Last Friday, I attended my third EdCamp. Having truly enjoyed the first two #edcampNYC events I attended, I was really looking forward to this one. And, on the train heading home from #edcampnyc, I set a goal for myself that I would “give back” and do a presentation at the next edcamp I attended. D-day was here!
Sharing the ride with one of my long time CAIS COT buddies, Nikki (@ncingiser), set the day off on the right foot, and then it just got better from there! Ethel Walker was a beautiful venue for the event and the organizers did a nice job explaining the day’s plan. I was really looking forward to meeting some of my twitter “friends” face to face (especially @mytakeonit !), and also making some additional connections to other public and private school educators.
Now came the dilemma… the board starts to fill up. Within each time block, there are at least two (sometimes three!) places that I want to be at the SAME TIME. And… because I committed (to myself) to present in a session, this would mean that during one of the time slots, I couldn’t attend ANY other sessions. EEK! Decisions, decisions… I put my presentation in the first time slot thinking that I could share first, and then begin to absorb as much as I could from others. Maybe I could split a few sessions, or maybe some of the sessions wouldn’t be what I was expecting and I could move to another… time would tell.
I headed off to set up for my presentation, feeling good that I was achieving a personal goal that I had set for myself . To be honest, a small part of me was very nervous that no one would show up. Too late, though. It was a risk that I had taken when I wrote my name on the card! Turns out, before long, there was standing room only, and I was off sharing something that I am so passionate about- being a connected educator. Another of my CAIS COT friends, Cheryl Costello- Academic Tech at Cheshire Academy, attended my session. That calmed me down a bit. She even tweeted: “I always learn something new from @
lcarroll94 . Can’t wait to check out the indep educators Ning and Diigo groups! #edcampct #isedchat” Thanks @cherylcostello!
Here’s my presentation: “Learning Never Stops When You’re Connected”
Once my presentation ended, I was forced to continue dealing with my dilemma of the day… where to go next!
For the second session, I chose “Managing Writing Assessment & Teaching with Digital Texts & Tools”. This was not a “natural” pick for me, as a math teacher, but the title intrigued me and I figured I would share what I learned with others back at Hamden Hall. Greg McVerry was a terrific presenter and offered some very sound advice for managing student’s digital work. I often use Twitter to take public, sharable notes… here are some of mine during Greg’s presentation:
- Learning about Targeted Areas of Growth approach. Pick 3 goals of areas for improvement with @jgmac1106
- TAG TEAM approach…vary writing assignments btw individual/ collaborative.
#edcampctstudents HIGHLIGHT their targeted areas of growth…. use curation tools, let kids play! #edcampct
- You don’t need to assess every online discussion. Look for ways students are using multi-modal features… assess it!
- Screencast-o-matic to assess writing. teacher provides oral feedback, students comment. cuts grading time in 1/2 via @jgmac1106
- disciplinary specific goals… writing like a scientist, writing like a historian, share examples… “I do, we do, you do”
- In @
thomasdaccord ‘s session: Building iPad PD (5 mistakes schools are making & ways to avoid them) #edcampct
- Mistake: “failure to compose and deliver a clear vision of why iPads ?”develop a consistent, clear message on value added
- iPads cannot be a replacement for everything a computer can do… shouldn’t be either/ OR. use the tool that fits!
- Mistake: “failure to distinguish the difference between what an iPad can do and what a computer can do”… stress the intrinsic benefits
- “Technology should be in the service of learning” via
@thomasdaccord #edcampct #isedchat
- Mistake: PD is often an after thought w/ iPads. Teachers need to learn HOW to work with ipads, have a comfort level.
- “iPad As” from edtechteacher…. http://diigo.com/0o0up Learning goals FIRST! via
- iPad is meant to be a single user device… need to consider how “shared iPads” will impact the classroom workflow.
- Workflow is often overlooked. It is something really important to consider.
- common mistake: Misguided focus on apps!
- clear/ thoughtful policy re: apps… teacher autonomy is good but can become an “apps festival” Have conversations first.
- Look for the 4 apps that cross a wide range of possibilities. exhaust the creative possibilities.
#edcampct <— YES!
- don’t focus on subject specific apps… most are lower order bloom, drill/ kill. Focus on screencast, annotation, audio/ video.
GREAT advice here…and, when Tom said to focus on 4 or 5 apps instead of trying to figure out what everyone will need for each age group and subject area, it was like a wave of calm came over me … have you seen how many apps are out there??!! And although I wanted to be in two other places at the same time: “Using Evernote to organize & share materials & as an e-portfolio (@daveandcori)” and “Ethical Issues Around Social Networking in class. A conversation. Privacy? Access? Soical Fabric? Jeff Weitz @scienceteacher1”, I made another GREAT choice.
Off to lunch to catch up with some twitter friends that I could finally meet in person. Always fun to pick up a conversation as if I have “known” them for a long time. (well, I sorta have!) Lunch was delicious and the potato chips that everyone was talking about did not disappoint.
After lunch, I decided to be bold and hit a session that would probably put me out of my comfort zone, but I knew I needed to get an idea of what my network manager and help desk tech are up against with the 18 shared iPads. I chose “Managing shared iPads (hurdles & solutions) with @mlevesqueoi and @mytakeonit“. It was a very informative question and answer session, and I did get a bit uncomfortable and overwhelmed. I even had to back off Twitter because I couldn’t grasp the magnitude of managing multiple users on a single user device. Here is the document that Michael and Jeremy shared. Again… wished I could have been in “iPad Apps for Middle School/High School Math” AND “Game Theory in the Classroom? A “curiosity” discussion (@thalesdream)”, but GREAT session and I learned A LOT!
For the last session of the day, I chose “Flipping (after a year of semi-flipped classroom) How to? Pitfalls? Structure! Management with @docjessm“. Hard choice because I wanted to also be in her husband’s session of “Schoology (and other class manage systems) taking a look at the blended learning class. Better? Not just more? @thalesdream” and also “Supporting School Values/Goals. More than just a poster on the wall. @WillyB“. CRAZY! While I have flipped with mixed success, I felt that this would be the most practical choice for me with school starting in 3 weeks. I got a lot of tips and very good advice from Jess. She was a dynamic speaker, full of energy and enthusiasm. It was a good choice to end the day!
We finished up in the Common Room with some raffles and an app SMACKDOWN! Here is a link to the sites/ apps shared.
I have to say… my two biggest takeaways:
Although it was a day filled with dilemmas (if only all dilemmas could be like this!), I made all good choices, learned SO MUCH and leveraged Twitter (Yay for Twitter!) to try to fill in the gaps! Here is the archive of tweets in a google spreadsheet format and here they are in storify format!
And..if you haven’t been to an EdCamp, you really should get to one… soon!