Why edcamp?

edcamphill.com

It’s 7:08 PM and I am super energized!

Today was edcampHill, the first edcamp hosted by a boarding school. The Hill School (Zach Lehman, Headmaster) graciously opened up its campus for the afternoon to a group of teachers who traveled from far and near to spend a few hours of learning. I was happy to assist Kim (@ksivick) and take part in the organizing team.

As soon as edcampHill began around noon, teachers’ enthusiasm enlivened the room. The session board filled up just as quickly the meeting room was being filled up by the attendees. After checking in and getting their name tags, teachers enjoyed a big bagged lunch provided by the Hill School. Teachers enjoyed talking over lunch and got ready to begin their learning.

I want to point out 3 noticeable differences of this edcamp over other ones from the past:

  1. Later start time. Starting at noon was a practical decision made by the Hill School as it holds classes on Saturday mornings. A later start to edcamp gave travelers time to travel to edcamp location unhurriedly. I know I felt good coming in later in the morning.
  2. Free, delicious lunch. It was so great that we started the learning day with a delicious lunch. Not worrying about where to find places to eat (and for organizers, not having to point attendees to local eateries) was a huge plus!
  3. A personal touch. Nothing beats face-to-face meetings. It was great for Zach Lehman, the headmaster, to greet many attendees as they walked in. His personal welcome set a positive tone to start our learning.

Sessions – Conversations

As I mentioned earlier, teachers wasted no time posting sessions. The sessions were:

  • ArtStor: Using High Quality art from museums
  • Using Primary Sources for Student Engagement
  • Play = Creativity: 21st Century Children – Are they missing this?
  • RTII: Response to Instruction and Intervention. Data, Exceptions and Technology Integration
  • “Digital Writing” in various disciplines
  • Technology and Real World Learning in Foreign Languages
  • The Connected Educator: Learn to Build a Personal Learning Network
  • Flipping Instruction
  • Blogging in the Elementary Classroom
  • Inquiry-Based AP Labs
  • iPad Apps
  • Can Entrepreneurship be taught?
  • Connecting Classrooms to Open Data for real world learning
  • Educational Leadership: Drivers of Systems relating to people
  • Homework – No; Studying – Yes! (achieving mastery)

Three 45-minute sessions passed by quickly as teachers engaged in meaning conversations, sharing experiences and resources. What I love is the conversations and sharing that takes place at edcamps. Personally, I attended the sessions underlined. It was fun co-leading discussion with Kim on being a connected educator. Every session was meaningful.

So why do I get involved in edcamps?

I believe that it’s the best learning format for teachers to learn and share. Coincidentally, this morning’s #satchat topic was on faculty meetings. Edcamp model for Professional Development was mentioned numerous times by yours truly and other educators. What is there not to like? Nothing can beat free registration, teachers teaching teachers, casual and fun learning environment.

If you took part in today’s edcampHill, thank you! I learned much and my colleagues and I will take back what we learned to our school community. You have made me a better educator and colleague.

Thank you Hill School! Many teachers left energized and happy! Thank you for being a gracious host.

Let’s do it again real soon! *High* Five*

@Doremigirl

Reflections on #NAISAC13 & #edcampIS

NAISAC13 & edcampIS tags

think B I G.  think G R E A T.

My colleagues and I had a wonderful opportunity to attend the NAISAC13 conference on March 1st, thanks to the leadership of my school who funded our trip. It was a fantastic day to travel down town to Philly with the people I work so closely with. I was also very impressed that all of our admins and some of our board members came (some who are past and present parents). A day like this rarely happens, but it happened :-).

So lately, my trips to the Philadelphia Convention Center has been tied to conferences. Seeing massive crowds of educators and edu related people mean vis-a-vis meetings with teachers from my PLN or people whom I will connect with and learn from. But what was different about my experiences on March 1-2 was that these days were dedicated to independent schools and teachers.

It was my very first time attending the NAIS conference. I loved meeting teachers from independent schools around our country and having conversations about our classroom experiences. I attended sessions that pushed my thinking. I really enjoyed morning general session given by Dr. Tererai Trent, and the closing session by Dr. Cathy Davidson. Both women,  graceful and displaying strong leadership, guided us to “be the champion of quality education”  (Tererai) and to “move from critical thinking to creative contribution” (Davidson). I am inspired!

But something stuck out like a sore thumb to this music teacher.

Creativity and arts education are two important focus areas many independent schools are known for. If many (maybe all) independent schools are offering plethora of arts offerings to build a well-rounded student body, then why aren’t we seeing many arts related folks presenting and sharing their ideas?

