Sunday, October 10, 2010
Why EdCampKC is Important to Me
On Saturday, November 6 my wife and I will be attending EdcampKC at the University of Central Missouri. EdcampKC is an unconference where the attendees are also the presenters.
Many districts, including mine have focused all or a very large percentage of professional development money toward communication arts and mathematics. Unless the conference can be tied directly to either or both of those areas, there is no monetary support from the district. Obviously, this means that I must pay my own way to any conference I wish to attend that deals with technology, even unfortunately technology that can be tied into those areas. Thanks to the sponsors, this conference is free. All it will cost my wife and I is a hotel room, gas, and some money for food. When you consider how expensive other conferences such as METC or ISTE are, you can see how inexpensive this conference really is.
Speaking of METC and ISTE, are you aware that presenters are still required to pay to get in to the conferences they are providing the professional development for? While METC gives a discounted rate for presenteres, ISTE requires payment in full! If you choose to present at edcampKC it will cost you nothing. If you choose to just attend edcampKC the price is still zero!
I will be presenting this year at METC on the importance of commenting on student blogs. While I have never been to this conference before I gather it is a rather large conference. When I went to the ISTE conference in San Antonio I was overwhelmed by the number of people attending. My point is, I am looking forward to edcampKC because it will be small enough for me to make real connections with others. I went to ISTE to attend, I am going to METC to present, but I am going to edcampKC to meet people. These are people that share my passion for student learning who I will not only learn from them at the conference, but I will be able to continue to learn from them online throughout the year.
Ever since I really started to participate on Twitter, my goal was to find passionate educators that care about their students and want to focus on learning. While I have made many contacts and even a few good relationships I cannot wait to develop the types of relationships I have jealously followed others making at unconferences they attended.
I also want my wife (a pre-service teacher) to develop a few relationships to that can help guide her through the rest of college and into her teaching career as well. :)