made this first TeachMeet a great success. Looking forward to the idea taking off in the region and everyone returning to their schools, sharing what they had learnt and bringing along more people for the next one