A Day of Firsts

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 TheriaultKarl Lindgren-StreicherKelly 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 TheriaultKarl Lindgren-StreicherKelly 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….


8 thoughts on “A Day of Firsts

  1. Dave Truss

    Congratulations on your entry into the blogosphere. I can tell you that blogging has been the best professional development I could ever ask for. It sounds like #edcamphome was a great experience and you epitomized what’s important about using technology: it doesn’t always work as we would hope, but it provides new and interesting opportunities and experiences that we just couldn’t have without it. And, the same can be said for our students!
    Happy blogging, enjoy the journey, Dave

    1. kelliholden Post author

      Thank you, Dave. Writing about my #edcamphome experience was a great way to reflect and sort out why it was so special. I am excited about the new opportunities that this blog is bringing me!

  2. Joy Kirr (@JoyKirr)

    Kelli, I find that it takes a LOT for me to write a blog post! So give yourself a round of applause – you’re in! This day was certainly one to write about – so many of us did! I love seeing the different perspectives. I think, however, all of them said something about how much learning was going on – from listening to our four pioneering leaders all the way to the smackdown session at the end. I know I had to take a break after those three hours so my head did not explode! Anyway, welcome to the world of blogging – where you’ll see even MORE conversations and learning happening. Thank you for sharing your learning!!

    1. kelliholden Post author

      Thank you Joy. I certainly relate to feeling like my head would explode! The experience definitely brought home the importance of sharing, and that every voice has something to contribute. Another impetus for me was your tweet about feeling discomfort, and how that is so good for our learning. I am excited about the journey ahead!

  3. Sean Robinson

    A refreshing post. I am so glad you took the time to blog as it just validates that we don’t have to be experts to contribute. We can chime in at any point along the way and share our stories. Keep sharing!

    1. kelliholden Post author

      Thank you Sean. I definitely found that reflecting on the experience and writing about it really clarified things for me, as does reading the posts that others have shared. That first step was a big one, and I appreciate all the support I’ve been given for making it. It really is all about the sharing, isn’t it?

  4. Marianne Auch

    Thanks for taking out some of the intimidation and adding to the temptation of increased participation and presence online. I’m still worried by time suckage and added expectations … not ready to get my feet wet yet, so I look forward to reading more about your jump.

    1. kelliholden Post author

      Thanks, Marianne, for the comment. Even though I was nervous about doing it, the experience has been completely positive. It is hard to put yourself out there in a position of vulnerability! But I am glad I did. I am looking forward to reading yours one day soon!


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