Sunday, February 22, 2015

Double Virginia EdCamp!

So I went to the first EdCampNova at Rock Ridge High School in Loudon County. There was an amazing group of educators there, mostly edtech people from Fairfax and Loudon county. I think my biggest takeaway from the experience was that you don't need a ton of people to have a great EdCamp. Many people wanted to come but could not because the original date was snowed out. But 20 awesome educators proved you can still have a great conference.

I learned a bunch of stuff. Two conferences that I learned about were the Nova Maker Faire and Active Loudon Plus. It was inspiring to hear Gretchen Hazlin's (@libraryms) experiences with creating a maker space in her library. It was also inspiring to hear Jen Orr's (@Jenorr) success with using Donor's Choose to enhance her classroom. @TechyMargaret was a great facilitator and made me feel welcome as soon as I walked in.

And then three weeks later I attended EdCampArlington. The team of ITC's, including Joan, Marie, Meredith, and Kerry to name a few, did an amazing job. They really knew how to make it fun, from the stickers to decorate your name tag to the photo wall complete with wacky costumes. They were able to fit four session in one large library, which was a really innovative setup. It allowed for great flow between the sessions and lots of interesting side conversations. In separate breakout rooms, people are nervous about using the law of two feet because it can seem rude. I met the good people of Alchemy learning and Phil Shapiro's tech petting zoo was really neat. I also learned about the arcane hiring process for APS ITC's.

In my "45 minute film school" we created the film "How NOT to EdCamp" and it turned out great thanks to three intrepid APS teachers Suzanne, Emily, and Erin. My tweet got retweeted 12 times, which is a new record for me :)

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