Edcamp Madison 2013 was my first Edcamp I’ve attended. Immediately after the camp I was ready to attend the next one. If that is not a ringing endorsement of the Edcamp model I don’t know what is. This was held at Sun Prairie High School, just outside of Madison, on a Saturday. That’s right, I was attending this professional development that is 2 hours from my house on a Saturday. The event was a great place to be, being filled with committed adults who are passionate about making schools great! Attendees who came ranged from staff, teachers, admins all the way to superintendents and school board members. Best of all, Edcamps are free!
To put it simply, it is a day of FREE professional development with other dedicated teachers and leaders who have an infectious desire to share what they know. The conference has no agenda, no prepared presentations, fees, or red tape. People are there to network and share what they know.
The day began with coffee and a light breakfast, offering an opportunity to mingle and get to know other educators. The day’s agenda was planned after that. We went into the auditorium and were asked to step up to the mic and pitch ideas for sessions that we could run. Topics ranged from Flipped Class to BYOD, Google Apps to Pinterest, Evernote to Twitter, and Blowing up the Carnegie system to the Google 20% model.
I was fortunate to have 40 awesome educators attend my session on Gamification: The Multiplayer Classroom. As a group we learned what gamification is and the lessons learned from my first year of implementing gamification course wide. Taking the most motivational aspects of video games and embedding them within the class was very appealing. Hearing how students were more focus, engaged, and ultimately more successful with this approach helped inspire others to start down the path. I learned as much by presenting as I did attending the other fabulous sessions. I would like to thank all those that attended my session and hope we can continue to conversations in the future. Tweet @mrmatera or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
My first Edcamp was a total success. I met others who were as passionate about making learning memorable as I am. I met people who ask why not, rather than why. I met people who dare to dream. People who understand we need to lift students potential rather than test scores. Edcamp was a wonderful shot of enthusiasm for me. It was a smackdown of ideas. Everyone had a chance to share tips, tools and techniques. I was new to Edcamp and now I am a Edcamp roadie. Please consider attending an Edcamp in your area.
Make the Most of Edcamp!
Simple things to keep in mind when attending your first Edcamp…
- Remember you are there to learn and network. Introduce yourself. Meet people… Sit by different people at lunch… Eavesdrop on your neighbors and chime in if you have experience with what they are talking about.
- Meet people… Important enough to say twice!
- Sharing is caring – If you have never presented before, think about it, get up and share. You’re a professional with plenty of talent and ideas.
- If you haven’t already, join Twitter and get ready to exchange your @twitter account. It’s a great way to build your very own P.L.N. Professional Learning Network.
- Attitude is gratitude. Edcamps are filled with dedicated educators who choose to come to this free conference. This will not be like your districts inservice days. People are passionate about learning and the field. Get ready to be enveloped in a world of excitement and possibilities.
Edcamp Chicago – Saturday April 27th, 2013
Edcamp Milwaukee – May 11th, 2013