Tag Archives: Teachmeet

Living a dream …

For those of you who read and support a bit of an update. GOB is now 61 days, on the 12 March my first journal will be full. I attended Teachmeet Poole last week (Thursday 23 Feb) and as a presenter received a nice notebook which I shall use to continue the GOB journey.

Those who know my background and change in circumstance might well challenge, why is Andy at a teachmeet? It’s a fair question. I had looked up to see if Jenna Lucas’ TMBournemouth would be on and found details of the event in Poole on Differentiation. I immediately thought what about a piece on Solo Taxonomy, whose enthusiasm has not left me. I offered my services and settled to participate in the break marketplace and fill any other gaps that arose. I ended up in a mock classroom in the corner of the school theatre presenting to the entire teachmeet. Not what I had expected but I just got on with it. I loved talking about Solo. As I finished I made the point, from the chap in shorts and polo shirt, that this was my first time in a school building since November when I had a nervous breakdown and left teaching. It was a great evening to see the enthusiasm of young staff. There was repetition of many familiar ideas I have seen previously but I was left to wonder how long they would stay in teaching and knew it was unlikely to be as long as I had managed and that still upsets me.

Anyway apart from that I have been sketching with other artists for PAW (Purbeck Arts Week) at The Etches Collection – fossils of Kimmeridge. I liked the setting, found the number of experienced artists quite intimidating tbh. However it was a link back to degree days with Jo Angseesing my palaeontology lecturer. In fact my eyes were drawn a lot to the architecture after the urban sketching trips I have attended with both London and Cambridge groups previously. I have taken some photos to allow follow up on this.

Yesterday, March 2nd, I had a conversation with a mental health professional about a local programme Steps to Wellbeing, and after being very open and honest about what the last six months have been like – a range of triggers, it was felt and I agree that I am doing all that I can to recover and don’t need additional input outside what I am doing already for myself which overall is working. Yes there are slips and dips but that is the nature of depression and anxiety. In fact after the phone talk I went out on an standee walk from the house along the SW Coast path. T-shirt, shorts, walking boots and a sweatshirt for when I stopped plus camera. In the end I walked about 8 miles, took over 200 pictures (the advantage of digital) many of landscape and waves, enjoyed fresh air and sunshine, got muddy but felt great.

Today the weather is back to cloud, wind, rain and more time indoors I suspect.

A rambling post, not pre planned as usual but flowing from my thoughts. I live in a wonderful place, I have an active lifestyle. I share delights of hares, deer, numerous birds with most of my family. I live a sort of semi-retired status and it suits me.

Our friend Morris the Mad March hare who may mean we have ravaged lavender bushes, but it’s a price worth paying.


A mishmash…week continues…TMHavering3

Well, I was able to follow aspects of TMHavering3 from my sofa and retweet images and thoughts from people present. I am blessed to have such good support in Andy Lewis and Martin Burrett who took on the hosting aspect and support in school from Alex Gilchrist, Brigid Hardy and. Lesley Hall.

So the Teachmeet lost a few attendees to work commitments and illness but they seemed to have a fine time. The pictures I am posting were taken by Andy Lewis on the night and tweeted as @iTeachRE.



A revised programme as two pedagogy presenters were unable to attend as unwell, myself in my @GlobalSolo guise and @CraftyTeacher Alison Weston who travels down from Suffolk. The space was better used in my opinion than the original plan and looked good. It was a chance to showcase the school’s E-Zone as well.

Presenters included Havering primary: Elm Park with Laura Woods and Neree Sale (@EPPS_ICT) on their extensive range of IT uses.


I have no image of Dave Smith from Havering IT/Computing team who shared lots on making links internationally including a response to the changing EAL profile within the LB Havering.

On the technical side we had an exclusive in Leon Cych (@Eyebeams) of L4L TV presenting on AV with his own hashtag #TMHavering3AV and it was great that Leon was not stuck behind a camera / mike as he often is when live streaming education events.


In the image he can be seen making use of the school green screen facility and the TouchCast app.

