Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Monday, October 27, 2014

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10--27-14 EdCamp Mount Vernon, Maiden Voyage

We did it!  EdCampMount Vernon is in the books!

 Music created by our EdCamp Sponsor Flocabulary

I thought about the line from Field of Dreams, "If we build it, they will come."  In the case of EdCamp, the line could be "If they come, it will be built".  Since its inception back in the Spring we have worked hard to learn all that we could about the EdCamp model and encourage teachers who have not experienced this model to give it a try. Our biggest concern and work had to do with convincing people to come, not with the organization of the event itself.

So, after many sleepless nights and doubts that anyone would actually come on Saturday to try a "new" type of PD,  I was excited to see the brave and innovative teachers come through the doors of Mount Vernon High School ready and willing to try something new.  And boy did these teachers step up to the plate and make this a great day of learning, sharing and collaboration!

During the kick off to the event, I asked teachers to share what they wanted to learn during the day.  Teachers immediately started sharing ideas:  writing strategies, global collaboration, hi cap strategies, making coding real, photo sharing, writing strategies, coaching strategies and even ROBOTS!  Before the kick off, I had the opportunity to visit with many of the participants, and as the teachers started sharing what they wanted to learn, I felt like a matchmaker, getting excited about the connections I knew would happen that day.  I got even giddier when I asked the next question.  "What would you be willing to share?"  Hands popped up right away. Lots of great ideas and topics, many fitting right in with the learning that people had shared earlier.  How exciting!

Next, I showed everyone an empty schedule board with spots for 20 sessions throughout the day.  Immediately, teachers went to work adding sessions to the board.  In no time, the board was complete and we were ready to roll.

The rest of the day was filled with great connections, and sharing resources.  We shared our learning on a collaborative Google Doc.  Check out all the sessions and the notes here.  There were sessions on coaching, Special Ed, getting students moving during class, video editing, digital story telling, ROBOTS,  coding, physical computing, the writing process, and more.  With teachers from 7 districts coming from as far away as Olympia there were many great connections made.

By the end of the day, everyone was asking when the next EdCamp Mount Vernon would be.  As we reflected on the day, we all were mulling over the possibilities for using this model in other ways including Staff meetings, district PD, even in our own classrooms. The folks who had joined us from Lake Stevens left ready to put a date on the calendar in February to host their own event and invite all of us.

I think that the model worked so well, because everyone who was at the event wanted to be there and came ready to learn and share.  How very exciting.

Even though I had hoped that hundreds would show up and remain a little disappointed that more teachers from the Mount Vernon School District didn't participate, The number of people who did attend seemed to be the perfect amount for a group of newbies trying out a new and different idea.  I know that after the teachers who participated today return and share with others about EdCamp, we will have many more in attendance the next time and even more learning and sharing.

I am so thankful for all the help from our EdCamp Mount Vernon Team made up of our Digital Literacy Coaches, our Teaching and Learning Team and our Tech Department.  Their hard work and support made this day possible.

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities:

November 15, Seattle Pacific University

E-ARTC Technology and Diversity Speaker Event October 29 WWU and NCTA (Mount Vernon)

Digital Literacy Workshop Calendar: Multiple events throughout the year.  Hangouts on Air open to all who want to join or watch the archives

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