I was reminded this weekend why I love edcamps so much.
After a challenging few weeks in a new role, I was very much looking forward to a relaxing weekend of sleeping in and tinkering around the house when a calendar pop up reminded me that edCampSFBay was less than 12 hours away.
I took one look at the 8am start time, quickly backwards mapped the 40 minute drive up to Notre Dame High School and figured I’d have to wake up around 6:30 to get their in time for coffee and bagels. On a Saturday. After a long week of back to school.
I started coming up with excuses not to go but seeing how I’d missed the last few edCampSFBays, I set the alarm, woke up early on Saturday and headed out for an edCamp, SFBay style.
I’m glad I did. From 8-3 (and for about an hour more at the after party), I was reminded why edCamps are awesome. I had a chance to catch up with some #eduawesome folks in the morning, sat in on a session about flexible learning environments and makerspaces in one of Notre Dame’s pilot furniture classrooms, caught another session about using Video academically with the one and only @rushtonh and then was in a great session about learning support for ELL, SPED and GATE students. All this before lunch!
Over lunch I had a chance to connect with two educators about their makerspace programs, who I will be connecting our STEAM folks with immediately. After lunch, I sat in on a fascinating session about teaching reading and differentiation for literacy. I also bumped into a couple teachers from my district and may have said yes to a few requests…
Rather than being tired at the end of the day, I was refreshed. A day of sharing and learning was just what I needed to reflect and recharge for the days ahead. Far from being an exercise in effort (although getting there took some), edcamp was a welcome state of mind.
If you are an educator and you’ve never been to an edCamp before, go. If you’re like me and it’s been a while, go. CUE Rockstar Camps and big conferences like ISTE are cool, but there’s just something about sitting in a room having a conversation and sharing ideas that’s so darn powerful.