Why edcamp?


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*


@EdcampIS ’13 in Philly!


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


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

Sharing My Stories

I had a wonderful day at CCA of Philadelphia yesterday, having met many teachers who were eager to learn about tech integration. The session was titled, “Connect Your Passion with Tech: Transformative Learning & Creativity”. Both sessions were full and lively. Having great conversations were the best part and I am very thankful that for my friend Todd H., who got me to come and share with their teachers. Here’s the site I prepared for the conference. If you attended one of my sessions, you will find some new materials that might interest you, so check out the tabs.

After a quick dinner, I had the privilege to talk to @wrightstufmusic (Samuel Wright) and the teachers in AIS Music PD day (Australia). I was happy to take part by Skyping in and sharing how my students were using iPodTouches and iPads in the classroom.

So on this crazy busy day…

  • I learned that I enjoy spending time with new teachers who are eager to learn. Really nice, attentive teachers made the day!
  • I enjoyed sharing my stories (my failures and successes!)
  • Using someone else’s SmartBoard and system was very uncomfortable. I was horrible at using the wireless keyboard yesterday.  Again, people were gracious, especially when I fumbled around, or when the embedded code in Google Sites failed to show content.
  • I reflect on how much I have learned from my PLN. Thank you for those who contribute daily to my learning!

Keep moving forward, friends!


See it Grow! Music PLN

Early this morning, I had a chance to go to a local farm. I love this farm for many reasons: It has the sweetest, farm-grown corn and so many fresh farm-grown vegetables, U-Cut flowers for very cheap price, plants for the house, AND the local farmers. Although it was fairly early for a Saturday, the farm was already busy, filled with people.

Usually, when I go to this farm, I fill up both of my reusable bags with fresh veggies. Today, I came home with just one paper bag filled with fresh green beans which were on a “weekend special” at 1/2 peck for $2.00.

While I was looking around this farm for things to buy, I was struck by two people, one man and one woman. These were just 2 farmers I saw in action. Their feet moved at a fast speed, moving crates full of veggies or working on “whatever was necessary” around the farm. Their clothes were soaked with sweat, apparent dirt stains all over their aprons, socks, and hands. They truly had a “farmer’s tan”.

As I walked through veggie stands, I kept looking over at these two people. These farmers resembled a group of people in my life…

I have been thinking about how I’ve been learning many things through my PLN (professional learning network) for the past 10 months. It’s been an amazing experience for me learning from so many teachers who are passionate about learning, sharing, and teaching. I’ve been inspired to think beyond what I have come to know and be comfortable with. These smart people get me to think. Sometimes they challenge my beliefs and why I teach the ways I do. Sometimes, my PLN inspire great lesson ideas or projects. All in all, I’ve been learning daily with wonderfully different, but great teachers around the world. One of the fascinating things that made my learning so fun and interesting is that I get to have conversations with these people via social media.

The two farmers (their appearance, work, and life-style) I mentioned earlier reminded me of my Music PLN. These are pre-service teachers, music teachers, music advocates, musicians and artists who have been making my learning experience so wonderful. You see, like these farmers, I’ve been seeing how this growing community’s been “farming” this summer: thinking through things together, sharing teaching ideas, asking questions, assessing our roles and curriculum, finding ways connect with our students, journaling our experiences in our various blogs, and finding ways to become effective teachers – all of these have been vital in my own learning.

Joe Pisano, a friend and a professor at Grove City College has built a great platform for music educators all over the world. I’ve been very fortunate to have been a part of his launching team. The site, MusicPLN, is truly a great resource-filled place where teachers can converse about just about anything in music or music education. I love reading or adding my thoughts on forums like “Video Games in the Classroom”, “Integrating Technology in Music classroom”, or “Mouthpiece Size, etc.” (a post from the Brass Discussion Group. I don’t know much about brass instruments so I can learn by reading through discussions like this). Many tech-savvy, thoughtful people have contributed much to this forum – you just have check it out!

I am proud to be a member of this network. There will be even greater conversations, collaborations, and teaching ideas from this forum as time passes and we all work together to build on this community. I  hope many of aspiring and seasoned teachers, musicians and music advocates will add their voices here.

Happy Launching Day, MusicPLN! Here’s to learning!