Spell Check tries to change unconference to conference but that is never a change that should be made…
It had been awhile since I had had the pleasure of attending an unconference. So I got up early on a Saturday (5am) and left the Jersey Shore to head to NYC for edcampnyc. When I got there I was delighted not only to be able to touch base with a many of my friends from the ADE program but to have the opportunity to lead a conversation about Augmented Reality on the session board.
Evolution of the Conversation
I facilitated a chat about Augmented Reality that began with the group getting to bond with an AR coloring activity. Once I had presented some of the tools in my AR toolkit we began to engage in a dialog. The big idea is student learning and student empowerment and AR is a tool that supports all of these things. My ADE buddy Meg was able to add a lot to the conversation – she even shared out about a twitter hashtag that I did not know existed #arevolution. We also spoke about how and why AR is a more powerful tool than QR Codes. Someone in my session told me that I “dropped a bomb” when I made that statement. It was nice to take part it a discussion of something which I am passionate about with other dedicated professionals.
Seeing the Passion of Others
Speaking of passion, I was almost brought to tears when I saw the work of my NYC ADE buddy Adam. Adam is a music teacher who works with special needs students. Since the edcamp format allows time for conversation I was able to sit it on his chat about how iPads allow for differentiation within his learning environment. I have known him for a few months but felt privileged to finally get some vivid snapshots of what it is like to be a student in his classroom. Plus he gave us iPads and let us have a jam session which was really cool – when was the last time anyone got to do that at a conference?
Being a Connected Educator and Learner
Being a connected educator was a great theme at this unconference. I was sad that I had to miss the sessions led by Reshan and Ross and many others but I was able to spy on what was going on via the Twitter feed. I even got some great resources from a shared Google Doc from Ross’s Common Core Math chat that I will use with my students this week. I ended my day with ADE buddy Meg and her chat about all of the awesome things that her school community is doing with publishing and truly being a globally connected school. She had the quote of the day when she stated “never let your students feel like their classroom is only the four walls around them.”
So spellcheck don’t ever change that unconference to conference because these unconferences are great happenings and I find their format to be quite refreshing…