My First Time – at Edcamp!

Edcamp Leadership

Unconference: a concept loosely based on Open Space  ideas where participants decide on the content of sessions and discussions the day of the event.
Nothing appeals to me more than learning what I want to learn and when I want to learn it through an open exchange of ideas.  Therefore I was very excited to attend my first unconference in Monroe County, New Jersey in late July.  It was very well organized in a beautiful facility, and I had the great fortune to meet several of my Twitterverse learning network.  Face to face beats Twitter anytime!

I attended sessions on flipping staff meetings, using Twitter for learning through #satchat, and home and school partnerships. I learned something in each and every one. How often can you say that about professional development?

While all sessions were very good and used the foundation of an unconference through active participation and discussion, the most helpful for me were those where the facilitator did simply that, facilitate. The opportunity for people to come together and actually talk to each other about what interests them is the best thing about Edcamp.  I want to participate in a unconference precisely because I don’t want to sit through a presentation.  Damian Bariexca @damian613 opened the door to such a discussion. It was fascinating watching how the discussion proceeded and in which directions, and of course, participating.

Edcamp Hamilton is coming up in February 2013. I hope we can bring the best of the Edcamp ideals to our area. I want us to dismantle the hierarchical and geographic barriers between educators and dig into important ideas. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

The beginning…

The beginning…thanks to Twitter (and @mrjarbenne!)

My decision to start a blog was inspired by Twitter. When I first joined Twitter a few years ago, I really didn’t get how to use it. I tweeted a couple of times, but then wondered what all the fuss was about and left it alone. Last year, I started using Twitter for updates to students and staff at our school, which sort of caught on, but I didn’t feel as if I was really connecting with others.

Finally, I started following people in my district – early adopters of educational applications in technology, innovators, and bloggers. As any Twitter user knows, that led to an avalanche of fascinating educators to follow and to me learning more than I thought possible through 140 characters. Their tweets were so interesting, but it was the links to their blogs that really opened my eyes. I began to see how blogging was a powerful self reflection tool – if I write, I have to think deeply. If I publish, it has to be from the head and the heart. Blogging will give me a way to learn more about myself, and what my motivations, passions and beliefs are about leadership and education.

I’m diving in. The water looks fine!

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