Wednesday, 28 November 2012

KS3 Assessment: what purpose does it serve?

A pdf archive of the chat  is available here

One suggestion to come out of tonight's chat was that we could have a virtual meeting some night to give coordinators a chance to share ideas. This could be via Twitter or maybe through a Google+ hangout. The aim would be to provide peer support for coordinators and exchange ideas.

It was also suggested that tasks could be exchanged between schools on a like-for-like basis - credit to @mapsman. More on this later.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

How can in-school CPD be improved?

A very interesting #NIedchat on how in-service can be used more effectively and what was striking was the number of people who believed that their in-school CPD was worthwhile.

A poll reveal that most participants in the chat believed that their in-school CPD was effective - I'm not sure how representative this is of the entire teaching profession but it was encouraging given the bad name that in-service training has in the main.

A collaborative document was also produced on ideas for CPD sessions in schools. You can view it here.

And finally, a link to the archive of the chat were you can catch up with all the great ideas that were shared.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Could you host #NIedchat?

If you are reading this then it's more than likely that you are a teacher who already values the opportunity to share ideas with other practitioners from near and far via social networks such as Twitter.

If  this sounds like you then you're just the person we are looking for!

At #Niedchat we are always on the look out for teachers like you to host our regular Wednesday night chat. No doubt you have seen #NIedchat in operation and maybe you've contributed to the discussion but now you have the chance to take the reins for a night and see where it takes you. As host you have the opportunity to provide the topics for discussion as well as prompt the discussion throughout the duration of the chat.


Contact us via our Twitter account or if you prefer you can contact one of the regular hosts.We are happy to talk you through the process (it's simple really) and there are always a few of the regular hosts on hand to help out if needs be. It's great fun and very rewarding.

Go on. You know you want to ;)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Daithi's amazing collaboration idea rocks #NIedchat!

What an amazing #NIedchat we had last Wednesday!

The collaborative writing exercise organised by @dmurray742 certainly caught the imagination of the #NIedchat community. Together we have produced an amazing document cram-packed with ideas to use in your classroom. A huge thanks goes out to Daithi for bringing this to fruition - it was the first time our community tried such a thing and it wasn't without it's risks but the gamble paid off.

Daithi has written an excellent article about the collaborative writing event on his blog.

You can access the collaborative document here.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Crowd Sourcing in Education

Wednesday 7 November 2012 @ 8.30


‘I not only use all the brains I have, but all the brains I can borrow.’
 (Woodrow Wilson)

This Wednesday’s #Niedchat is a little different to our previous chats.

I’m proposing that instead of discussing a topic of educational interest, we spend our sixty minutes crowd sourcing and creating a collaborative document that can be referred to and used in each of our classrooms.

The philosophy for this week’s #Niedchat is firmly based in the maxim ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ – and that when we harness the phenomenal experience, expertise and ideas that exist in the #Niedchat ‘community’, we have the potential to create something huge that will exist as a lasting document.

So… to specifics – over the sixty minutes of our weekly #Niedchat I’d like to run a collaborative Google Doc, along side the usual Twitter feed.

The document is accessible to anyone with the link, and I’m inviting everyone in the #Niedchat community to take the document, and add to it however they wish.  I've suggested some titles to start the ball rolling – but these titles are not exclusive, or are not in any order of importance.  This document belongs to us all, so if you feel there is something missing that would improve the document, feel free to add a heading and hopefully others will help populate it.

Hopefully the document will become populated with lots of great ideas, tips and links that can be shared and used by the #Niedchat community when we go back into our classrooms, and will remain as an archive for future reference when needed.


1.  You don’t need a Google Account to access the document – the link should allow anyone on the web to access it and to edit. 

2.  Please put your Twitter name in brackets after your contribution – this will allow you to take credit for the idea, and will help facilitate further sharing of good ideas through Twitter.

3.  Feel free to post as many ideas, links and resources as you like.  You can jump from topic to topic, or add new topics if you’d prefer.

4.  Please don’t remove any other contributor’s ideas.  Everyone’s contributions are valid and have a place in the document.

At the end of the sixty minutes, I’ll publish the document digitally and share the link with the #Niedchat community.  You can then bookmark this and use it whenever and wherever you see fit.

This is a very different #Niedchat from our usual Wednesday conversation.  We’re going to be creative and to share the millions of great ideas that exist in our own good practice with our colleagues.  I’m convinced that this model of collaborative crowd sourcing is an extremely effective way of facilitating professional development, and it leaves a lasting archive that can be referred to again and again.

For those who are interested, I saw this workshop demonstrated at the BLC conference in Boston this summer.  The amazing Tom Barrett led the workshop in a room with fifty educators all collaborating on a Google Doc.  It struck me that this model could work just as effectively via Twitter and #Niedchat, and I’m very grateful to Damien who has given me the time to try out this idea.  I really hope it works.

Thanks for sharing and enjoy the wonderful document we’re going to create this Wednesday night.

- Dáithí Murray

PS – While most of the creative work will be taking place on the collaborative Google Doc, please feel free to continue ‘chatting’ on Twitter using our usual hashtag #Niedchat.  This might be a good place to catch your breath from all the collaborating and bounce ideas off other members of the community. PPS – Link to the Google Doc is:  (The document is now open.  If you’re unable to make Wednesday night’s #Niedchat – feel free to ‘drop in now’ and leave your idea!