Sunday, November 13, 2011

So...This One Time...At EdCamp...

There are times in our lives when movie lines are like the soundtrack or text reel of our lives.  I've got to say, here today, mine is from the 1999 movie "American Pie."  A view of the following clip might take you back down memory lane, especially if you're in the over-30 set.

Of course, I need to tweak the line a little bit: 
"So... this one time... when I was at EdCamp..."

EdCamp Harrisburg, that is.  Yesterday.  And yep, can't stop talking about it.

Of course, to get the full degree of why it's so embedded on my brain, you need to know what an EdCamp is.   For a great overview, and a list of all upcoming and past EdCamps (complete with Google Pin map), go to the EdCamp Wiki ~ a portal of all things EdCamp.  The video there of EdCampPhilly is phenomenal in that it allows you to see the learning in action.

So back to the original question...What is EdCamp?
The short version, though, is that an EdCamp is a free, "unconference."  Like-minded individuals (aka: educators) come together to a common place (aka: the camp) to meet in a forum to discuss their field.  There are no key-note speakers or high-rolling conference price tags.  The participants become the speakers who generate the topics on which to speak.  The conference topics evolve right there and then, that morning.  The players are the experts.  You have a crew of people who have different experiences, different expertise, and a massive sharing occurs.  You have multiple rooms with a variety of topics happening simultaneously, and you can bop in and out to get the most of your day on all the topics you are interested in.  Amazing conversations take place. Everyone goes home with valuable insight and information.
So... yesterday.... when I was at EdCamp.... I met great people & new-to-me ed-tech experts.  I put names, with faces, with Twitter-handles of some of the Twitter folks I follow who are rock stars of the #edtech field.  I got a wealth of new ideas and new sites to go check out.  I came home with resources that I'll be able to use with my 3rd graders--this week, if I want to.  I got to take part in interesting conversations and debates. It also showed me how little I truly know, and how eager I am to soak up more!

In short, EdCampHBG rocked.

Kudos to the team of organizers... and for those of you who couldn't be there, you can check out the backchannel of people's tweets from yesterday, and their reflections today, at either of these two spots on twitter:  @EdCampHBG or under their hashtag #EdCampHBG.  Likewise, you can see their Flicker photo roll, shedule, and the "meet the participants" at the EdCampHBG website. 

Next week, during my Eagle Cove School professional day, I have about a half an hour to present on all things iPad, edtech & more... and I'm sure it'll start out "Last week.. when I was at EdCamp....!"

If you can, be sure to find an EdCamp near you, and take part!!

Photo from; EdCamp Website pic from,
EdCamp Wordle from; Video

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