Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Teachmeet Takeover @ BETT 2011

Well, it’s nearly that time of the year again… the the end of Movember and the arrival of Advent means that January can only be a month away. That means BETT is approaching like some looming city in a US road movie, full of promise, labyrinthine alleys, hidden joys (and tacky mainstream pleasures) and an accompanying population which longs for a return to the countryside when all this is over...
BETT is a behemoth. It straddles the receding world of educational ICT and does its best to stare anyone down who dares to look it in the eye and say “stop trying to sell me stuff – what actually works in a classroom?”.

Last year, Tom Barrett conceived the idea of Teachmeet Takeover – a movable Teachmeet feast where, rather than assembling speakers and participants in a room after hours, teachers take the floor during BETT’s office hours - an event that could answer this question. The aim of Teachmeet Takeover is to take the interesting things shared during normal Teachmeet sessions and bring them into the well funded and rarely-replicable exhibition space in Olympia’s main halls and, in the words on the accompanying TMTakeover presentation which preceded most talks around the stands, to
“Learning something new, be amazed, amused and enthused”
Stuart Ridout #TMtakeover by kvnmcl. Used under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa license.
For BETT 2011 Teachmeet Takeover will again be using spaces donated by exhibitors to allow teachers & practitioners to showcase free tools, ideas and examples of how to do interesting things – right in the middle of BETT, during each day of the show. If you’re planning on going to BETT, either as an exhibitor or a ‘punter’ then you can sign up on the wiki – just names and contact details at the time of writing, there’ll be a detailed timetable available for vendors to offer slots and presenters to choose which slots they appear in later in December.
So far we’ve got (at the time of publication), 16 presenters (who, it would hoped, present at least once) and 10 exhibitors who have signed up to say that they’re willing to take part. I’ll be doing something Moodle-related (as yet undecided) and it’ll be good to, subject to trying to take in the rest of BETT, to see what people have been up to. If you’re not sure what it’s all about, have a browse of pictures taken during last year’s TM Takeover, or watch a brief video of Tom B doing one of his #tmtakeover presentations from last year’s show.
Even if you’ve never been to BETT before, presenting at TMTakeover is a great thing to do. Read the guidelines on the #TMTakeover2011 page on the Teachmeet wiki, and get stuck in! Thanks in advance to all the exhibitors who already have (and will) donate their time, space, AV, 240V AC, etc. – and a huge thank you to you if you’re going to share your real in-the-classroom ideas, tools and experiences with the slightly confused, bag-carrying hordes at BETT.
Many people say they most significant ideas and conversations they have at BETT come not from conversations with exhbitors, but from interactions with other teachers and practitioners - and that's what all Teachmeet events are supposed to be about. So, why not learn something new, be amazed, amused and enthused for free in the New Year?

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