I’ve wanted to start my blog for some time, but the thought of that first post was daunting. It needed to be something truly special and really important, and what could I write about? Well, today was a day of firsts that I just have to share. Today I participated in EdcampHOME – an amazing learning experience that has left me wowed. I am still bubbling with the energy, and writing my first blog post seems a natural fit.
I have wanted to participate in an Edcamp since joining Twitter last year and seeing them mentioned. So far this year I’ve actually registered in 3 – but for each, other demands meant I had to pull out. I was starting to wonder if it was a curse! When I saw mentions of #EdcampHOME on Twitter, I knew I had to register.
Edcamps seem like the perfect PD to me. I love that the sessions are totally driven by the participants and have been eager to watch the process of providing those choices. I loved that David Theriault, Karl Lindgren-Streicher, Kelly Kermode, and Shawn White used Lino to provide us with virtual post its. While watching the notes flying on to the wall, I had an actual thrill run up my spine. I had planned to sit back and watch, but had to jump in with some ideas of my own.
Watching all those posts looking for more about the same ideas and topics I have been wondering about was a fantastic moment of connection for me. Educators all over the globe are working with their students to provide similar experiences and excitement about learning. It was an incredible moment of empowerment. And there was a dazzling array of choices!
A highlight of the morning was listening and watching as David, Karl, Kelly and Shawn worked to get the sessions listed, and facilitators and moderators selected. It was wonderful watching #edcampHOME. The tweets were supportive and patient. The team was amazing. Talk about grace under pressure! Yes, it was messy, but real learning is messy. It reminded me of those great days in the classroom when we are all working together. Not only can you feel the energy in the room, but you can almost see it. That electrifying energy was there today, and emphasized by knowing that educators from all over the world were part of it.
Once the sessions were sorted, it was time for my first Google Hangout. It didn’t go smoothly. For some reason I kept getting an error message. I must admit, I did think about just leaving but couldn’t. After witnessing first-hand the incredible collaborative problem solving that had created the Session 1 sign up, I knew that I had to keep trying too. My first attempt failed, as did the second, but a little out of the box thinking finally got me in, just in time for the second session.
My first Google Hangout! Even if I couldn’t get my toolbox to add my third layer, I was happy to be there. It was memorable not just because it was my first Hangout, but because I learned so much about the exciting topic of Augmented Reality. I’ve been intrigued by everything I’ve read about AR and this was my opportunity to find out about it firsthand. Not only did I find out more, I got to see examples in action, ask the questions I needed answered, and connect with experts. I can’t wait to get started creating Auras, and making them with my students this year. I am grateful to know that I will have @MsVictoriaOlson and @techminock to ask for support, as well as @RobynThiessen and the others in the session.
What did I learn today? That having choice in my learning, having access to experts , and the opportunity to connect with others to collaborate inspire and excite me – just as they inspire and excite my students. Learning – that’s my passion, and I am thankful to David Theriault, Karl Lindgren-Streicher, Kelly Kermode, and Shawn White for providing such a fabulous opportunity today. I know that I’ll also be checking out the sessions I missed here, and hope that others do too.
Now, I just have to figure out how to add that third layer in a hangout….