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 email@example.com (where *** is your theme or geographic location).
Use the Google Drive associated with firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Discover and experience a variety of models to actively take control of your professional development. Twitter chats, unconferences, webinars, PLNs, digital spaces, and Google Hangouts are just a few of the ways to propel and sustain your (and your faculty’s) personal growth and develop a participatory culture of learners. We invite teachers, curriculum developers, and administrators to come and personalize their learning at this workshop.
Curation is a 21st Century skill, and I have been curating my digital presence for years. I encourage people all the time to claim their virtual real estate even if they won’t be using it actively. My goal for this session is to share how and why I gather archival evidence of my professional endeavors and classroom projects in a digital portfolio and offer some tips to get started. Also, in the spirit of using social media socially, I will suggest ways to build and optimize a Personalized Learning Network (PLN).