The following blog post was started back in August of this year but was never finished. This is about my trip from Rocklin to Reno for the day to experience my first Ed Camp.
I am posting this now as we have just posted our Ed Camp for the Sacramento region right here in Rocklin CA. This event is being put on by the Cap CUE team and will be hosted at Whitney High School.
This event is called "Ed Camp 123" and is on January 23rd. Here is the site where you can register.
I appreciate all the ideas & inspiration from the Ed Camp Reno team. Thanks all and we'd love to any teachers come from Northern Nevada join us.
OK, talk about irony, I was driving home from ED camp Reno where I went over the summit to experience my 1st ed camp. On the drive back I was listening to the Ed Surge podcast with Mary Jo Madda and they started talking about Ed camps. For those of you unfamiliar with what an Ed Camp is, check out this podcast to get the idea. I continue to find listening to podcasts as one of my best sources for ideas and staying on top of education trends. Ed Surge is one of my favorites that gives news updates, interviews, and debates about all things Ed Tech.
But back to Ed Camps
Along with going to this camp in order to learn and connect with new people, I also went on a bit of a fact-finding mission to see how Reno put on their camp in hopes that we can and my cohorts back in the Sacramento area work on creating a ed camp at home. And now my wheels are turning!
So I pulled over on the top of Donner Summit, took out my phone, opened up the Weebly app and tried to dictate my thoughts. So here I was, at one of the most breathtaking places on the planet (check out the picture) and dictating into my phone. Pretty cool.
First off, the camp was hosted at the first school I ever worked at Wooster High school so along with the excitement of Ed Camp I also got to reconnect and walk the halls of my first teaching job which was quite a trip. Its been 15 years since I have been on campus and its amazing how so much seems both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.
Now about the Ed Camp itself. For my first experience it was pretty impressive. I liked how the topics were created on the spot by having the attendees post sticky notes about topics they wanted to know more about and about ones they felt like they could add to the conversation.
During the breakfast / welcome / band intro (yes, they had a band!) the attendees socialized and then added to the sticky note wall.
My friend Brian Briggs asked what I was going to add to the topics and I thought I would rather just sit back and see which ones get put out and then join the ones I felt most passionate about.
So in the end I found myself at three sessions; the first one for teacher leaders, the second on games and lastly one on Twitter.
In each of the session there were facilitators but they wanted to make it clear that they were not there to guide the conversation, only be there to help out. The sessions all had a Google Doc template where everyone was invited to participate by sharing resources, ideas, etc. We each added email and/or Twitter handles on this doc so we can connect outside the sessions.
The conversations were nice because the number of attendees was small and we were able to share out not necessarily our experiences but also were able to ask questions. It felt like there wasn't really a presentation given to us, more like just a conversation. For some of the sessions it was a conversation with the group and others, like the Games session, ended up with us evolving into smaller groups and sharing. For example, I was able to share out some of my favorite PowerPoint review game templates