EdcampCT 2012 was held this past Friday at the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT. Hats off to the planning/hosting team for another great event. And, of course, hats off to the food service team for the awesome lunch and those incredible homemade potato chips!
For those who don't know, Edcamp is a great series of free, unconferences for educators. The Edcamp model is unique in that attendees set the agenda the morning of the conference and the sessions are not led by one person, but are rather a collaboration of both the facilitator and attendees. It is a great way to learn, share, and connect with other educators. They are held all over the world.
The first session I attended was "Twitter as a PLN". This was started by a teacher who wanted to know more about Twitter and it's use in education. Most of the participants were non-Twitter users or new to Twitter. Dan Callahan and I shared our experiences, tips, and ideas on how best to use Twitter as an educator and part of a PLN, as well as some great resources, like Cybraryman's (Jerry Blumengarten) site. Many of the teachers left the session ready to get going on Twitter and expand their PLN.
This year, I facilitated a discussion on Evernote and it's use in education. There were about 25 people in the room and we had a great discussion. Participants ranged from never heard of or used Evernote to some who were experts in it's use. We discussed Evernote and it's use by teachers, administrators and students in school, features and products, tips and ideas, and much more. It was a great session.
The conversations continued during lunch and I made a bunch of notes and connections while eating.
The next session was on layered curriculum, a way of differentiating for different levels of students. A good resource was www.help4teachers.com.
The last session I went to was on Learning Management Systems, specifically Schoology and Edmodo. The discussion was all about best practices, what people have done, how they implement them in their class and much more.
The day wrapped up with a raffle for some prizes and a smackdown, were participants came up and had 2 minutes to share a resource with the group. You can see a list of all of the resources shared during the smackdown here.
Some other resources that were talked about that I'm going to look into in more depth include Pixlr, We Video and Freely.
It was a great day, filled with fun, learning, discussions, connections, and meeting some members of my PLN in person finally. I highly recommend Edcamps!
Edcamp - teacher run, awesome, free educational conferences