Sunday, November 8, 2015

Reflections from #EdcampGB

Professional development on a Saturday? You bet! I attended my first ever Edcamp yesterday and I'm still so excited about all that I was able to do and experience. If you've never heard of an Edcamp, they are "unconferences" that are participant-driven. Best of all, Edcamps are typically free and most often breakfast and lunch are included in your day thanks to the generosity of sponsors. You can find out more about Edcamps here.

We had over 100 educators from the local area and from around the state join us for a day of learning. We started our morning in the auditorium and pitched our session ideas. Sessions did not have to be technology related, although many were. As sessions were pitched, those ideas were put on post-it notes and then arranged and rearranged on the Smartboard where the session schedule began to take shape.

It wasn't long and we were off! It was hard to choose which sessions to go to as there were so many that were pertinent to my interests and my grade level. The beauty of the Edcamp format though is that if "you're not feeling it" in the session you attend, there are no hard feelings about getting up and moving to a new session. Our organizers also did a fantastic job of setting up a shared doc in which we could take notes in each session as well. I've already taken time to go in and read the notes from the sessions I wasn't able to attend and even added information and resources for others as well. If you're interested in checking out the sessions that were offered and taking a peek at the notes you can click on the picture or on this link- #edcampGB GoogleDoc.

I attended sessions on coding in the elementary level, using the app SeeSaw for digital portfolios (I'm currently using this and will be blogging about it soon- it is absolutely PHENOMENAL!!), using tech in Reader's Workshop, and more. Most importantly, I not only learned FROM others but was able to share my expertise WITH others as well. It was the kind of day that we as teachers are always saying that we want and need- time to talk, share, and network with others. Other bonuses to the day? I was able to help several participants get started on Twitter, was able to answer a boatload of questions about SeeSaw (and saw many already getting their classes set up so they could start using the app this week) and was able to meet a whole bunch of people that I follow on Twitter. (My tech geek side came out with that- meeting Twitter friends face to face is amazing!)

I truly can't say enough about the day. It flew by faster than I thought it would or could and as I said above, I am still pondering, sharing, and reading tweets from #EdcampGB. The learning didn't stop yesterday! 

I'm already wondering when I'll be able to attend another Edcamp and have even checked the official Edcamp calendar in hopes of finding one within a few hours of my home on a weekend that I don't have other obligations. 

If you don't have any Edcamps in your area or if you aren't able to attend, find out what the hashtag is and follow along on Twitter. You will be amazed at what you will learn, even from afar!!!

If you're interested in reading yesterday's #EdcampGB tweets, check out my Storify below.

1 comment:

  1. Agree-it was awesome! Now, I have to check out seesaw...thanks for sharing your expertise! DeeDee