Sonya van Schaijik, Newmarket School, explains how TeachMeet works, how she introduced it into New Zealand, and the benefits it provides for teachers to connect and share their practice
Sonya van Shaijik: TeachMeetNZ is an online space for teachers where they can come together, connect, and collaborate, and create a legacy of their own learning to share with other educators. Not just in New Zealand, but around the world. It’s an opportunity for teachers to learn how to use a tool like Google Hangout for their own teaching and learning, and an opportunity for them to find out what others are doing at a very advanced level both technically and pedagogically.
Hangout session: Welcome everybody to a really special session we’ve got with TeachMeetNZ and TeachMeetSydney joined together. With us we have eight amazing educators from around both New Zealand and from Sydney, Australia who are joining us.
Sonya van Shaijik: The TeachMeetNZ idea developed over a period of time. I was involved in a global TeachMeet, that’s when I first heard what a TeachMeet was. I thought, I’d love to do this in New Zealand, but how? As tools became available, I chose Google Hangout for its stability. I also liked it because people could share their screen and share their presentation. Teachers can participate as an audience on TeachMeetNZ through a variety of ways. One is they can follow the hashtag on Twitter and find out what other people are saying about the sessions. They can watch it on Google+ where they can contribute to questions and answers to do with the sessions. When the sessions are finished, they can rewind it on YouTube.
YouTube clip: Connecting kids and connecting teachers, and I mean even Connected Educator month, but we all know that just being connected isn’t enough.
Sonya van Shaijik: My desired outcomes for TeachMeetNZ have changed hugely since its early days. When I first began, it was to learn how to use a Hangout, however it has very quickly grown in that I’ve got over 60 video artefacts of teachers sharing their teaching and learning. So it’s a place, you can go onto TeachMeetNZ, and find a teacher who’s already done something and hear their story. After every session I have an evaluation form that they fill in and some of the feedback I’ve received is how much they’ve enjoyed connecting with each other and how they think that it has contributed to their own learning, not just from what they themselves have accomplished, but what they have heard from other presenters.
Hangout session speaker 1: QuadBlogging is one of the reasons why I actually did get onto Twitter, because I wanted to get involved in it when I saw it from Deputy Mitchell, and thank goodness for Barb, they started it for us in New Zealand, thank you so much.
Hangout session speaker 2: Yeah fantastic Barbara, QuadBlogging’s really effective and the kids just love it so very inspiring.
Hangout session speaker 3: It’s really good to see that you’re teaching students, well basically how to reflect, but also teaching students to give substantive feedback.
Sonya van Shaijik: It has been a fabulous project to equip me to support our teachers at Newmarket School. It has fine-tuned my own skills with learning how to use social media. All these ways of using the tools probably have become stronger since I have been developing TeachMeetNZ.