Today I participated in my first edcamp. I first happened upon the idea of these camps this spring via twitter, and when the opportunity to join one from my home this summer presented itself, I jumped at the chance.
Enter EdcampHome put on by some wonderful people Kelly Kermode, Karl Lindgren-Streicher, David Theriault, and Shawn White. This was a risk for me, because it would all happen using technology that was new to me. I had a few short weeks to make sure that I knew enough about Google+ and Google Hangouts to try it, but I wanted in on the fun!
I practiced “hanging out”, followed the video tutorials leading up to the camp, and the day arrived. I was excited and nervous as the time approached for the experience to begin. I was ready to see what topics presented themselves and to contribute to a productive conversation. Many people who had attended edcamps before had mentioned the importance of putting yourself out there to facilitate a session, but that would not be me. I was new at this, and I needed to watch one before I jumped in.
Or so I thought…
We watched the opening GHO explaining how the day would work, and then it was off to the session board to see what every one’s ideas were. I looked for a few minutes and then in a moment of courage, I submitted a topic. There were so many ideas going up on the virtual bulletin board, surely mine wouldn’t be one of the ones chosen, but it was.
No time to be nervous, I jumped in and facilitated a discussion on best practices in grading. You can find the link to the GHO here. I cannot say enough about the entire edcamp experience, both facilitating and participating in discussions. I am very excited for the next opportunity!
Ok, so on to the soap box I go for a moment…
If we are going to model the learning experience for our students, we have to jump in. We need to take a risk, no matter whether we are nervous or scared. Learning is a messy process with attempts, failure, redos, and eventually success – which was admirably modeled by our leaders today. In order to get the most out of the experience, we must contribute. I did today, and I am better for it. Thanks EdcampHome!