Sunday, May 08, 2016

Reflections from EdCamp MetroDC


It was the first time I facilitated an EdCamp session framed around the question the "Tell the group your best tech story from your classroom this year." This session was inspired by @MrFichter who at AIMStech last week asked the same question as an icebreaker, and the introduction took over an hour! So I was like, "Telling edtech war stories could be an EdCamp session all by itself." It worked out great... every person in the room participated and told at least one story!

Mr. Fichter also introduced the "Step up and step back" concept to the group (stepping up to be brave enough to contribute, then stepping back to listen and ask questions) which is my new favorite conference norm! 


Could not ask for a better steering committee. @JourneysOfJess had fresh ideas like having the schedule posted on a TV in the hallway, @Esimpson1990 is an expert facilitator and again came up huge with food sponsors, @MarisHawkins exudes warmth at the registration table and uses so many tech tools in her classroom, and huge thanks to team leader @ChipChase who did so much heavy lifting before conference day as we moved the venue to his home base at Cap City. Thanks also to @TechyMargaret who is a consummate team player, offering to pitch in to help, as well as inspiring me to try Canva for the first time.

Lots of new faces, including @AWollack who is a young teacher who clearly is heavily invested in her students and was super positive. Team Stafford and @Renard_Spicer who retweeted my "EdCamp: it's like the teacher's lounge with people you don't know" quote, which was really thoughtful. @Alexander_teach who brought her class of over a dozen teachers who may have been somewhat skeptical at first but as the day got rolling genuinely seemed to enjoy the new form of PD where their voices were valued. And @TimidStone who gave one of the best EdCamp session I've ever attended on even more remarkable was that he had never done a digital breakout before; he was totally winging it, and the room was riveted.

The Conference

The only major change to consider is the date. It was an accidental oversight that we were on the same day as EdCampMayaF, and we missed @SarahDaTeechur's boundless energy. And having it on a beautiful mother's day weekend did not help attendance; we may explore an earlier date next year. The feedback forms were uniformly positive, which is really gratifying. Hope to see you at the next EdCamp!

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