The pedagogy link was started by Adam Thorne, my Headteacher at The Albany School, who made impressions on several people that I spoke to after the event both online and by phone. He shared ideas on co-operative learning and also spent time networking with colleagues.


Andy Lewis and Martin Burrett both presented but I have no pictures of them yet. Finally Iesha Small presented on staff well being and her Mindshackles project which I have blogged about as one of the volunteers involved. This attracted a small but interested audience who discussed ideas in detail with Iesha. She also had some some A3 prints made up including a distant picture of me kayaking on the R Chelmer.



So here ends the first review, but as. I said more photos to file at some point. Already there are requests for TMHavering4…2015 beckons.

Meanwhile a scrolling screen of spreadsheet this morning did for me. I have never felt motion sick before from that. So I will not return this week but will do what I can from home as long as it doesn’t involve vigorous motion.

Mindshackles – latest post on progress made.


Thanks to http://www.mindshackles.co.uk where Iesha Small has been tracking my mental health and the progress that I have made. She uses photography and transcripts of conversations that we have. The lower photos were take using a chest harness based camera which we were experimenting with. I would formally like to thank Iesha for accepting me into the project which helps me to track my mental health peaks, troughs and recovery over the last school year.

Please visit the Mindshackles project and read about all of the volunteers.

Using video instead of presenting f2f

Last week as I was waiting for the start of #TLT13 at Southampton University I received a tweet from my friend and colleague @ICTMagic that @i2ipartnership had requested an Introduction to Solo Taxonomy presentation for their Teachmeet #TMSurrey on Thursday 24/10/13. I retweeted his message knowing that Surrey would be too far to travel on a Thursday with a full teaching day on Friday. But no response.

So, on Sunday I tweeted. @i2ipartnership and offered a video with VoiceOver. I had already posted some ideas on introducing Solo taxonomy using drama for @HelanVictoria. I was due to go out to visit family and had 20 minutes to spare. The link at the beginning of this post was the outcome a quick film made on my phone with my son as cameraman in one take. I prepared the resources beforehand and nicknamed it a Garden Shed Production – watching the clip will explain. Traffic noise was a bit much, but I was pleased with the outcome. Wanting to check if it got the message across I sent it to some of my PLN including Pam Hook (@arti_choke) and Sonya Van Schaijik (@vanschaijik) in New Zealand, two great advocates and in Pam’s case author of Solo texts.

Thursday night I tracked the teachmeet on twitter and the clip seemed to go down well. Today I shared with my fellow #sologlobalchat host Alice Leung (@aliceleung) in Sydney Australia. So, for a small amount of effort I have been lucky enough to share my ideas even on the other side of the globe.

Feedback welcomed.

Today, a new video again for @ICTMagic and #ukedchat #Teachtweet (my 3rd entry) for next Thursday. A different approach so that I could practice my iMovie skills. Intrigued (probably not-lol) but will be shown on 31.10.13 – mirroring the calmer side of my character.

Have you made videos to get ideas across?

Teachmeet East 22/6/13

On Saturday I was due to expound on two topics in front of an audience of fellow professionals, unfortunately circumstances cut across this opportunity (see precious two posts). I was in contact via Twitter with colleagues who originally I was to chauffeur to Norwich. In the afternoon a live feed was run so that others could follow the Teachmeet session. The feed faltered at times, heh welcome to technology. A range of topics and opinions were shared – I couldn’t attend in person but following respected colleagues and other presenters meant that I felt part of the proceedings especially as the twitter feed allowed participation.

I got to request waves from the audience for myself and other online audience members which we duly received and no calories as we could only read and hear about the cakes and curlywurly bars.

