Saturday was the first EdCamp Baltimore, hosted by the Digital Harbor High School located along the Inner Harbor. I left home with the sun rising in my rearview mirror, and arrived with plenty of time to get signed in and settled in. One of the (many) things I love about edcamps is how friendly everyone attending is. You just don’t get the cranky, uncommunicative attendees who do their best to stay in their own little bubbles, even on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. Within about five minutes of sitting down, I had made several new friends and we were chattering excitedly about the day. I always leave edcamps with my PLN even larger and more varied than before.
The session board for the day filled up amazingly fast! They had to open up an extra room just to accomodate all of the sessions being posted. I had two topics of my own on the board – iPads in Education and Tech Tools for Teachers. Both sessions went wonderfully well. In Tech Tools we had a busy hour sharing our favorite tech tools. We ran the gamut from Symbaloo and Class Dojo, to Pinterest and Brain Breaks! We probably could have gone on for another hour, given the time. The iPad session was another success. We had a rousing round-table style discussion where everyone shared their successes and problems, and answered and asked questions about deployment, curriculum, and apps. I jokingly referred to it as ‘Things I Wish I Knew BEFORE Starting an iPad Pilot’!
The other two sessions I went to were just as good. I joined a packed room for a discussion about teacher collaboration in the digital age, and we were able to share the discussion with the folks at EdCamp MSP as well as a principal in a NJ school using Google Hangouts. It was a great example of how we are changing the way we connect, both personally and professionally. The other session I attended was on social media in education. Although we briefly covered sites like Pinterest, we mostly focussed on the ways to use Twitter in the classroom. There were some fantastic ideas shared, including using Twitter to find/discuss current events, and using a class hashtag to share discussions on a specific topic. I’m already a Twitter convert in terms of using it for professional development, so it was a nice change to talk about how to use it with students to enhance curriculum.
We wrapped up our day with a fast paced Smackdown, where we shared apps, websites, and ideas. They had a ton of great raffle prizes, and I was excited to win a subscription to EduBlogs! Can’t wait to get my account info and try it out! I finished up my day driving home with the sun setting in my rearview mirror as I reflected on all of the new ideas EdCamp Baltimore gave me. Looking forward to the next one!
You can read all of the great tweets from the day here!