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:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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*