Wednesday, November 6, 2013

#brewcue: How (and Why) to Make It Happen

Before we get into the how to make a brewcue happen, let’s talk about the why. Why should you bother to organize a brewcue? Thanks for asking.

Photo courtesy of @pronovost

Do you like hanging out with dedicated educators who want to make school better? Brewcue will help with that.

Do you like informal conversations about education? PD that you choose, at your own pace? Brewcue is for you.

Do you like connecting pictures on Twitter handles with actual faces? Brewcue is the place to do that.

Do you relish extended conversation, not 140-character-at-a-time conversations? Or conversations that can flow, but face to face - not in a Google hangout? Yes. Brewcue for that too.

Do you like an excuse to hang out with friends, but call it professionally developing? Yup. Brewcue. Make it happen. Now.

Now, the harder part: the how to make a brewcue happen. Okay. It’s not really that hard - it’s actually pretty easy. Another reason to organize one! Okay, on to it.
  1. Find a cohost for brewcue. This person will help you publicize the event, and if no one else comes to the brewcue, you’ll get to hang out with your cohost for an hour and talk about education and whatever else comes up. Robert Pronovost is that guy for me.
  2. Choose a date. Set a time that both you and your cohost can make - remember, if no one else shows you need someone else there to talk to! But don’t worry - other people always show. Also, Robert and I always try to leave about a week of time to publicize the brewcue. The more time you have to tweet out the location, the more folks will see that it is happening!
  3. Choose a location. For Robert and I, as Bay Area residents, we shoot for somewhere about halfway between San Jose and San Francisco: we want as many people as possible to make it to the brewcue.
  4. Publicity, publicity, publicity! Tweet out your brewcue. Use your state and/or district hashtag. My favorite? Tweeting the brewcue date and location five minutes before California edchat (#caedchat, the best state edchat) begins: at this point there are a lot of people looking at the hashtag, but there aren’t a ton of tweets going to the hashtag yet. Tweet out reminders as the day of brewcue approaches - you never know who hasn’t seen the tweets publicizing the event yet!
  5. On the day of the brewcue, have a way to let the attendees know where you are at at your chosen venue. Robert has created a brewcue sign on his iPad that lets people know which table we are at. In the early days, though, we just wrote “brewcue” on a napkin and hung it on a menu. This totally worked fine.
  6. Buy the first pitcher. Then, sit back and enjoy the conversation.

Not into the brew aspect? Or want to do your brewcue in the morning, when a brew is less appropriate? Throw the more staid version of brewcue: have a coffeecue at a local coffee house.

Finally, though, really why do this? Education is all about relationships. Brewcue builds relationships. And hey, usually a whole gang of #eduawesome folks show up!

Over 20 educators deep! Photo courtesy of @pronovost