A flipped conference

Last weekend, I had the chance to attend EdCampChicago….an un-conference. No fee…free breakfast and  lunch….really amazing sessions. What is the catch? The conference was held in Chicago at a beautiful high school. In order to attend the Edcamp, I had to miss my son’s t-ball game. As a mom but also as  a teacher, I felt it would help me professionally and personally to attend EdCampChicago.

When I arrived with my  colleague (also my distant cousin), we were trying to get the idea of how this type of conference works.

“Hey, can someone help carry in the breakfast?”  “Could you help with the nametags?” People were logging into their internet devices…smartphones, ipods, ipads, laptops. Awesome. This conference really is different.

The intro was done by Steve Dembo @teach42. He was so excited….so positive and just overall very blunt but clear about the day’s expectations. If you don’t have a good experience today…it is your fault. I love it.  He explained the format and the introduction of the day’s soon to be created schedule.

At first, I was very intimidated by the others in the room. What do I have to share? Offer? Ugh.

The day continued…I attended a group on moving towards 1:1 schools, QR codes in the classroom, BYO device, and a royal smack down of apps for the classroom. Each session had different learning possibilities. It was refreshing to be with a group of people who share the same passion…have an understanding of 21st century literacy…the whole idea of educational reform.

My mind spins with ideas and sharing tips. Thanks to this edcamp, I came home with the idea of having your own edcamp in your school. I presented the idea to my administration yesterday. For my own personal growth, it was so amazing to meet face to face (tête à tête) Josh @stumpteacher, Pernille @4GrTeach, Shawn @ShawnMcCuster, hilarious @Jena_Sherry and Chad @imcguy and Heather @irishteach…just to name a few of the superstars. I believe Pernille got it right when she tweeted…”It feels like I’m at the prom.”

I am looking forward to an #edcamp Wisconsin! Go Bucky!