Today I experienced my first edcamp. It’s not a new concept, particularly to those who network online in various personalized learning communities. My friend Chris Craft had been saying for years we forward minded educators need to put something like this together. Two Rock Hill School administrators, Latoya Dixon and Michael Waiksnis, did just that. And it was beyond AWESOME!!
What do you mean by “Edcamp?”
If you are not familiar with Edcamp, it is loosely based on the unconference set up. In this set up, there are no formal presentations or presenters. Everyone attends, meets in a large space (like a school cafeteria) and using butcher paper or bulletin board sheets, writes down topics that are current, interesting, and would generate good conversations. Then attendees “vote” on the ones they’d like to participate in. After voting, sessions are selected and assigned locations, and off go attendees to find a conversation they want to participate in.
Remember NECC 2007 in Atlanta?
I first participated in a concept like this at ISTE’s 2007 Conference, then known as NECC. I’m in a yellow shirt on the front row of this group shot!
My first Unconference experience
From that first informal group grew the concept of the unconference as far as my own understanding goes. And I can remember walking around feeling absolutely star struck as those I had always admired from afar were all within touching distance, and better, were actually talking to me, allowing me to express my thoughts amongst what I considered rock stars in my RSS feeds. From this group I have developed some strong ties now, a PLN that is reliable and there for me. I also discovered the power of learning in a virtual connected environment.
A few of my photos from today:
Déjà vu in a good way!
Today brought on the same feelings, the only difference being that those in attendance were primarily from South Carolina and North Carolina. It was an amazing day and an amazing experience. I really wished we had done a group shot. Thanks for orchestrating it Latoya Dixon and Michael Waiksnis. And thanks for the support Discovery Education, Rock Hill Schools, Follett, and more!! The lunch and refreshments were perfect.
Here are the sessions from today.
Here is a twitter feed from the hashtag EdcampSC.