I am a huge fan of the EdCamp model for professional development. I was able to attend EdCamp Philly last year with three colleagues and it was an amazing experience. For those of you that don’t know, EdCamp is an unconference or open space style conference for educators. Unconference style conferences are unique because the content is driven by the participants. There are no pre-planned sessions.
I first heard about EdCamp Home from Markette Pierce, whom I know from Twitter. EdCamp Home is an online version of the conference, meaning all of the attendees would participate from home. It was held on January 4, 2014. Each attendee registered and was then invited to a private Google+ Community. The day before the conference, attendees generated topic ideas. There were two sessions. During each session multiple topics were being discussed in different Google Hangouts. There were a total of 47 different sessions at EdCamp Home. It seemed a little crazy, and it was. It was crazy awesome.
The first session I attended was the “EdTech Coaches Meetup.” We had fun connecting and sharing ideas about how we work with teachers. All the notes from that session can be found here (thanks to Markette for creating the document). Here are the videos from all of the different topics held during session 1: EdCamp Home Session 1.
Experiencing EdCamp Home 2.0 has given me some new ideas for delivery of professional development with the faculty at my school. I was part of the organizing committee that introduced the unconference style of professional development to our faculty for our Professional Day last Spring. It was a huge success. If the EdCamp Home 2.0 organizers can create a robust online environment for collaboration on such a large scale, why can’t I create something similar on a much smaller scale with the faculty at Allendale Columbia School? Why not create Google Hangout PD sessions for faculty? The sessions could be based on faculty interest. Expert guests could attend the hangouts to chat with our faculty in small groups. Would you as a teacher attend a scheduled PD Hangout in the evening? I can’t wait to give this a try.
In preparation for our presentation at NYSCATE 2013 we practiced with our faculty. You may remember last weeks post encouraged any available AC faculty to join in on a PLN conversation. If you were there, we thank you for your time and feedback. We also apologize profusely. Our presentation, in our eyes, was a bit of a FAIL. You gave us amazing feedback and we got right to work to fix and update it with new information. On Sunday, we presented at NYSCATE. Our presentation is called Building a Personal Learning Network You Can Manage and it was a huge hit. We engaged both brand new users as well as sharing new information with intermediate and advanced users. We have included the slideshare of the presentation below which is filled with links that you can interact with. Let us know if you have any questions and we hope to present this content to you soon.
On Sunday, 11.24.13, I am presenting on how to create and manage a Personal Learning Network (PLN) with Amy Oliveri at NYSCATE. I firmly believe that you can’t continue to teach and be relevant without some sort of a PLN. The amount of information available is truly transformative for educators. You are doing yourself and your students a disservice by not investing some time and energy into creating a PLN. Here is why,
It’s personal to you.
Your PLN is made up of information and people that have meaning to you and to what you do.
It costs you and your school or district nothing.
It’s available when you are.
No scheduling issues to contend with EVER.
Think of your PLN like a phenomenal conference that is always relevant, continually evolving, and growing.
Below are some direct links to Twitter Chats. You can use a tool like Twubs to filter a specific chat or hashtag like #edchat. You do NOT need to have a Twitter account to access the conversation. You do need an account if you wish to participate.
Finding good reputable sources to connect with can be difficult. Here are few connected educators that I respect and learn from on a regular basis.
Eric Sheninger – Eric is the Principal at New Milford High School located in Bergen County, NJ. He is passionate about establishing and fostering learning environments that are student-centered, collaborative, flexible, and prepare all learners to succeed in the 21st Century.