#edcampspokane reflection

edcampspokane_board

On Friday, February 28th, I attended the pre-event for #edcampspokane during which I met the most welcoming and excited organizers, all ready for the big day, March 1st. One of my peeps, Theresa Allen, suggested I attend ready with links and to participate as facilitator, not just a listener. So when asked to present with Krisha about Google Apps for Education, I said yes and created a blog post with a set of links that night as a reference and starting point. We’d be part of five sessions at the beginning so the organizers could set up the schedule based on the attendees’ sorted choices and votes (see image: image source: Twitter via Brent Howard ).

The organizers developed this format based on their first edcampspokane last year.

The finalized schedule provided fascinating and informative discussions by attendees on topics such as standards-based grading, libraries, Google Apps for Education, Digging Deeper into CCSS, Things That Suck, etc. Each link on the document connects to a notes document taken live during the session. Be sure to read the ones that interest you to find out what we learned.

One of my favorite new sites is this one: Google Gooru, which provides help and information, tutorials and training for anyone interested in Google Apps for Education. Also check out our session notes on GAFE.

A second can’t-do-without- site is NEWSLEA, a site with nonfiction texts on various reading levels. The site integrates with Google Apps login so teachers can assign and manage student text complexity and comprehension. Be sure to check it out.

A third site to mention is GooruLearning, which is another amazing site to gather resources, as teacher or student, (also integrates with Google Apps), and discover learning passions or course work that meets objectives. Truly amazing, it is similar to Khan Academy, but includes collections from all over the web, which you can adapt and choose to build your own collection.

As you can see, an EdCamp provides educators with the information they need right then. It’s not tech, it’s curriculum, strategies, resources, and solutions within a conversation facilitated by participants. Let me be more clear about the process:

  • Enter EdCamp to Meet and Greet
  • Write down your questions / interests, signed by you
  • Give your ideas to organizers who quickly sort/ categorize and place on wall (see image)
  • While organizers sort, go to facilitation / intro session to learn how to facilitate and what to expect
  • Return to vote on three categories
  • Go to first session
  • Organizers develop the Online Session Board based on participants questions / interests as voted on by participants
  • If your session / idea is chosen, you now know how to facilitate a session so they are interactive conversations and demonstrations as needed
  • Go to sessions; ask someone to take notes on the Google Doc linked to in the Online Session Board and now ready for YOU who could not attend to enjoy and learn from
  • Reflect
  • And: food and prizes were provided for the day long event. — and free clock hours!

I’d like to thank the welcoming and energetic organizers  for their preparation and excellent implementation as well as the sponsors for providing food and prizes and venue.

And if you want professional development on your terms as you need it, attend an EdCamp near you!

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