Six months ago, I had never attended an EdCamp. I had heard of the concept and was even on a committee to plan the first EdCampMD, but I was still a little fuzzy on the "how this actually works when you get there" piece.
Fast forward to February: teachers from all over the state, on their own time (a Saturday), at their own expense (EdCamp is free, parking in downtown Baltimore is not), gathering together to learn from one another on the topics of their own choice. Wow. Talk about personalized professional development... I was blown away. I met folks from all levels of education from Pre-K to post-secondary and learned about apps, blogging, formative assessment, classroom management, dealing with technology issues, etc. It was a great day, and along with the insights, I made some great personal contacts.
This past weekend I participated in EdCamp Global, a 24-hour virtual EdCamp. The beauty of this EdCamp was that I didn't even have to leave my house. I attended sessions between spending time with family, cooking fresh veggies from the garden, and getting the general mayhem of our house under a modicum of control. One moment I'm roasting eggplant, the next I'm on the couch in my living room discussing how to start a MakerSpace with folks from Australia, Michigan, Florida, and a colleague from a neighboring district with whom I’d worked previously (no idea she’d be at this EdCamp).
The takeaway from this experience (I realized as I tweeted, messaged, and "hung-out" with folks on Google) was that I was modeling exactly what I want my students to do - thinking about what I needed to know, seeking out the knowledge, then reassessing to determine next steps. Now to put this insight into action… Let the planning begin.
As a teacher librarian in a 6-8 middle school, when I'm not dreaming up all sorts of tactics to get books into my students' hands, I am seeking new ways to harness technology to help them learn.
You can find me online: