I owe endless thanks to NIST International School
and Bangkok Hospital
for sponsoring the inaugural edcampBKK
, the first edcamp in Thailand! It was a dream come true to be in Bangkok at NIST’s beautiful campus and collaborate with the talented team of educators and administrators who facilitated the event. Chissa Duangnet
, Kim Beeman
, Ben Sheridan
, Jared Kuruzovich, Heida Prorate Doria
, James Dykman
, Michelle Marquez, and Boe Uarsakchai were all a joy to work with and made sure everything ran efficiently and seamlessly. It was such a pleasure to be able to rely on and trust everyone at the table! Bangkok Hospital sponsored awesome t-shirts and tote bags for participants sporting the gorgeous logo developed by the NIST team with a mango in lieu of the usual edcamp apple.
I’ve been a passionate champion and organizer of edcamps since I attended the first edcamp, edcampPhilly, in May of 2010. I was immediately inspired to launch edcampNYC just a few short months later in October of 2010. Since then, I’ve proudly inspired, coached, and peer-pressured more than a dozen additional edcamps around the world. What’s more powerful than teachers coming together to learn, network, and share with each other?! It brings me such joy to facilitate the creation of the session board — I love standing near it, inviting people to populate it with conversational topics that are pertinent to them, and suggesting that friends or strangers co-lead discussions with like goals rather than over-dilute the offerings with similar sounding sessions.
A couple stellar moments that I hope to remember:
- I got to organize this day with Chissa, one of my closest and oldest friends who I’ve know since she was 12 back when I was her sister’s first-year roommate at Bryn Mawr College. I also collaborated with Kim, a colleague from my Sacred Heart days, who has been Head Librarian at Shrewsbury International School in Bangkok for four years but is heading to Singapore next year to be at Tanglin Trust. We’re already planning edcampSingapore!
- Two of my favorite friends, educators, and ex-colleagues from The School at Columbia University were in attendance: Tabitha Johnson and Akio Iida! They were frequent participants at edcampNYC, launched edcampSeoul, and were such awesome champions at edcampBKK!
- At the end of the day, four ladies told me they were inspired to launch another edcamp in Thailand, and we immediately secured @edcampBangna for them! Here’s hoping it’s another success!
Here’s the awesome schedule crafted by attendees at @edcampBKK – each session title links to a Google Doc of notes (also viewable at http://tinyurl.com/edcampbkk2017):
Here is a tagboard of tweets from the day tagged with #edcampBKK:
One of my favorite tweets from a participant is pasted below:
Rekha Puri is the Director of Admissions at The School at Columbia University. She is also the founder of LINEglobal (@LINEglobal). As per their website’s mission page, LINEglobal “aims to create a global support system for educators to enrich their work and to create the greater cross-cultural awareness needed for the world to meet its shared goal of ensuring that every child has a quality education.”
On Thursday, during one of the final faculty meetings of the year, we split up unconference-style to brainstorm possible committees and goals for next year’s theme: The Year of Collaboration. Rekha invited people to her table to discuss global education opportunities. I plopped down in time to hear her say she will be traveling to India in October with a few independent school Heads, including our own Amani Reed, to encourage global collaboration.
I mentioned that my edcampnyc committee had just been discussing possibly holding our 5th event in October and that it would be so cool if there were any edcamps in India to network with. When we looked at the map of edcamps, there weren’t any pins at all in India. I immediately started plotting with Rekha to organize edcampmumbai. Within minutes, we reserved a Gmail address, Twitter handle, and WordPress blog. Within a day, we had a domain name, a logo, a blank session board, a few Twitter followers/retweets, and a registration page ready to go. Rekha will be using her connections in India to partner with a willing school and possible sponsors.
I love making things happen and building community. It would be truly amazing to travel to India for the primary purpose of gathering teachers together to share, network, learn, and inspire. Next, I’m going to peer pressure Tabitha Johnson (@tabletj) and Akio Iida (@dorakio) to organize edcampseoul! They’re moving there this summer to work at Seoul International School, and it would be an awesome way to meet other teachers and form relationships…
The crew of the New Roar Times!
When a crew of 3rd graders approached me about helping them start a student-run newspaper, I jumped at the chance. Though I don’t usually work directly with kids in the younger grades, I’ll support anyone who asks for assistance. Especially if the Editor-in-Chief is a feisty future-President named Hope, and her crew is a group of adorable and ambitious classmates with an achievable goal. The third grade teachers (@dorakio, @kinderbanks, @zoepgrade3, @trcs, @franckystc) were all really supportive and enthusiastic about the endeavor too.
So, I carved out a 30-minute time slot during Thursday recess, and over 20 students gathered weekly to write and edit articles. I set up a Google Site where each reporter had their own announcement page and made a new post for every story. Hope wrote her own editorials and did some light editing on the reporters’ stories before I posted their work to our New Roar Times site. We used RebelMouse to power our digital newspaper, and since you need to be 13+ to use the site, I had a conversation with Hope’s mom about that. We share each article/post to our @NewRoarTimes Twitter feed as well.
These weekly work sessions with the New Roar Times crew were equally inspiring, productive, and fun. Children came up with original story ideas or volunteered to write about community events (The Day of Silence, the 8th grade musical, the Book Fair, etc.). At our wrap party today, we talked about continuing with our club next year when they are 4th graders. I also reminded them that Hope and I are available all summer via email if they have any article, book review, movie review that they’d like to publish.