There's nothing like showing up on a Saturday morning with a large group of educators who just want to collaborate and learn and "talk shop" with each other! Welcome to #edcamp!
It's hard to synthesize all of the learning & thought-provoking conversations that occurred throughout the day, so I'll just share a snippet from each session here:
1. Sometimes, kids need more structure. It is easier for us, as adults, to discriminate what information is important, switch gears, and make the appropriate connections...but students don't always follow our same train of thought! Being clear about this can help our kiddos know what is expected of them and then they can focus on the learning. This is so important for me to keep in mind because I tend to be pretty flexible, and I need to remember to accommodate a variety of learning styles.
Challenge: How can we create structure & clear expectations while facilitating a classroom that is student-led & honoring students' desire to learn in their own individual ways?
2. What are the different purposes for social media (personal, professional, academic, etc) - do students think about using their accounts in all of these different ways?
Deep thoughts & possible conversation with students: Who are YOU as a person and how do you convey that online? Do you have more than one account on a given social media platform? Why or why not? What are the pros & cons of having one account or multiple accounts? How does that affect the way you communicate? What about who your audience is? Does that change the way you portray yourself online? What are the similarities and differences to how you portray yourself online and in real life?
3. I'm still trying to up my game on Schoology. I never used it in my classroom, and while I am getting better, I continue to do a lot of playing around to find what I need. It was great to hear about tips & tricks (& also frustrations) from other teachers!
Question for the masses: What is your best tip or trick on Schoology?
4. Honestly, I just took some time to reflect and catch up. There was nothing on the session board that was calling to me, and it was nice to synthesize all of the information from the morning. It's okay to slow down too!
Challenge: How do you build in time for reflection?
5. Although I am an ed tech specialist now, there is still a big part of me that is a music teacher. This last session felt like coming home. We reflected on how easy it is to feel alone when you teach certain subjects, the challenges of finding relevant PD, and dreamed about organizing a music edcamp for ourselves and our colleagues.
Music teachers: What kind of PD do you find most relevant?
In addition, it is always super fun to see old friends, make new friends, and be around people who are so excited about education!