During two weeks in August, I went to three EdCamps. Yes, three. All were great EdCamps, all a bit different. Let me explain...
EdCamp Leadership, Philadelphia, August 4
Philadelphia is three hours from my home, so staying over on Sunday night was a no-brainer. I had plenty of time to reflect on the day during the long drive home. Why would anyone travel all that way on a Sunday afternoon, stay in a hotel overnight to attend a free, one day conference?
I'll tell you why:
To be with other passionate educators, people who care about students and their learning.
To learn and connect with other like-minded educators (which started during dinner Sunday night) and
To see friendships made by connected educators on Twitter. An amazing thing.
This edcamp was different than the others I have attended because the participants were mainly administrators and some teachers. But they didn't call us teachers, they called us teacher leaders. The sessions that were created reflected this group, yes...that is how edcamps are supposed to work!
I learned a lot during the sessions I attended: Flipping and Tossing Faculty Meetings, Google Glass, Leading from the Classroom: Creating Teacher Leaders, and the Family Engagement session including a live demo of Voxer. Awesome.
EdCamp CapeCod, Falmouth, August 11
So, when I heard about Ed Camp Cape Cod on Twitter, I thought, "Hubby likes Cape Cod. I like Cape Cod. So, let's make a weekend of it!" And that weekend before the edcamp just happened to be our wedding anniversary. Bingo! A great long weekend with the hubby... then on Monday he could fish and I could go to an edcamp!
What I didn't realize is that the bed and breakfast we were staying in was 50 minutes away from the EdCamp location. So... needless to say, I was a little bit late- I got to Falmouth High School in the middle of the first session. I was not happy to miss the beginning but since I've been to four other edcamps I knew how it worked. I knew that I would be able to find sessions that would interest me.
This edcamp was very laid back- hey, it was on Cape Cod! Last week at EdCamp Leadership the group was mainly administrators, many people there were dressed up in "work" attire- no kidding! Suits, ties, you know, dressed up! I wore denim capris and a t-shirt with a sweater. At EdCamp Cape Cod almost everyone wore shorts and a t-shirt, very casual. I was able to meet @artrendering, she's an art teacher in RI. We had connected on Twitter and communicated on #edtechchat and #artsedchat on many occasions. So nice to finally meet her face to face!
EdCamp CT, Simsbury, August 15
Since I missed EdCamp CT last year I was determined to get there in 2014! I figured it was in CT, so it'll be nearby, right? Wrong. An hour and 20 minutes from my home in CT! Oh well, I thought, we need one in my area (But that is another blog about EdCampSWCT- coming soon!)
During this edcamp I decided I wanted to hold a session on augmented reality, not because I was an expert, but because I wanted to learn about it. I had been trying to understand it, but I was having trouble. I wrote it on a card, put it in a time slot and crossed my fingers that someone knowledgable would show up, and they did! Thank goodness for @dtblodge and @designsaunders, they had great examples and ideas for the whole group.
During this final EdCamp of my summer, I also was able to help at a Twitter 101 session, discuss the importance of Technology Coaches, share ideas for the one iPad Classroom and have some awesome chips and milkshakes and desserts. (Did I mention the food was REALLY good? It was!)
Three edcamps in two weeks. Time well spent, lots learned, students will benefit. And that's what it's all about, right?
Visual art and arts integration with a techie twist!