EdcampHome Thoughts and Future PD

On Thursday July 10th I was lucky enough to attend my first ever Edcamp experience with @edcampHome. It wasn’t your usual Edcamp experience as this one was completely online using Google+ and Google Hangouts to chat with people all over the world. It was truly an amazing experience and has allowed me to collaborate with teachers over different countries and different time zones. Thank you to the organizers David Theriault @davidtedu | Karl Lindgren-Streicher @LS_Karl | Kelly Kermode @coachk | Shawn White @swpax for an amazing job.

I went to two different sessions the first one was on Gamification and Game Based Learning. I learned some amazing resources and some amazing websites such as

1) www.badgeville.com

2) http://3dgamelab.com

3) Minecraft Edu

4) http://www.flipped-history.com/p/resources.html

Also I am now able to think about how I can engage my students using a different way of teaching.

The second session I attended was Flipped Classrooms. I would really like to completely flip my classroom and share with others. I met some amazing teachers who have shared how they either are flipping their classrooms or helping others. I want to give a shout out to Timonious Downing @Techmonious for sharing his resources with the group.

There were so many other sessions that looked amazing but I was unable to attend them all although I plan to go onto the website and check out some of them at http://edcamphome.org where they have all the sessions posted.

This type of learning and sharing has opened up my ideas to so many different ways we can use PD in our own board. Teaching can be a hard profession and years ago we would say we are in our four walls and collaborating is near impossible. Now with new technology those four walls are coming down. There is so much learning and sharing that can occur with teachers both within your own board and even across the globe.

Yesterday’s Edcamp has made me think of some amazing possibilities of sharing and learning. We have such amazing Social Media like Twitter, Instagram and Google+ where people can post articles for others to see, make suggestions and tell people what they are doing in their own classrooms. Yesterday Edcamp showed how even a picture using Instagram can be so powerful when sharing with others. Social Media is a great place to ask questions to each other and share and collaborate from around the world what works in your own teaching.

Also yesterday I learned how amazing Google Hangout is. We have so many amazing ways to communicate, Google Hangout, Skype, and even FaceTime. You can use any of these to have a meeting with teachers. If you want to do grade teaching planning but can’t meet the teacher because you have to pick up your kid, find a time and do a chat online. Have up to 10 teachers from different schools or even boards chatting and coming up with an amazing project, lesson or PD session. How many times do we say we want to see how another teacher’s classroom runs but there is no money for release time. What about Skyping with that teacher as the classroom is running and have the teacher watch or have many teachers watch. What a great way to demo a classroom from afar. At the end the teachers can then chat about what they saw online!

Also with amazing online resources, we could create groups or folders where if you’re a grade 3 teacher you can go to post pics. Blogs, or amazing resources and lessons you just did with your class. I know in my board we use AW and that’s a great platform for creating a resource bank for teachers to use but there are so many other great sites to create this type of format. I am becoming a Google Educator this summer and a board could even use Google sites. This would be so helpful for new teachers who are coming in with nothing and completely overwhelmed or experienced teachers too! Sharing and learning at any stage of your career = AWESOME!!

Teachers can even have mentors and coaches from across the sea. It doesn’t need to be that someone in their own building anymore.

There are so many other ways to collaborate and share with other teachers. Let’s spread the word about the amazing options teachers can use to collaborate and learn with and from others. Let’s break down the four walls together and move forward to a new way of learning! I know I will be attending more Edcamps, finding more ways to extend my amazing PLN and sharing my vision of collaborating with others as well!

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