I am so grateful that today’s 7th edcampNYC event was a great day for so many people! It could never have happened without my co-organizers, Ann Oro and Cathy Cheo-Isaacs, and the generosity of The Mandell School‘s administration and faculty (notably Peter Fletcher, Ben Chant, and Tiffany Della Vedova).
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.
It was awesome that Hadley Ferguson, Executive Director of the Edcamp Foundation, joined us along with two other founders of the first edcamp, edcampPhilly, and the Edcamp Foundation (Kevin Jarrett and Mike Ritzius)! I was also glad to see so many new and familiar faces including Lisa Nielsen who helped gather a large contingent of NYC DOE teachers and leaders as participants and facilitators. Also in attendance were organizers of upcoming edcamps, edcampBrooklyn and edcampStatenIsland!
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).
Here’s a link to the 2016 edcampNYC session board: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/1/d/1BPJFosW5joMUqKDZ8xlso2hHyokF_QipL6YfEJzYcUk/pubhtml
Here’s a link to the Tagboard of #edcampNYC tweets: https://tagboard.com/edcampnyc/search