Ripples & Reflections

"Learning is about living, and as such is lifelong." Elkjaer.

A School Year of #MYPChat

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Early in this school year we took a lead from #PYPChat and started up #MYPChat: an informal discussion on topics of interest in and around the MYP. Over the last ten chats we’ve had interesting discussions on concept-based learning, visible thinking, in-house PD, programme transitions and more. I think for those that have been involved it has been a valuable informal source of PD or support.

Here are a few reflections from my point of view: I’d love to hear more from you in the comments. In particular on how we can strengthen this community.

Some strengths

I am thankful for the connections I’ve made and strengthened through #MYPChat. From those that I know (@JamesLindop, @ScottAFCAmeron, @JasonGraham99) to new colleagues (@VanWeringh, @MerionTaynton, @subiopp, @msagostino, @szbrook, @jpwxiix and many more). It’s great to have this network as a support and learning group!

The discussions have been really engaging, and with each one we have added a page of resources to the wikispace. The discussions have been archived using Storify, so links and resources can be accessed by anyone. Hopefully this will be a useful service to people who want to dip in – and maybe even join in!

At first I was wary of the response of the official bods at the IB, but I needn’t have worried: they have been very supportive and at times have even joined in. I have written before about how one tweet from Malcolm Nicolson (@malnicolson) changed the way I thought about some elements of teaching…

.. which leads nicely into the ideas. Through the suggestion on topics, resources and discussions we get to share and comment on each other’s ideas, concerns and approaches. It has been super supportive and I have learned a lot from this group. Thank-you all.

……….o0O0o………..

Some challenges & possible solutions

We haven’t yet gained the traction or following of #PYPChat. At one point, we were able to schedule our chats after theirs, which made for some great continuity, though the shift in daylight savings time means that is too late for us now. Time-zones are an issue: as we try to find a time that suits everyone, it becomes difficult to make it work.

One thing that works for #PYPChat is a regular time-slot and high frequency of chats: once every two weeks. If we keep building on our group and distributing the moderation duties, we can do that too! I think we should aim for a regular time-slot during the academic year, and stick to it. Ideally we can find a time that suits from NZ to India and get the whole IBAP region involved (and anyone else who can be online). Perhaps IBAEM and IBA can run an #MYPChat as well – with a time-slot that suits them better.

I think we could have one a better job of promoting the chats, getting them organised more effectively (mea culpa), and getting the word out in our own schools. At times the process of setting up the chats has been random: some have been voted, others called. We could be more focused in our aims for a chat. This is definitely something to work on.

Some more ideas:

  • One thing that might work could be to have some chats moderated or co-hosted by the @IBMP account, well-known workshop leaders or ‘guest-tweeters’.
  • Have a mod team in IBA and/or IBAEM to serve their preferred time-slots in parallel.
  • Try some more focused ‘reading club’ style chats, based on a specific article, IB document or stimulus. I really like the model of the Science Teachers’ Journal Club  (#SciTeachJC) in the UK, although maybe this is better suited to the OCC.
  • I would like to see other #MYPChats emerge from the twitter community: call a time, get it going and archive the chats on the wiki. Twitter is a tool of revolution: let’s not concentrate the power!
  • Someone suggested at one point we try it as a G+ hangout. That might be fun…

……….o0O0o………..

Moving forwards

As May-session schools break up for the summer, #MYPChat might go quiet, though it doesn’t need to be so. It would be great to check into twitter and the wiki once in a while and see that chats have been going on. Either way, we should come back stronger in the new academic year.

If you are interested in #MYPChat, have taken part over the year (or would like), or have any suggestions on how to make it stronger, please let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter or on the Wallwisher on the wikispace

If you would like to be a moderator, please request membership of the wiki and let us know on Twitter.

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Author: Stephen

Director of Learning & MYP Coordinator at Canadian Academy, Kobe, Japan. Formerly MYP HS Science & IBDP Bio teacher and missing it terribly. Twitterist (@sjtylr), dad and bloggerer.

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