I would like to give a big shout out to Tracy Clark (@TracyClark08), Brian Hill(@BrianPaulHill), and Adam Holman (@AGHolman) for hosting this. The phrase, "Be the change you want to see" kept coming to mind. If we as educators want to change the system for the better, then we need to take responsibility for bettering ourselves. How better than to reach out and have those important conversation addressing how we can implement best practice and innovate together. I look forward to attending more in the future, and I was very happy when my boss suggested the likelihood of us hosting one of our very own in the near future!
When you attend an edcamp, have your thought and questions ready. Tracy and I spoke about the nature of edcamps and she and I agreed that the best way to put it is, "what you put in is what you will get out." We wrote down some of the topics that we were most interested in discussing and those were organized into the sessions that would be available to attend. Here is what our session board looked like:
Educators were free to come and go to any of these sessions.
I attended Digital Badges. My team and I want to see if we can create a system where we can recognize teachers efforts to implement technology into their instruction. We want this to be visible and something that teachers are proud of. The ideas that we heard from other districts were to use credly- a badge builder page. Some other great ideas were to use Google Drawings. I was also happy to hear the suggestion that some of the badging systems also incorporated incentives like a jeans pass, or get your duty covered after a certain number of badges were accumulated. A few considerations were also addressed: how long do the badges last (one year, indefinitely...), who manages the system, how is evidence submitted?
The second session I attended was Digital Portfolios. Since I had just built a system for 1200 middle school students, I thought I could potentially contribute. My system basically entails creating folders for every student in google drive. I shared the three grade level folders containing all the students with administrators and coaches. Then they shared the appropriate folder with the corresponding grade level teacher, who then shared the folders to the students in their advisory class. Once students have access to their folder then can save evidence of learning in various forms into the appropriate content folder. They will have access to this folder throughout their time in public education.
The third session I attended was about Graphic Tools. I learned about Spruce. This web based program allows you to send tweets with your customized background and superimposed text. I tried it out and I like it!
The final session I attended was "Code Stuff". This session gave me ideas from teachers who teach coding on some free software that I can look into for when I try to support and encourage "Hour of Code" throughout my district. Thimble, Scratch, and Tuxpaint were recommendations I received. I will be busy looking into them this week for sure.
I highly recommend Edcamps to administrators, teachers, and anyone interested in learning!