Hadley Ferguson (@hadleyjf), Executive Director of the Edcamp Foundation, and @KristenSwanson, Founding Edcamp Board Member, launched the two-day summit with words that made me feel so proud for being a passionate advocate for Edcamp. I especially liked Kristen’s slides stating, “It’s not about events. It’s about empowerment.” and “It’s not about size. It’s about people.” I was so happy to attend the summit and represent EdcampNYC with my friend and co-founder, Ann Oro (@OroAnnM)!
I popped in on a few different sessions while connecting with people I usually interact with online. A particular highlight of the conference was joining the Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously! Let’s Snap, Dub, and Bitmoji! session faciliated by Kristina Peters (@MrsKPeters). Hilarity ensued after a roomful of teachers began to film and share their lipsync videos created in DubSmash. Edcamp gold!
Keynote speakers during the conference included:
– Anthony Veneziale, co-founder of Speechless, Improv Thinking: Fostering Creativity and Neuroplasticity who got the whole room to stand and step out of their comfort zone.
– Jose Vilson (@TheJLV), Educator, writer, thought leader, and Founder of #educolor which “seeks to elevate the voices of public school advocates of color on educational equity and justice.”
–@JamesTSanders of BreakoutEdu which takes an empty box with a bunch of locks and offers teachers a platform to game-ify their classroom.
Look out for announcements from @ksivick and @edcampusa about the upcoming summits: July 25-26 in Atlanta, GAand August 12-13 in Dallas, TX.
The next 2 Edcamp Organizer Summits:
ATLANTA -JULY 25&26
DALLAS- AUGUST 12&13, please fill out this form: https://t.co/wd3tywCR1M pls RT
It was a big crowd that convened at Mandell‘s cafeteria with its lovely green plant-covered wall. I over-ordered from the Whole Foods UWS catering menu thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, BrainPop and PledgeCents. Whole Foods also contributed extra items to our cart so that attendees could properly carbo-load before the first session began.
The session board filled up with topics ranging from tweeting to coding, student voice to crowd-sourced funding, making connections to integrating makerspaces. The beauty of an unconference is that the schedule is BLANK until attendees gather and put up conversational topics that THEY CHOOSE to talk about. I stressed that whoever posted a session is responsible for facilitating a conversation rather than delivering a presentation. I also reminded people that the “rule of two feet” dictates that if you’re not being stimulated in a discussion, you are free to leave and move to another space. I joked that I always take it personally when people walk out on my sessions (#kiddingnotkidding), and I mentioned that following the #edcampnyc hashtag on Twitter is a terrific way to gather resources and ideas from other sessions without leaving whatever room you’re already in.
Many thanks to Godwyn Morris, owner of Dazzling Discoveries, for hosting attendees at her Upper West Side Makerspace afterwards. So many people enthusiastically walked an additional 9 blocks north to explore Scratch 3D, 3D design with Tinkercad, Makerbot printing, and constructing simple machines with DazzLinks (a new product from Dazzling Discoveries).
Some of the many organizers of that first edcamp (edcampphilly) in May of 2010 were there: Ann Leaness,Kevin Jarrett, Kim Sivick (currently the Operations Manager of the Edcamp Foundation), Kristen Swanson, and Hadley Ferguson. I am so proud to have been at that inaugural edcampphilly, which inspired me to launch @edcampNYC (one of the first spinoffs), edcampMumbai, and @edcampBKK (Bangkok)! I have also spent a good deal of my time explaining edcamp, the unconference model, and crowd-sourced professional development to so many people over the years. Likewise, I have encouraged, applauded, congratulated, and/or applied light peer pressure to influence others to organize their own local events: edcampParis, edcampMontreal, edcampSeoul, and edcampNJ, among others…
Here were two articles retweeted throughout the day about the big news:
An empty session board at the start of any edcamp is full of promise. On Saturday, I helped organize another edcampnyc event (our 7th!), and like all other edcamps, it was a day of participant-driven learning and sharing. Attendees arrived and posted conversational strands onto the empty session board, and people who posted to the board were responsible for facilitating a conversation rather than presenting or lecturing.
Hadley Ferguson is the newly appointed Executive Director of the Edcamp Foundation. Hadley discussed her new role via #SatChat live from @edcampNJ. (#SatChat is a weekly Twitter chat about education and administration which takes place on Saturday mornings.) Hadley then hopped a train and joined us at edcampNYC! Kim Sivick was also in attendance at edcampNYC. Hadley and Kim (and an amazing group of inspiring and innovative educators) organized the first edcamp in Philadelphia (@edcampPhilly) in May of 2010 and later founded the Edcamp Foundation to support and grow the Edcamp movement. This group of awesome people altered the traditional model of Professional Development, empowered teachers around the world, begat communities of educators sharing and learning together, and changed my life.
Besides hanging with Hadley and Kim, it was gratifying to greet many familiar faces, many new faces, and even folks who had never been to an edcamp before. It was also awesome to follow the tweets generated during the day and gather/promote these from the @edcampnyc account. There were some great topics offered, and luckily many sessions had notetakers or someone who started a shared GoogleDoc. See our November 2014 session board with links to any notes below:
I’ve had a few people ask me for advice on how to organize an edcamp. Here are some bare essentials:
Attend an edcamp!
Reserve a Gmail account with firstname.lastname@example.org (where *** is your theme or geographic location).
Use the Google Drive associated with email@example.com to create a digital spreadsheet for your event’s schedule (this can be linked and embedded on your event’s website).
Use this Gmail address to reserve edcamp*** on Twitter.
Reserve edcamp*** on a blogging platform (like WordPress or Blogger) to communicate details about the event. Buy the edcamp***.org, edcamp***.net, edcamp***.com, or edcamp***.info domain name if you like.
Find a space to host your event, preferably a school with a robust Wifi network, easy to locate rooms and bathrooms, projectors or screens in classrooms, a large common area for announcements and networking, space for a physical paper schedule, space for breakfast set up, and hopefully one who will foot the insurance bill.