About 40 teachers from as far apart as Fife and Islay enjoyed a scintillating evening of innovative teaching talk at UWS Ayr tonight . Part of the TeachMeet network , it was the first time I had ever participated in one of their events and I left feeling humbled at the array of dedicated teaching talent on display . These were the creme de la creme of the teaching profession with more energy , commitment and sheer dedication to the job on show than I’ve seen in years. The quickfire talks ranged from strategies for Motivating de-motivated pupils using outdoor activities like canyoning, employing GPS caches for teaching history to P1s, and a truly inspiring talk on the use of a variety Webtools for Geography teaching given by a Geographically isolated Geography teacher.
Wonderful stuff.But for me the highlight of the night(apart from the fab buffet) was UWS PHD student and lecturer at BCU , Jennifer Jones . Taking as her canvas the nationwide movement of student led direct action against the cuts, she asked big questions. When a student has to go into £40,000 worth of debt just to get a degree for a teaching job which might not be there at the end of it, we have to start asking if we actually have an education system worth defending at all. Could it be that the nationwide network of real and virtual user generated teaching spaces created through the struggles might be putative small scale templates for the future of REAL student centred education for the WEB 3.0 generation?
Open source technology and user generated content may well be an anathema to established educational hierarchies who wish to guard their intellectual property , but they might well prove to be more viable educational models for the uncertain economic future in which we find ourselves . Anyway , here’s to TeachMeet , and many thanks to all who made me feel a very welcome guest.