Discovery STAR Educator, NBCT, Teacher-Librarian, Passionate Technology Club Leader, Adjunct Instructor at Georgia Perimeter College, Change Agent
Cross post from Flat Classrooms: Transforming learning through global collaboration
I just got finished with EdCampATL (an edtech un-conference) and it was such an amazing experience. The venue was the beautiful Woodward Academy Lower School building in College Park GA. I would like to share some of the highlights from the first ever EdCampATL. The fun started on the eve of the event. The organizers tweeted and emailed for volunteers to help set up, promising a good time at a great gastro-pub afterwards.
I happily showed up to help with the pre-conference tasks as did many others, so the party started right away! While I was alphabetizing the name badges, I found out interesting things about three participants within an hour of arriving; Angie Griffin is a pilot, Dr Stan Johnson used to be a music and TV producer and Nancy Blair used to be an air traffic controller! EdCampATL co-founders Nikki Roberston and Wanda McClure stayed on top of all of the tasks to be done and then a large group of us arrived at The Manchester Arms and a fantastic time was had by all and the party ended pretty late!
When I arrived the next morning for my day at EdCampATL, the atmosphere was warm, fun, and inviting. There were big smiles and lots of food! Tom Whitby was nice enough to Skype in for the morning keynote so the day was off to a great start. Next, a fellow library media specialist Paula Boston talked about doing a media specialist trends session and I was either recruited or volunteered to join her. I think it was a little of both. We lucked into a 9:00 am slot because it started before we had time to chicken out. (HA!) Paula has a great presence in a room; She really should consider getting her own daytime TV show! In the spirit of the un-conference there was a lot of sharing. Tanya Hudson, who works in a Clarke county school shared a 5th grade blogging project and and a 4th grade explorers project, Beth Valentine talked about collaboration strategies, Paula Boston shared how she used end computing to turn one host computer into four workstations using only a CPU card, monitors, and keyboards, and I briefly shared how my students used Kerpoof digital storytelling to create fictional characters who teach informational subjects. There were other participants and ideas but we did not appoint a recorder for the session so I am working from memory but now I know how to improve for next time! Our session was over in the blink of an eye. Yay--we did it! We facilitated our first EdCamp session! Thanks, Paula it was a blast!
Later on, I went to an amazing presentation by @amissmac100 on ways to use Kidblogs, even in a busy classroom and Al Elliott gave an informative presentation on google apps and google drive. He also mentioned a program I have never heard of called Scootpad http://scootpad.com/ which looks very promising. After we gathered for lunch, we had the Web 2.0 Smackdown and lots of neat tools were mentioned. I presented zippsliphttps://www.zippslip.com/, which is a new, paperless communication method for schools.
We lucked out at the end of the day when Adam Taylor and Shelly Terrell Skyped in to give us encouragement and words of wisdom!!!! You guys are such rock stars, thanks for taking the time to join us! Also, thank you to all of the organizers, sponsors, participants and Woodward Academy for making this a great day of learning and sharing.
Here is a plug for another event: To keep Southeastern educators smart, mark your calendar for another great informal learning opportunity. TeachMeetGA13 will be hosted at Kennesaw State University Jan 19, 2013-http://teachmeetga.pbworks.com/w/page/27334828/TeachMeet%20Georgia. Check the site out and stay tuned for registration information!
Left to Right-Angie Griffin, Lara McDonald, Janelle Wilson, Nikki Robertson setting up the sign up board.
EdCampATL on Flickr