Friday, February 17, 2012

Reflections on #EdCampStL 2012

Wheel of a Handmade Cart found at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
I wrote two posts on my experiences from the first EdCampKC: A Rather Painful Reflection and The Don'ts of Attending EdCampKC. Feel free to read them.

Attending an EdCamp is different than attending a typical conference. When you show up there is an understanding that the day's learning is supposed to be fluid. The biggest barrier to entry is not knowing the people that are in attendance. Strike that, actually going with people you know may be an even bigger barrier!

EdCamps are about sharing and learning together. A big part of your experience should be spent finding people to talk to so that you can create relationships that allow you to learn from others over years instead of hours. I strive to take time to appreciate the people that I have made friendships with online when I finally meet them face to face. If you come with others, don't spend all your time with them. The more people you meet, the better your experience will be.

I was fortunate enough to have my wife Dianna and my eldest daughter Teal also go. We didn't attend the same session because we have different interests and different needs. This is important to recognize. You are there to learn to be a better teacher, identify your interests or your deficits and go for it. Let your friends do the same with theirs.

In retrospect I didn't learn any earth shaking new tools or methods that I can employ immediately so that my students all become elligible for Mensa but I created more opportunities to learn through creating stronger bonds with my online friends. That was well worth the personal day and the 5 1/2 hour one way drive it took to get there.  

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