Today I experienced my second EdCamp in Charlotte, NC, also known as the Queen City (QC). It is known as EdCampQC. Many educators have begun to own their learning by being a part of thIs “un-conference” model of learning around the USA. At the beginning of the day there are no set topics for sessions. The Room numbers and time slots are planned before the EdCamp begins, but the attendees share topics that they are interested in hearing about, leading or participating. Topics are then written on chart paper and attendees vote with circular stickers placed beside of their favorite topics. The organizers of EdCamp then assign topics to each time slot and room, then share the session schedule board at their website, http://www.edcampqc.weebly.com.
Some of my favorite sessions today were on using comics in the classroom, Google Apps For Education and Green Screen using the DoInk app. There were facilitators in each room to help guide conversations, but the participants shared their ideas, questions and stories. Sometimes the Smartboards were used to share Livebinder resources like the one I loved about Comics in the Classroom, Google extensions or Green Screen student examples. Educators provide their Twitter handles in the shared Google Documents that were linked to the session names. I was so proud of my colleagues in my district who had organized every detail. In the end, participants heard from teachers who, in some cases, were experts on session topics which helped them see new possibilities to bring to their classrooms. I love how that even in the hallways, I connected with teachers who, I had just met or had known from a previous district training. The positive energy of these conversations in the halls and in the classrooms injected a breath of fresh air in my teaching outlook.
I have included a variety of pictures that I took today either as screenshots on my iPad from the EdCamp or from Twitter posts that occurred during the EdCamp. The Twitter handle for this EdCamp was #EdCampQC. You could search Twitter for the #EdCampQC handle and see the awesomeness as well as links to resources.
One of my favorite times of the day occurred during lunch when I wandered into the “playground”. This room was filled with amazing materials such as 3D Printers, Little Bits kits, Sphero robotic balls, Ollie robots, Osmo, CoLAR app, and 3Doodler. It was so exciting to see and touch the BB-8, the newest version of Sphero who is a robot which is a part of the upcoming Star Wars movie. My pictures below show some of what I saw and manipulated. Making 3D glasses and maple leaves with the 3Doodler pen, much like a glue gun, gave me a glimpse of what I want to write a Donors Choose Grant for this year!
Ultimately, I left with my mind swirling with ideas. I heard about Alan November’s book title, “Who Owns the Learning?” at this EdCamp and plan to read it soon. Because educators came to share and learn, we all went away owning learning about topics that we chose to be a part of in our self selected sessions. I also met new educators that I added to my PLN on Twitter so that the learning can continue into the future. I hope you will scroll through the images to get a feel for how I felt.