So many opportunities ….

Matt Richards quotes Stephen Heppell  “It’s a very exciting time for learning. It’s the death of education, but the dawn of learning.” .   Matt goes on to speak of the changing role of the teacher:

Being a ‘facilitator’ can sound a little empty after ‘expert’. Teachers who were previously deemed experts in a certain field can now find themselves little fish in a much larger pond. This can be a frightening or inspiring experience depending on the teacher. Sir Ken Robinson’s quote “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original” seems to speak to this issue. Being a lifelong learner is a handy attribute these days. With contemporary tools constantly changing and ‘upgrading’, a capacity for change perhaps is the greatest skill of all.

Another colleague recently wrote:

I feel the tidal wave of change in education, which occurs every 10-15 years in my experience, is faster and higher than ever before. It feels like there is only one way to go…fast and altogether!!! @maggiewi

It appears the common thread is that teaching is changing (again) and that we need support and guidance on the way – both with the big picture and the day to day realities.  I have been noticing how many opportunities we have to extend our learning as teachers (just in my local environment of Melbourne) – to continue our on-going learning, to keep up with the changes and challenges. Every day I spot tweets alerting to new possibilities. Here a few that I have spotted in the past few days:


Teachmeet Melbourne (my favourite) –  A wonderful informal opportunity for teachers to gather and share with each other.

Quantum Victoria – Free – June 16 (and more to come)

Charles Leadbetter

Is education about innovation? An evening with Charles Leadbeater

State Library of Victoria – Free – June 26

Will Richardson, Professor Stephen Dinham OAM and Jenny Luca 

TEDX – Educational Leadership – Booked Out

State Library of Victoria – Free – July 19

Slide2Learn Conference 

Slide2Learn – $ – July 2-3

VITTA – Annual Conference and Expo

Reign in the Cloud

Caulfield Racecourse – $ – August 6 & 7


Lorne – $ – August

There are also often wonderful programs being offered by the State Library – Professional Learning , as well as the obvious (well, to many of us) wonderful resource available through Twitter – 24/7 professional learning.

Matt concluded,

Let us make school a place where the innovators, collaborators and leaders of this brave new world are supported and inspired.

It would appear to me that there are opportunities in the wider community.  Do our schools provide the same opportunity?

TeachMeet Melbourne No 2 – Intro

My short introductory presentation at TeachMeet Melbourne 16 Feb 2012

I would like to set the scene as to where our gathering today  fits in to a much larger picture.

1. The concept of Teachmeet is not new – the earliest mentions I found seemed to be around 2005 and associated with Ewan McIntosh from Scotland. Today, Teachmeets occur in many countries around the world. Highly evident in the UK, I also found mentions in USA and South Africa. There is also a Kidsmeet and Studentsmeet movement. There is a similar movement that seems much bigger in the USA referred to as Edcamp – the difference between these is not as obvious as the similarities.

2. Our Melbourne meetings were directly inspired by the Sydney experience where Teachmeets have grown dramatically in the past 12 months. Henrietta Miller and the Sydney team are amazing examples of enthusiastic teachers who began a movement that is now exploding. They are currently working on a world record TM with 160+ people already registered. A website has been created by them to keep the communication open and we are grateful to be included in that. The mission is clear and simple – teachers sharing with teachers.

3. The format for most meetings seems similar and we have chosen the 2 or 7 min presentation style. Two min micro presentations and slightly longer seven minutes presentations. If it happens that you are listening to a session that does not exactly thrill you or is not relevant to your current needs – the longest you will have to wait is 7 min until another session starts. The conversations and connections we make – putting faces to Twitter names etc are as valuable as the presentations.

The format depends on the willingness of participants to present and we are very grateful to those who have put their hand up for today. Obviously the example and experience of the team who presented at No 1. was motivating and we acknowledge that without volunteers, there is no TeachMeet.

4. So, in summary a Teachmeet has the following features and benefits –

5. TeachMeet International has also evolved as an online option for those who cannot meet personally . The second one is happening in March. As you can see it lives up to it’s international name with presentations from all around the world.

So, I am sure there will be a post after this one …….







TeachMeet, TweetMeet – whatever you call it ….

it can’t be a bad thing …..

A month ago, whilst listening to Henrietta Miller present at the 2011 Reform Symposium, an idea was born.  Okay, not a new idea but a version of an old one.  In the Elluminate (on-line conference) room there were three Melbourne based educators who were inspired by the ideas presented by Henrietta of face to face meetings of like-minded educators.  Through the ‘chat’ @Mr_Mitch_Hughes, @Aimee_Gale and I created the Melbourne version.  #TMMelb as a Twitter hashtag was born.   Mitch Hughes then very quickly started a wiki and that was the catalyst for the rest.

We already have a fair few interested members (could do with some more!)   We have a date set for our first event (Fri 7 Oct – Pascoe Vale Primary School) and we have a few people who have expressed interest ……

We are in our infancy, but every good thing started somewhere.   As far as I see it the benefits are enormous, including the obvious stated here :

  • face to face meetings of people who have previously only connected  via virtual means (Twitter, blogs etc)
  • sharing of ideas amongst teachers from amazingly varied contexts – primary, secondary, class teachers, specialists, leaders etc
  • an opportunity to view different learning spaces (Thanks to Margo Edgar from Pascoe Vale Primary for TM No 1)
  • teachers who are pro-actively taking control of their own professional learning and embracing a philosophy that relies on the sharing of ideas
  • evolving and allowing contributions from anyone who cares to contribute – for example, one teacher who happened upon this #TMMelb and has experienced similar ventures previously and is already offering wonderful perspectives such as the following video
STOP PRESS – A new Melbourne version


So …. what’s next ? ….. I don’t know …. but I am happy to be along on the ride …..