Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Reflections from Edcamp

Another great Saturday spent learning how to be a better educator at EdcampNJ!
With some running a session at an Edcamp experience in my belt, my husband and I had discussed running a session on our "Redesign the School" projects and student choice, but he was again unable to attend EdcampNJ, this time due to marking period grades.

I was excited to see some friends, both from the real world and the virtual one, and spend the day learning.

First session I attended Steve Tetreault's session on Intermediate uses of Google Docs.  I was super excited when he discussed how to use Scripts, since I had a failed attempt to do so (in the midst of an end-of-the-marking-period grading frenzy is not the time to figure out how to do something new); Steve showed us the many different ways we could use scripts and how to do it.  Win; I can't wait to use this TODAY.

I've spent some time playing around with this, and while I'm not sure how to start using it now(my students are having a hard enough time with the system I've already set up, so I don't think it's wise to start using something else...), it will make my life immensely better in the future.

Edcamp NJ 2013
You can see my striped back, right in the center of the photo.

Next session was a little more difficult.  There wasn't really a session that I was interested in joining, so I ended up hopping around a bit.  I ended up in a session on Flipping; it was great to meet the presenter, whom I'd just discovered on Twitter that week, and also contribute a little to a conversation.

Next up was lunch, at which point door prizes were announced.  I was selected to win a door prize, and chose a subscription to Flocabulary; I can't wait for it to arrive!

For session 3, I joined a session "Assessments that Don't Suck."  Funny title aside, I knew the session was being run by Paul Bogush, a middle school Social Studies teacher from whom I could surely steal some great ideas.  Additionally, I always seek new and better ways to assess student learning.  He didn't disappoint, giving a ton of great project based ideas.  

I followed Paul to his next session, the famous Body Language one.  Paul shared a list of resources in addition to his presentation.  Fascinating stuff, with immediate application to the classroom and, frankly, any relationship we have with other humans.

Once again, I did not win the Chromebook.  Grr.  But that Flocabulary membership will be AWESOME!!

At the Smackdown, I learned about quite a few new tools, but the one I'm most excited about was shared by Rich Kiker; I made a podcast of how to use it here.

Here's some friends and I being silly in the Photobooth!

Thanks, again, to the EdcampNJ folks for putting on another great day!

Check out all the shared notes from all the sessions here.
The photostream may be seen here.

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Thanks for learning along with me!