Yay for another global edcamp experience! It was so awesome to be a part of edcampSG in Singapore and connect with educators from a few different countries around SouthEast Asia. Kim Beeman and her fabulous team at Tanglin Trust School‘s libraries hosted the event. We had a lovely turnout! I always say that whoever shows up to either the event or to a particular session are the “right people.” That is not to say that others are “wrong people,” just that the people who are there are the meant to be there for that conversation or that experience.
There were only a few people at edcampSG who had ever experienced an unconference before, nevertheless attendees jumped in, and the session board filled up with interesting topics. Throughout the day, rooms were filled with lively discussions and opportunities for teachers to share resources and best practices with each other. We had a large paper session board that I migrated to a digital Google Sheet linked from the edcampSG website. Each cell of the spreadsheet included the name of the session and a link to a Google Doc so attendees could collaborate and gather shared notes from each session. I stressed that while the Law of Two Feet is an important part of any unconference or “open space” experience, I always take it personally when people leave the room. Haha. Seriously though, even if you’re not in the room, you can still learn from that conversation by checking out the #edcampSG hashtag (and the @edcampSG account) on Twitter and glancing through the notes from any particular conversation. Thank you to everyone who helped with the notetaking!
It was awesome that Sylvia Martinez could join too! She was in Sydney last week and will be in Singapore this week for World Edu Lead, so it was such a special experience to hang out at edcamp and afterwards for a few meals and some sightseeing. 😻
Finally, one of the attendees talked about launching edcampNingbo next year! I counseled her to establish a Gmail address and a Twitter account in order to start planning for her event. After confirming a date and location, everything will follow from there. That was pretty much the best thing that could happen after an already really awesome event. 🙂
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:
@edcampIS is a traveling edcamp which follows the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual conference. This year’s location was sunny Baltimore, Maryland, and my fellow organizer, Shannon Montague (@MontySays), hosted #edcampIS at her wonderful school, The Bryn Mawr School. It was awesome to visit such a special learning environment which was apparently founded to be a feeder school for my alma mater, Bryn Mawr College. Thank you, for the history lesson, Shannon! Many thanks to the Edcamp Foundation for providing an Edcamp-in-a-Box which includes $200 towards the event. Due to Shannon’s uncanny knack for ordering from @PaneraBread, we had a magnificent spread for all of us that was within 47 cents of our total budget!
It was an intimate group that gathered in the Upper School Library this morning (“small and mighty” as tweeted by Jonathan E. Martin). Besides Shannon and me, our group consisted of Chris Shriver, Peter Gow, Jonathan Martin, Tammy Rice, Jen Cort, Amanda Macomber, Kristen Kennedy, Molly Smith, and Alex Northrup. As per any edcamp or unconference conversation, I always say that any and all who show up are the right people. We remained in a circle for much of the morning, enjoying a robust conversation which included: Sharing key takeaways from NAIS, thinking about school design, fostering a culture of innovation, educating students to be awesome grown-ups, getting out of our bubbles, embracing vulnerability, and sustaining social justice initiatives throughout the curriculum. Later in the morning, we divided into two groups for either a tour of Bryn Mawr School’s wonderfully impressive innovation spaces given by the incomparable Kristen Kennedy or a little more conversation and carbs in the library.
Here is a link to our GoogleDoc of shared notes that are also embedded below:
Below are some photos from the Upper School and Middle School spaces. Check out all the Harkness Tables that are all over the high school and also in 8th grade classrooms. I posted images of the Innovation Lab where Kristen Kennedy works her magic in a separate post….
I’m proud to be an alumna of the Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design Program at Teachers College, Columbia University where I earned my MA (2001) and EdM (2016) in Instructional Technology and New Media. (The next step would be a Doctorate, but unless I get an honorary one like Bono, I’m not sure I have the willpower to do so…)
Professor Chang, my patient and helpful thesis advisor, invited me to speak with her core seminar students tonight about my “experience and expertise in implementing and learning with technology in the classroom.” I prepared the slides above to lightly outline and illustrate why I think curating a Personalized (or Professional) Learning Network is super valuable. I also included suggestions for how to locate and connect with people synchronously and asynchronously, online and offline, personally and professionally. For inspiration about what to talk about, I turned to the abstract for my EdM paper which is pasted below:
This paper considers that investing time in growing a Personalized Learning Network (PLN) by interacting with other professionals in the field synchronously and asynchronously, online and offline, socially and professionally will lead to the ultimate reward of being a more engaged, informed, and connected educator in the 21st Century. This inevitably will enable access to people and information that will further enrich the educator and their community. There are distinct advantages to building and leveraging a PLN to learn, share, network, and collaborate as a career teacher both online and offline. Additionally, maintaining a personal portfolio is a valuable resource towards professional growth and building your network as it helps educators engage in a metacognitive study of their own teaching and learning, legitimize their online presence, and expand their PLN. Much research points towards the value of growing a PLN and digital portfolio curation and the role these play in a 21st Century educator’s practice.