Ed Camp Rocks!

This weekend I had the pleasure of spending my Saturday with engaging, intellectual, and fun teachers from the greater Philadelphia area at Ed Camp Philly. It was such a total blast and my brain had a good stimulating experience, which it desperately needed. This conference is an “un-conference” where the sessions are developed by the participants as they register. I attended sessions on web 2.0 resource sharing for elementary teachers, re-thinking space-time-purpose, “Things that Suck”, Global Ed Connections for elem, and the super fun “Smackdown”.

I gained a new resource, a new connection, or a new idea from each of the sessions. The best part of the day was following the back channel chat via twitter. I absolutely love twitter and really feel it made such a huge difference in my information collection. It was also so cool to meet many people I follow via twitter and blogs in the flesh! They are real people too!

The Things That Suck session was such a great intellectual debate. A topic is thrown out such as Homework or Discipline Policy and teachers head to either the Rocks or Sucks side of the room. An passionately charged discourse commences on the topic. It was a perfect model for debating important issues in a safe space. The realization that the room was filled with idealistic, progressive teachers made certain topics more conversations of commiseration than debate. It was fantastic and it revolved completely around issues worth debating not just complaining!

Here are some resource suggestions compiled from the day:

Gmail + Trick: Add +moniker of some kind. They will go right to your inbox.
All is all it was worth driving 6.5 hours in 24 hours and getting little sleep. It was just the kind of intellectual refreshment I needed to get me pumped for my new role as a Technology Facilitator. I feel like that is what I am now. Rock on.

moment of joy

One of the best parts of my job is working 1:1 with teachers and staff on tech “issues”. This could range from implementing a new program to figuring out how to make a signature on Outlook to learning how to organize files. (I’ve done all three just this week.)

This is not really in the realm of “music teacher” but it is in MY realm because I love helping in this way. It was an absolute moment of joy yesterday to see a colleague’s face explode with delight as they learned how to format a table in Word. That is what is so exciting about the technology learning curve; it sways far and wide. It is a pleasure to me to see someone else embrace a new skill just by a few seconds with someone who is a few steps ahead in learning.

This is collaboration. This is joy!