Sunday, November 11, 2012

Edcamp Baltimore: A Great Day of Sharing and Learning

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending my 3rd edcamp; this one in Baltimore. Approximately, 70 educators from as far south as Virginia and as far north as New York (maybe even New Hampshire) attended the unconference at Digital Harbor High School. As with all edcamps, the passion and energy were high—as one would expected when 70 committed educators come together on a Saturday.

Of the attendees, several I regularly communicate with on twitter. Despite being limited to 140 characters, I felt as if I knew these people already, but I relished the opportunity to have in-person conversations with them.

Conversation and ideas flowed from the initial gathering through the morning sessions, through lunch and until I left for the trip back to Virginia. I attended 4 great sessions.
1.     Flipped classrooms. Flipping is about much more than just providing direct instruction through video. For a flipped classroom to be effective, what occurs in class is even more important.
2.     The power of collaboration. Most educators that attend edcamps are pretty connected and see the value of twitter and other means of being connected. We must do more to bring more teachers onboard to increase their PLNs.
3.     Social media in the classroom. As teachers, we have a responsibility to model safe use of social media to our students. Doing so, however, requires that students, parents, administrators, trust teachers to do what’s right.
4.     PD and meet. Seeing the power of edcamps, each participant in this session agreed that we must continue our learning and participation by involving more teachers and administrators in the edcamp philosophy.

Despite the nearly 2:30 hour trip home (Washington even has rush hour on Saturday afternoons), I returned home energized and wanting more. The committed and passionate professionals I met today inspired me and represent some of the best-and-brightest in education.

A special shout out to the great organizers and sponsors of Edcamp Baltimore.

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