I met Tanya earlier this fall when I attended one of her free full-day Code.org PD sessions for teachers. I learned so much, had such fun, and was so impressed by the quality of the instruction and experience, that I couldn’t wait to encourage my educator friends and colleagues to attend a workshop. Atlanta International School has partnered with Tanya and Code.org to host several FREE workshops that any educator can attend. Do it! You'll love it :) (Upcoming dates are February 12, March 5 and March 19, 2016).
I asked Tanya if she would share with us a bit about herself and her commitment to bringing coding to classrooms.
Can you tell us why you believe computer science and coding are essential for all learners?
Students of all ages should be learning computer science, which is a much broader field than coding. It involves learning how technology works, learning how software is changing our world, and how they can participate in the world around them. Computer science develops students’ computational and critical thinking skills and teaches them how to create—not just use—new technologies. Computing is not a goal in and of itself, but the means to an end, enabling students to take control, solve problems, and build futures based upon their imagination and creativity. This fundamental knowledge is needed to prepare students for the 21st century, regardless of their ultimate ﬁeld of study or occupation.
Tell us why Code.org is so awesome…
I have never, ever seen my students so excited about learning -- plain and simple. The enthusiasm for learning is contagious. The high level of engagement coupled with the obvious...“IT”S A TOTALLY FREE PROGRAM THAT IS AMAZING!!” is what continues to motivate me to teach computer science using the Code.org tutorials as well as recruit as many teachers as I can to do the same. Through problem solving, students learn grit, determination and perseverance. They look at failures as clues and they fix programs to get the results they want. Young coders learn to struggle through challenges while maintaining their self-esteem and this lesson transfers into other areas of life. Students learn that failure is an option… as well as an opportunity.
Tell us three things about you...
PS: Tanya holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and is a veteran elementary school teacher with 27 years of classroom experience. She currently teaches Gifted classes at a public elementary school in Forsyth County, Georgia.
We are excited to have Tanya bring Code.org to EdCamp Atlanta!
[Shelley Paul is Site Director for EdCamp Atlanta and Head of STEAM at Atlanta International School]
This tweet from Andy Plemmons sums up EdCamp Atlanta! You really just never know what is going to happen at EdCamp Atlanta or any other EdCamp because every EdCamp is different, yet the same. Different because EdCamps are organically created on the day of the event by the participants who attend the EdCamp, thus making the experience and learning uniquely tailored to attendees, not contrived by what a school district thinks educators need to learn. The same because the basic structure of an EdCamp is the same.
Soapbox Alert: Many schools and school districts have started what they are calling "EdCamp" professional development sessions. These PDs often do not follow the EdCamp guidelines and often turn into the same boring and dreaded professional development that teachers hate and learn almost nothing from.
The point of an EdCamp event is for it to be completely separated from any and all association with a school/district so that teachers can get outside of the school/district bubble and be exposed to new or different educational pedagogies.
EdCamp Atlanta prides itself on providing this for its attendees. For the last three years, EdCamp Atlanta has provide a place where public, private, charter, home and university level educators can learn and connect with each other in a relaxed atmosphere ripe with learning opportunities.
If you attended EdCamp Atlanta this year please add your reflections to our EdCamp Atlanta FlipGrid HERE.
Did you miss the EdCamp Atlanta SmackDown? Check out all the cool resources shared by EdCamp Atlanta attendees HERE.
We need your help! EdCamp Atlanta moves venues every three years. This was Woodward Academy's last year to host EdCamp Atlanta. We are extremely grateful to WoodWard Academy for opening their doors to us. If your school would be willing to host EdCamp Atlanta 2015 please contact Wanda Hopkins McClure or Nikki D Robertson.
Want to be a part of planning EdCamp Atlanta 2015?! We would love to have you on board! Contact Wanda or Nikki to volunteer!
EdCamp Atlanta sponsors were incredibly generous this year. Without their contributions we would not have been able to provide breakfast, lunch or door prizes to attendees. Please take a moment to thank our sponsors.
Start your EdCamp Atlanta fun a day early by meeting the EdCamp Atlanta organizing team for light refreshments and a tour of some of the most amazing educational furniture you thought only existed in your dreams!
Dekalb Office provides all EdCamp Atlanta name badges as well as a task chair for us to give away as a door prize on September 13, 2014. Please help support Dekalb Office for their generous sponsorship.
What: EdCamp Atlanta TweetUp
When: Friday, September 12, 2014
6:00 - 8:00 pm ET
Where: Dekalb Office
1320 Ridgeland Pkwy
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Directions: (click image below)
The unique things I love about EdCamp events are the same things that baffle others who have only attended traditional professional development sessions.
What I love about EdCamp events is that there are no sessions planned. Yep, that’s right. No sessions are planned before the event. All sessions are planned on the day of the event by the participants in attendance. This year, EdCamp Atlanta is adding a new twist to the session board categories. We will continue our tradition from last year to offer 50 minute and 25 minute sessions. This year we are adding to these time periods the heading of See, Learn, Do (SLD) and Round Table Discussion (RTD).
An example of a See, Learn, Do (SLD) session offering would be similar to the Yapp App session Cat Flippen offered last year. In the Yapp App session, Cat showed participants the Yapp App, demonstrated how to build you own Yapp App and then had participants create their own Yapp App for their school/classroom.
An example of a Round Table Discussion (RTD) session offering would be similar to one Angie Griffin likes to do called: Admin & Teachers Get Real. In this session administrators and teachers meet to discuss school related issues that they may not feel comfortable discussing with the equivalent within their own schools. This session helps to open up a dialogue between administrators and teachers that they can learn from and take back a better understanding of common issues between administrators and teachers.