If you read my post and you do not know what a Teachmeet is, this is your opportunity to find out. Google (other search engines may be used) it, find one near you, attend if a teacher especially. This is CPD in the best sense of professional development. Yes in your free time! Cover costs for most events are zero. Benefits are a range of topics and ideas that are from classroom teachers that you may decide to try in your own classroom. Who presents? Other teachers, they aren’t trained, they make errors sometimes but they are there because they believe at what they are saying is worth sharing. Some people suggest to me I find it easy and have been doing this for ages- I first spoke at Teachmeet Essex organised by Danny Nicholson in February 2012. Since then I have presented more than 10 times and been involved now in helping to run two of the most recent Teachmeet Essex events with Martin Burrett and Tom Sherrington. I heartily recommend them – try it, you might even like it. On Twitter there is a new campaign @BATTTM bring a teacher to Teachmeet – we think it’s worthwhile.

… and for recent readers of my blogs this is the other sort of topic I post on in my mishmash. Oops my two topics – Using Solo taxonomy in the classroom and this April’s Sologlobalchat that brought together educators from the UK, Australia and New Zealand in our own time on a Saturday!!

Thoughts?? Recommendations from those already involved??


Thursday 28 March sees a new idea from UKedchat – the teachtweet. This has been put together by @ukedchat and @ICTMagic. A number of Teachmeet presenters are making / have made ( more organised than me!) videos of new presentations. We will be on twitter on Thursday between 8 and 9.30pm to answer any questions about our presentations. Which reminds me – I have a plan, and of course it needs to become a video.




Please join us and tell others about it to.

Teachmeet Essex 2013 (March)

Monday 18th March arrived and the second Teachmeet Essex co-hosted by myself (@aknill), Martin Burrett (@ICTMagic) and Tom Sherringham (@headguruteacher) took place at Tom’s school – KEGS in Chelmsford, Essex. To our surprise this time we had not had to chase speakers, they signed up of their own accord and we had several new people presenting this time. Also as there have now been a number of Teachmeets in London we had discussed how our numbers might fall. 218 tickets were booked through Everbrite ( I do not have a total for attendance currently).

Having been successful back in November we had considered changing the format slightly but did not do this in the end ( see recent Twitter discussions about TM formats). We did not need to meet face to face this time, arrangements were as previously. Martin comperes and acted as tech wizard that he is and chief cuddly camel thrower; Tom was host with refreshments and enterprising sixth formers and I got to be on livestream mic batteries duty.

This time we had up to 42 watching on the livestream and no mic downtime. Viewers were from a range of places inc.; N.Ireland;Ireland; Edinburgh, Islay in the Western Isles, Scotland; Brittany; Melbourne, Australia – a good impact.

Presenters ranged from the static to the animated as they spoke to the audience. Technology included many tools; at one point Tom referred to PowerPoint as a historic tool, after several Prezi presentations. Hardware ranged from Mark Allen (@edintheclouds) using his phone without the aid of a PC, several uses of PC, Mac, iPad and iPhone via Reflection app. Blogging was mentioned many times. The key running through the presentations this time was the focus on pedagogy supported by tech tools and many examples of pupils work / responses.

Presentations and video from the evening are being uploaded by Martin onto www.teachmeetessex.co.uk and views, feedback are welcomed.

Oh and the other thing…. In a moment of madness / inspiration ( depends who you ask) I decided to respond to a point raised by Emma Dawson (@squiggle7) at Teachmeet Milton Keynes recently about where my Geography Camp ( The Geography Collective) trousers were.


Picture courtesy of Penny Patterson.

Teachmeet CV


So, Teachertoolkit posts about how attendance at Teachmeets could become part of your CV. I’ve mentioned mine since 2012 became busy and 2013, has started well. I don’t have the profile of Ross but I have a twitter and Teachmeet presence. So –

2008 Attended Teachmeet East London organised by Anthony (@skinnyboyevans) Evans in Redbridge. Suitably overawed I watched presentations and felt out of place.

2012 Feb. Teachmeet Essex held in Wickford and hosted by @Dannynic (Danny Nicholson). Lots of student teachers and some familiar faces inc. @Penny_Patterson. I presented for the first time as Mishmashlearning. A new persona was about to appear.

