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EdTech Meetup CO Message Board › How are we doing? What next?

How are we doing? What next?

Mark P.
user 29751832
Denver, CO
Hi everybody!

I was just going over the agenda for tonight's meetup and realized that it's been a year since Dan and I held our first meetup. Wow! Time flies and all of that. In the last twelve months, we've hosted an equal number of events in Boulder and Denver (Big shout out to West Denver Prep, Scrib, TFA, and Donell Kaye Foundation for hosting!), helped organize a Startup Weekend EDU, sent Dan off to startup glory in San Francisco, signed up nearly 300 local members, added Clare Macmillan and Janet Tworek to the organizing team, and hopefully helped contribute to a robust dialogue about Education and Technology in the Front Range.

Janet and I have been connecting with Meetup leaders around the country in the hopes of continuing to provide a meaningful experience for meetup attendees and presenters. And so we turn to you. We sent out a survey several months ago, but only received a few responses. Please use this thread to voice your opinions. Our group sign-ups continue to grow while our event attendance continues to dwindle. That tells me that we're not doing something we should be doing and so we're asking for help.

What should we keep? What should we change? Would bigger, paid events on a quarterly basis be more meaningful? Help us understand where to take our meetup in year two. Thanks in advance for your input and suggestions!

This note is posted in the discussion board.  Since I posted it, it's been viewed three times and has no responses.  Would love to hear what you think.



Denver, CO
Post #: 7
Personally I enjoyed the 5 minute presentations followed by 5 minute Q/A that we used to do in the BDNT style. I know I personally felt more "buzz" happening at events hosted in that format. Does anyone else agree?
Craig M.
Denver, CO
Post #: 1
Mark -

Thanks for your service to the community. I'm sorry to have joined the group so late in its first year. I'd love to have more perspective on how things have run so far and the engagement patterns you've seen.

Personally, I'm interested in hearing about EdTech trends. I'm interested in meeting those who are leading the change. I'm interested in hearing why Derrick thinks we are too concerned about video when we talk about flipping. I'm interested in meeting folks interested in solving problems related to badging. I'm interested in knowing more about the type of data exchange and interoperability that Glenn sees as such potential for innovation. I'm interested in helping to solve problems and learning about resources that exist to solve them.

Besides structuring more open time to engage with each other, one way to facilitate or encourage those discussions might be to have a 5 minute announcements time before opening. Another way might be a time where some participants can take 2 minutes to share what they've been thinking about or struggling with during the month. That might lead to a short discussion, or one that can be tabled until a time later in the meeting. Another way might be to have several participants demonstrate a technology they're experimenting with that might be of benefit to others.

One goal I always have when getting to know a group is to learn a little about everyone. Who are the "regulars"? Who knows about a specific problem space I've been dabbling in? What are the "core competencies" or the group? Who can get me in touch with others of similar interests? This type of thing might be possible if we made time for 10-20 second whip-around introductions.

Also - as we spoke about, a virtual group where ideas and announcements could be shared would be great. I think this environment in Meetup might be just fine for some, others might prefer a Facebook or Google group. I'd certainly join one of those.

Thanks again for your work. Personally, I'm excited that this group exists and I feel it has great potential for continued impact. I doubt there are very many of these types of groups that consistently thrive across the country without dedication from their organizers.

A former member
Post #: 1
Hi Mark,

I found the Startup Weekend EDU to be the most useful for me in terms of really getting the opportunity to engage with people on a deeper level than your typical networking event. I agree with Dallas that if you're going to stick with the presentations, then a five-minute pitch is more than enough for people to get their idea across.

I think a format that is a day-long activity on a Saturday would be great--it's long enough for participants to really engage with one another, but doesn't take up as much of our time as the Startup weekend (or as much organizing!!). Some kind of a combination of engaging speakers + working groups to discuss the content + presentations??

Food for thought...

Thanks so much,
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