As far as I understand it, a teach meet is a meeting of a particular specialist group where anyone can contribute ideas about a particular theme. Everyone speaks for five minutes, and explains one thing. There’s very little time for questions and nobodies speech is more important than anybody else’s. There’s no central organisation that sets these things up, but there seems to be a loose network that shares details and publicizes each other. This is all, of course, a fundamentally good idea.
This Teach Meet was held in one of the seminar rooms in the university library. It was organised by Emma Illingworth and Tom Roper and was attended by around forty people. There were vegan flapjacks. If you aren’t a vegan, this is probably less exciting for you. But when you’re a vegan with an incredibly limited diet, baked goods are the most remarkable thing in the world.
Here’s some of the things that stuck in my mind from the teach meet, from the talks and from a bit of networking:
1. The Argus has an archive. Very few newspapers do anymore. The librarian there hit onto the idea of charging for her services, and therefore kept her department running when most newspapers have lost theirs.
2. Google Surveys can be used to automatically update answers into a spreadsheet. This means that the task of compiling results, which can take hours, can be done instantly. This is very cool.
3. Skype is a good tool for communicating with students. And it can be used for conferencing by instant messenger as well as voice.
Myself and Ka Ming gave a presentation about Peer to Peer Collaboration. Here’s what we learnt from the experience.
1. Ka Ming is good at singing in front of people. Doing something novel in a presentation never hurts. People like a change.
2. Breathe. This should be automatic. But I find that it’s important before something like this.
3. I need to stop looking back to Ka Ming and the power point for reassurance. My tactic is to pretend that the audience is an angry bull, and it will charge if I don’t stare it out.