2012 Feb. half term a drive to Leicestershire to Teachmeet Play organised by @squiggle7 (Emma Dawson) and @mikemcsharry. Mishmash’s second presenting outing and a chance to visit my old PGCE area of Leicester.

A pause, and the. Start of this blog as Mishmashlearning which allowed me to include my wide and varied interests.

2012 July RaspberryPi Teachmeet in Cambridge. Some familiar faves from TMEssex in @ICTmagic (Martin Burrett) and twitter @EdintheClouds ( Mark Allen). Another Mishmash presentation but drawing in @SheliBB (Sheli Blackburn) and the rising Digital Leader Network.

2012 Sept a meeting with @headguruteacher (Tom Sherringham) and @ICTmagic, this. Time to propose a new Teachmeet Essex run by the three of us. My role to cajole speakers – filled the sheet in less than a week.

2012 November Teachmeet iPad organised by @skinnyboyevans – presenting on geography apps ( not selected for my 7 min on iPad mishmash), also helped sell raffle tickets.
On same evening @Danielharvey9 used my two presentations at Teachmeet Brum.

2012 November presented at our Teachmeet Essex on Digital Leaders – involving the audience standing and introducing many to the concept of solo taxonomy. Met many twitter friends and made many new friends.

A busy first year of presenting and actually being involved in running the 3rd largest TM of the year (unless you know different).

New year 2013.

2013 February my annual trip to the BETT show developed further. In the afternoon I presented two Teachmeet takeovers. @Dawnhallybone and I presented on Geografree – apps for primary and secondary classrooms – a link back to meeting at TMiPad. @SheliBB and I presented on Digital Leaders before Sheli went on to her third presentation of the day.

I attended Teachmeet BETT but unfortunately was not selected to present. I had however got the job of selling raffle tickets which I took to with an enthusiasm that surprised even me. A very successful role and one I hope to repeat.

2013 March. A phone call and offer from @ICTmagic meant a lift to Teachmeet Milton Keynes whose organisers included @squiggle7. I volunteered to @swaygrantham to sell raffle tickets again. A new year and a recurring theme with my 2 minute stand the audience up for Digital Leaders. A modified 7 minute on my solo taxonomy journey and one that I can keep editing and adding to.

2013 March. The next day Pedagoolondon where I attended workshops on Group work, 7 e!s, PBL and Solo. Also an opportunity to meet many more twitter friends. In the evening I got to kick off the proceedings with my solo presentation used the night before in Milton Keynes. A few extra technical issues with the trusty iPad VGA convertor.

Next? 18/3/2013 our next Teachmeet Essex. I will be adding to my new Solo presentation. After March? More at some point.

No totals, you could count for yourself but the best year’s self development as a teacher I can honestly say I have accessed with several other presentations and meetings as well. I like my new online network. I love the sharing, the exchange of ideas, the friendship. Next challenge: not a Teachmeet but #sologlobalchat on 13/4/13 an international chat to encourage practitioners to share ideas.

We’d like to know about Digital Leaders

A busy week started with a rescheduled visit to Brentwood County High School to discuss what digital leaders are / do / setting up. It was an informal collaboration which I hope will grow into a strong link between our students. The initial contact came out of my nano (2 minute) presentation on Digital leaders at TMEssex back in November. I’d hoped to be selected o use the same presentation at TMBett13, but it was not to be.

I’d like to see this as the first step in recruiting SDLs (secondary digital leaders) in Essex and East London. If you read this and are intrigued, please take a look at the collaborative blog: www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk which includes secondary examples from Mark Anderson (Clevedon, Somerset) and Chris Sharples (Pickering, Yorkshire).

Come on schools – join us – it’s free, we celebrate the skills that our students have and we also get to share ideas across many schools and primary / secondary phases.

#TMLondon 11/12/12

I couldn’t make it to #TMLondon, but it was great to follow the twitter stream and some of the links. Some great ideas being discussed as well as #bartlesocks fashion co-ordination admirers. So thanks to all who tweeted, I gained some extra free CPD from following you and I’m left intrigued at what some of the presenters got upto.