Guest post: #YorkTU

25May12

A guest post from @MissMolecules.

A couple of weeks ago a few teachers were chatting away on Twitter, generally bemoaning the fact that we would be unable to attend @alomshaha’s book launch for the Young Atheist Handbook. The book launch is in London and on a school night. Within a few tweets, and in the spirit of taking responsibility for our own CPD, Mary Whitehouse (@MaryUYSEG) and I suddenly found that we had volunteered to organise a teachmeet and social event in York during the summer holidays. I remember Alom suggested at the time that we should save the thread of tweets to show how powerful a tool Twitter can be for organising CPD events. Needless to say, I didn’t save the tweets and now I wish I had!

I am a complete novice at this kind of thing, so at Alom’s suggestion I started a poll on www.doodle.com in an attempt to narrow down a date. Mary was unavailable at the start of the holidays and Alom had limited availability, so the dates were quickly narrowed down to the last couple of weeks in August.

Promotion of the event was simple; tweet it. After a couple of announcements and a few RTs, there had been a lot of interest. I asked people to DM email addresses and I just sent out an email with the link to the doodle poll and some information about the event. I don’t want people to think I’m being selective in any way, or this is an event by invitation only, everyone is welcome. I just need to keep track of who wants to come, and the poll is an excellent way to do this. We also now have a hashtag thanks to Linda Needham (@NeedhamL56) which is #YorkTU.

The event will be based around a teachmeet at the University of York during the day. The idea is that anyone attending can do a short (5 minute) presentation. This is informal and the subject matter can literally be anything the delegate finds interesting or pertinent and would like to share and discuss. If people feel that they would like to attend and just listen to speakers and meet the other delegates, then that’s fine too. I would really like the event to be fun, relaxed and to be an opportunity for people to chat, share ideas and good practice. We have suggested that lunch can be bring and share. There will (hopefully) be people travelling some distance to the event and this way we should have enough food for everyone.

The evening event will really be an opportunity to socialise and have fun, something we scientists are good at! Once we have a better idea of numbers, I will look at venues in York. I do have a couple of places in mind and room hire is usually free but there may be a small cost involved for any catering.

The date for #YorkYU has been finalised now for Wednesday 22nd August. I am still hoping more people will attend so if you are interested, please tweet me at @MissMolecules or leave a comment below and I’ll be in touch.

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