The Edcamp Foundation has partnered with Remind again this year to bring #EdcampGift 2015. This is a great way to engage with fellow Edcampers and share stories. Oh, did I mention that one person will also be selected each day to donate $100 to their favorite Edcamp?!
Join the conversation by using the #EdcampGift hashtag on Twitter and Instagram!
#EdcampKC this past Saturday was my 7th Edcamp.
It is, by far, my favorite form of professional development. The grassroots effort behind the planning, the delivery, the sessions, the conversations, the learning…it’s all real. When 300 educators come together on a Saturday, to improve what they do, it’s real.
Edcamps aren’t pretentious. There are no presentations to show off. There are healthy debates. There are moments of real honesty.
Technology may or may not play a part of the day. And that is ok. Heather Braum (@hbraum) led a session for teacher librarians and worried that because it didn’t involve tech, it might not have a mass appeal. The wifi crashed and we weren’t able to share out our learning as much as we hoped. But the conversations and learning continued…
Maybe the simplicity of the day helped us focus on what we all needed in that moment. It did for me. I reconnected with friends. I took in the beauty of the Nelson-Atkins. I laughed. I acted like a dork (no surprise). I was rejuvenated and challenged.
I learned. At an Edcamp.
Tonight I made my way down to Kansas City to participate in the first ever #edcampkc. I got a later start than I wanted, but still made it here in pretty good time. The reason I was so anxious to get here was to participate in the tweetup and meet tweeps (that’s people whom I follow and/or follow me on Twitter).
I drove through Kansas City to Lee’s Summit and to the quaint historic downtown area. As I got closer I became more excited and somewhat nervous. I was rushing to meet a bunch of people who are here for the same event, whom I’ve never met, but still know in a matter of speaking. I walked in to find a good gathering of people and Kyle Pace (@kylepace) ready to give me a hug. Mind you, I met Kyle in Denver this summer but that’s it. It didn’t matter, we hugged it out and I was welcomed to the table with the others where I met many people face to face for the first time.
When Becky (@MrsBMG) and Nick (@thenerdyteacher) arrived I felt compelled to skip over and greet them with hugs as well. I’ve spent limited time with these two in person, but they are such a huge part of my life on Twitter and in my learning. It’s really like meeting up with old friends that you haven’t seen in a while. My fellow Omaha people (@michellek107 & @j_allen) came and we all greeted them the same.
As we hung out, shared stories, and talked about life in general it struck me just how much of an impact they all have had on me in the past year. Life in the teaching world can sometimes be lonely, but I can always count on these digital friends to provide support and advice when needed most. So we may have started our friendship digitally, and continue it in the same manner, but does that really matter in the long run? I feel that I have found my community. And no, they’re not just tweeps!