Another aspect that is unique to EdCamp events that I love is The Rule of Two Feet. The Rule of Two Feet basically means if you find yourself in a session that does not meet your expectations it is perfectly OK to move on to a different session. It doesn’t mean you are being rude. It just means you want to explore something else now, and are making space for others to contribute energy to the session.
To help get your brain juices flowing please add to the Padlet below, session(s) you have added to an EdCamp session board in the past or session(s) you might add to the session board if you were to attend an EdCamp event.
On Saturday, September 13, 2014, what will you be doing? Hopefully, you will be eating breakfast, networking, tweeting and preparing for an incredible day of sharing and learning at EdCamp Atlanta 2014, one of the premier educational unconferences in the Southeastern United States. You do not want to miss the talented people, the amazing sessions, and the INCREDIBLE door prizes from our plethora of sponsors!
Showing up is just the first step; any attendee and any Twitter follower for the day will want easy, continual, and mobile access to the stream of information that will be flowing non-stop.
Thanks to Yapp, one of the easiest ways for any educator or educational group to "app yourself," EdCamp Atlanta has for the second year created a cross-platform mobile application that will not only enhance your day at EdCamp Atlanta, but also increase your potential learning throughout the whole year after EdCampATL!
The features available for any app developer using Yapp are versatile and useful. Finally, we are able to follow both @EdCampAtlanta and the #EdCampATL hashtag while also being able to tweet in-app! Also, on the day of the unconference, every session and room location will be posted in the app and also within the app is a "Share" feature in which any attendee can post pictures for everyone to see. Please download our app and share your photos of the day with everyone!
All apps are hosted through an external app called YappBox, available on both the Apple App Store and on Google Play. YappBox is free for everyone and makes updating the EdCamp Atlanta app instantaneous.
To download the YappBox app, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play on your mobile device and download the app. Next, in the menu, you can click "add an app" or navigate to the following web link in order to push the EdCampATL app into your YappBox:
If you are intrigued by both Yapp and the EdCampATL mobile app, our own Cat Flippen will be hosting a 25-minute session on building an educational app with Yapp.
We hope you enjoy our new app! Don't forget to download before the unconference starts, visit the Yapp website, then follow Yapp on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and let them know you are attending EdCamp Atlanta!
SimpleK12, the proud provider of the Teacher Learning Community, offers 100% online professional development opportunities for teachers. The Community blends webinars with Education leaders, a shared resource center, online learning programs, and social networking to create a unique global community dedicated to helping educators succeed in the 21st century.
SimpleK12 is also a proud supporter of EdCamp Atlanta, offering attendees five opportunities to win a 1-year full access memberships to the SimpleK12 Teacher Learning Community (each valued at $297) plus all EdCamp attendees will receive a FREE 3 month, full access membership to the SimpleK12 Teacher Learning Community (each valued at $77).
As if that wasn't enough, SimpleK12 will also provide ALL EdCamp Atlanta attendees with a FREE copy of one of SimpleK12’s most popular premium eBook resources, “57 Inspirational Quotes.”
In addition to these wonderful prizes, SimpleK12 has agreed to allow EdCamp Atlanta FULL access to their webinar libraries for the day. A special SimpleK12 session room will be available to all EdCamp Atlanta attendees. Don't see a session you are interested in on the session board? Head over to the SimpleK12 room and look up a webinar that suits your interests.
As of a week ago, EdCamp Atlanta ticket registrations have completely SOLD OUT on our EventBrite page, smashing our inaugural registration from last year with nearly 400 participants having reserved a spot in this year's EdCamp Atlanta un-conference one-day event!
Your organizers have been working tirelessly preparing for the big day. Breakfast and lunch have been arranged, provided by two remarkable, Atlanta-based schools. An amazing array of sponsor organizations and companies have contributed to EdCamp Atlanta, including some astounding door prizes and swag that will surprise everyone! The session interests and ideas that have been flowing into through the #EdCampATL Twitter hashtag and Facebook pages have been cutting edge, engaging, and exciting. From a wealth of sessions to what will be an incredible SmackDown 2013, every attendee of EdCamp Atlanta this year is going to walk away with their minds full, hearts motivated, and a larger PLN of incredible educators.
Are you ready for the most innovative professional development experience in Atlanta in just two weeks?
To start preparing us for September 14th, take a moment and tell us what you would like to see or share! Join in the conversation by using the hashtag #EdCampATL on Twitter, joining our Facebook page, or by leaving a comment here on our website!
The Daring Librarian
Special Guest Blogger for EdCamp
AtlantaTeacher-Librarian, LJ Mover & Shaker, GCT, ISTE Board of Directors, Speaker, Blogger, SL Steampunk, Den★, Xtc Fan, Pop Culture Ho, Cinephile, Geek, & Goofball!
DC Metro · http://thedaringlibrarian.com
EdCamp Atlanta is dedicated to keeping the learning going throughout the year beyond just the one day of EdCamp. We plan on having face to face meetup events as well as Google Hangout events to meet this goal.
We meet up for the first time after EdCamp Atlanta on October 27, 2012 at 11:30 am ET at the Highland Bakery in Buckhead, Atlanta.
We ate, talked, had fun, then got down to business to discuss the topic of our first Google Hangout event planned for November. Keep an eye out for details about the Google Hangout event coming soon!
Laura McDonald, Nikki D Robertson, Sue Levine, Cindy Dixon, Shelley Paul, Kathy D Shields, Jaime Vandergrift, Wanda McClure.
EdCampATL on Flickr