Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Reflections from EdCamp Hershey

My big takeaway was the Teacher Walk introduced by @ChadNWright. The story goes something like this: @RGGillespieAP at Kettle Run, was rolling out an innovative school improvement plan. They had created a book club PLC, and they wanted another option -- so they created (or stole, not sure) the Teacher Walk. A team of teachers (sometimes accompanied by students; maybe with administrators too?) walk around school, drop in on classrooms, and observe. Later on, they share what they saw with the team. There's nothing new about classroom observations, but doing it as a team and accompanied by students (!) blew my brain up a little.

The Hershey team was on fire:
 @DianaRAC13, @akaMsCrowley, @SrtaLisa, @KickKrowley, @LibrarianLister and @lisa_hollenbach -- it was my ninth EdCamp and this was as tight a ship as it gets. As I walked in, it was great to see the EdCamp home office @KSivick and @HadleyJF, and  @SenatorTeplitz (who showed up because they  tweeted him... true story), and @GeekyTeach (who was at her 39th EdCamp!). 

Here are some must-follow people: @_MrHull_ (fun and thoughtful), @DTown_MrD (was unrelentingly positive when I had tech difficulties in my session),  @castle_pants (she was all-in for the vid, see below),  @Scoots231 (one of these teachers who exudes positivity), and @iwearthecrowns (no really, she was wearing a tiara). I had extended one-on-ones with @RossCoops31 (who told me an awesome story about how he got his new job by tweeting his superintendent) and @mr_isaacs (who had great Minecraft tips).

The conference:
Basically flawless (free breakfast and lunch... so  good); here are some minor suggestions for next year. It's a good idea to have a twitter tutorial during the first block of every edcamp since it's essential and many are new to it. Using a Google spreadsheet as the schedule is an EdCamp standard; it's a good idea to make the titles clickable to bring up a collaborative note-taking page. And finally the wheel of fortune raffle was super fun, though I'd like to find an electronic equivalent of "put paper tickets in the brown paper bag that is next to the item that you want to win." :)

Watch the video:
Four pro teaching tips!

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