Here are a few photos from EdcampMumbai yesterday!
Rekha Puri is the President and Founder of LINEglobal and the Director of Admissions at The School at Columbia University. In June, we began preparations for EdcampMumbai, India’s first edcamp. Yesterday was the big event, and I’m proud, relieved, and just amazed that it happened and that people were so generous with their resources: time, space, sharing, willingness, enthusiasm.
Oberoi International School and Head of School, Dr. Vladimir D. Kuskovski, hosted EdcampMumbai at their fabulous school, and having wifi, projectors, air-conditioning, and delicious food available was awesome. Oberoi’s Director of Marketing, Saroni Ghosh, is an organizational powerhouse with few rivals. Their IT Director, Puja Srivastava, is my Indian soul sister. She shared her philosophy of digital citizenship, technology integration, and parent/student/teacher partnerships and I almost nodded my head off in agreement.
I am grateful that teachers from all over Mumbai and beyond showed up and were willing to embrace the un-conference model which was new to many of the attendees. Having an empty session board was a bit unnerving to people, and some admitted they didn’t decide to show up until they saw topics being populated on the digital schedule posted on our website. (I entered sessions digitally as soon as they were tacked to the actual physical board). There was much sharing and networking. I watched teachers swap email addresses, business cards, Twitter handles, and Google+ invites.
A few people had prepared actual lectures for their session, and they saw their hour as an opportunity to present for an hour. I tried to gently suggest before and during the sessions that the purpose of these blocks of time was to offer a space where folks could talk/share/question/discuss with each other.
I am hopeful that EdcampMumbai becomes an annual tradition, and Rekha and I are hopeful more cities in India use the unconference model to gather educators and build community.