Scratch Educator Meetups are participatory professional learning experiences for teachers who want to learn more about supporting creative computing in the classroom with Scratch.
The first Scratch Educator Meetup in New Orleans was hosted on April 16, 2016—thanks to the generous support of Hilah Barbot and KIPP Central City Academy.
Upon arrival, meetup participants engaged in informal interactions and networking, getting to know each other through conversations over coffee and a paper-based, Facebook-inspired icebreaker activity that encouraged people to share some of their interests and experiences.
After everyone had arrived, we gathered together as a group, with each person introducing themselves and sharing why they came to the meetup. Participants came from a wide range of backgrounds and interests, from high school CS teachers who had been using Scratch for several years, to elementary teachers who were looking to integrate Scratch into their classrooms, to local non-profit leaders who were eager to promote computational literacy, city-wide.
The whole-group sharing was followed by a speed-networking activity. In pairs, people shared their answers to questions, such as, "Who is a student that inspires you?" and (more playfully) "If you were a breakfast pastry, which one would you be?"
Next, it was time to build the schedule. Rather than following a predetermined set of activities, participants work together to design sessions to support their learning. First step: generating many ideas, with each participant writing one or two (or more!) session ideas on sticky notes.
The sticky notes were then collected and thematically grouped—with everyone pitching in to help!