Sunday, October 4, 2015

Celebrating Connected Educators

Yesterday, a damp Saturday morning that was the type of day you'd like to remain in your cozy home, over 220 educators and parents traveled to Jericho Middle School for the second EdCampLI experience. Why? Curiosity, a chance to grow as an educator or parent, a networking opportunity, and/or desire to be part of a PLN (professional learning network) are some of the reasons provided by participants. Dan MCabe, fellow #NYEDChat moderator, offered this statement. "Edcamps have become a source of pride for the profession." 

Edcamps are the wave of professional, collaborative learning opportunities that have spread across the United States and Canada. Participants choose from a board of topics to customize their professional learning and have multiple occasions to voice their opinion and feelings. The day is a full one of energized networking, sharing, and growing as a learner rather than a sit and git, old school form of professional development  

Take a peak at what the unique Saturday learning at EdCampLI looked like:

Conversation format with Don & Danielle Gately, founders of @EdCampLI

Large Group Opening Meeting 
Educators Choosing their Learning Opportunities


Backtrack to the Beginning of the Day of Learning:

When connected educators and colleagues entered Jericho Middle School's front foyer, networking began. Familiar friends hugged. Virtual friends connected. As people moved to the breakfast room, a dark, dreary day became brighter with glowing smiles and laughter. 

After coffee, conversation, and bagels, the announcement was made for the start-up of the LIVE #NYEDChat Twitter Convo. Dennis Schug loaded the questions for his co-moderators Dan McCabe, Lisa Meade, Tony Sinanis, and Starr Sackstein to run the chat while he facilitated a Twitter 101 session. Both a live and virtual audience participated in the chat on How to Be Awesome at EdCampLI

While NYEDChat was going on, I led a live interview with a variety of connected educators from veteran Tom Whitby and Adam Bellow to newbie Lisa M, and parent, Jan. You can access the Google Hangout On Air below.


#NYEDChat interview

Learning Time

Energy and a spirit of positivity filled the open halls and lively classrooms of Jericho Middle School. Principal Don Gately provided EdCampLI participants with humor throughout the day with his upbeat loudspeaker messages. People happily moved through the morning sessions, lunch, and afternoon sessions, eager to collaborate. 

Anthony Davidson's Session

I was pleased to have a room of energized K-12 educators from Art, English, Elementary, and Library Media departments across Long Island who were eager to engage in a conversation on creating digitally.  

Later in the day, Brendon Colfer tweeted me his digital inspiration (haiku) that he created during the Creation Time of the session. 

He is now ready to inspire his students on Monday and turnkey what he learned.

End of Day Activity

The day ended with a smackdown of learning moments. Raffles prizes were distributed and all left the building with ideas to try out in classrooms, memories to savor, and new colleagues to add to their growing PLNs. 

Why do we gravitate to this new type of learning?

As Scott Garofola said in his blog that he sent me, 
"It is truly amazing how student learning can be so greatly impacted by one wonderful day of sharing and collaborative passion. How sharing successes can empower others to raise the bar, and how we can come together to push each other forward. It is a new perspective of professional development, one of choice, rather than compliance."
We came together at EdCampLI to:

  • Learn as a collective body of practitioners
  • Push ourselves out from our comfort zone
  • Collaborate with passionate people committed to impacting teaching and learning
  • Share successes
  • Bring back fresh ideas to our classrooms, schools, and family

Thank you EdCampLI organizers for the wonderful gift of learning that you provided yesterday.

Today, I celebrate connected educators for the passion they possess as they go about their daily life affecting change in teaching and learning. Beside offering this post to Twitter edchats and the EdCampLI community, I am sending it out to social media sites as Celebrate This Week hosted by Ruth Ayres and DigitLit Sunday hosted by Margaret Simon. I honor connected educators and their efforts in staying abreast of digital innovations in the classrooms today and everyday. 

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