Don’t misunderstand me. I really appreciated listening to students from Girard College and Baldwin School sing their hearts out before the morning and afternoon general sessions. The performances were inspirational and these moments remind us once more how music enriches our lives. And who can forget the graphic recordings by Five Elements? The recognition of the arts is not in question here, but rather, the presentation by the arts practioners is. What could be the reason for the big void? Lack of funding for IS (independent school) arts teachers to attend the NAIS conference? Not enough interest from the IS arts teachers for NAIS? Who can answer these questions?

I did, however, learned a great deal from a handful of sessions I attended in between the two general sessions I mentioned above. I listened to smart and inspiring IS teachers and thinkers who shared their practices. I want to think big now and hope to learn from many arts teachers when I attend future NAIS conferences. I wished that I had more time with people who came to NAIS! Luckily, the following day would be one of the most special learning day.

think  T O G E T H E R  at edcampIS: Saturday, 3/2.

edcampIS 13 Organizing Team
@birv2, @ksivick, @lizbdavis, @jill_lebiedzins, @hadleyjf, @montysays, @doremigirl,
@lee_bruner, @cmpayne87 & @mpowers3: edcampIS13 organizers. Photo from @ksivick

I was very fortunate to work with the people above to organize edcampIS for 3/2 (absentia Jac de Haan). All of the communication and planning happened online (Google hangout, Google Doc, and emails). A handful of us had met through edcampPhilly or Educon, but most of hadn’t met until the morning of. It was an amazing way to plan for such an exciting day. It was invigorating to be with people who were excited to work to make this day of learning the best day for those who were trekking from NAIS conference to John Huntsman Hall of Wharton School (University Pennsylvania). Over 150  independent school and public school teachers from nearby tri-state areas registered to join us.

Edcamp is the BEST f2f free professional development. People who want to sacrifice a Saturday to learn from other teachers register and show up. And those teachers who have attended edcamps before come thinking about a session they might want to moderate.

Highlights

  • 112 teachers and administrators were in attendance! Wow!
  • 21 posted sessions. Some of NAIS conference presenters also presented at edcampIS! I wished I had time to attend all of the sessions.
  • John M. Huntsman Hall of the Wharton School of Business is a beautiful building. We were very fortunate to use the rooms there and have tech support from U of Penn!
  • Arts colleagues, Dina and Evan, came and we shared our stories of collaboration and arts advocacy around our school community during the second session. I am so proud to work with them!
  • 12 amazing sponsors donated money for breakfast and gifted cool prizes, and swags. They are so generous!
  • Organizing team – did I mention they were great to work with? Everyone contributed to ensure the day ran smoothly.
  • Learners who came (attendees): Having conversations make us connect to inspiring teachers in a great learning community. There were many conversations and connections made. It’s good to know that I’m not alone. Exchanging ideas and learning from seasoned and new teachers is such a privilege. The edcamp was designed for this kind of exchange in a pretty relaxed and fun atmosphere.

If you attended edcampIS, thank you! You made it great!

If planning opportunity for an edcamp comes your way, take it! Recruit many teachers as possible to work with you. You won’t regret it!

Now, where can I find an edcampArts? 😉

~Yoon

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@EdcampIS ’13 in Philly!

edcampIS13

Saturday, March 2, 2013 | 8:30am – 3pm

JON M. HUNTSMAN HALL | UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA | 3730 WALNUT ST, PHILADELPHIA, 19104

I’m excited to be on the organizing team for EdcampIS 2013! If you are a teacher/admin from an independent school attending NAIS conference, or live near Philadelphia, I hope you will consider coming to a great day of conversation and learning. You don’t teach at an independent school? No problem! You’re invited, too!

It was my privilege to attend Edcamp Philly in 2010 (I think this was the very first of all edcamps!). It was an amazing day learning from other teachers and sharing what works in our classroom. @birv2 titled his recent blog post perfectly: “EdcampIS – learn from the real experts“. See, every edcamp session is facilitated by teachers like you and me who teach every day. You design ways to introduce concepts and skills. You discover ways to ignite learning-passion in your students. You work through challenges and know what apps/tools worked for you. Like Bob said, you are an expert!

Share your ideas and discoveries at EdcampIS! I’m hoping that all of #isedchat or #nais teachers will come and encourage their art/music teachers come. As a music teacher, I’m always looking for ways to connect with arts teachers :-). Did I mention that #edcampIS is absolutely free? Find out more info or register here!

Our #eduAwesome friends from California made this great video about Edcamp. I invite you to watch and even share it with your colleagues if they do not know what unconferences are.

Great job, @billselak  + team for making this great vid! See you all on 3/2!

~ Yoon