Yesterday I headed to the Orlando area to experience another Edcamp. Each of them has been a unique experience, and this was certainly that. I loved the tie into Disney, the imagineers and innovation. I loved to see how the work and thought process of Walt's dreams and his different view ties into education. It actually inspired me to look more into the wonderful world of Disney and desire to know this history and mindset of Walt.
Eduheroes and Edufriends
It is hard to choose my favorite part of an Edcamp, but the people are certainly high on the list. As my connecting evolves, coming together with those who lead, support and inspire me to be better has to be a highlight. It is the people who create the learning. They are the heartbeat of the Edcamp. Without the people, the Edcamp doesn't exist. They bring the topics, the conversation, the experiences and the learning. They push forward the ideas. They will design what the day will bring. If you are there and attending, you are a part of that heartbeat. You are helping to create the experience. It is important to know that. Participate, ask questions, and share! I loved seeing those who I have connected with via Twitter over the last two years. Those relationships are growing and I go with the knowledge of who I want to see and who will help me move forward. However, it was awesome to be with those I teach with on a daily basis. Our school and district culture is changing and you can see that as we come together at an event such as this. I love that we go, and then can still carry it on and reflect together.
The session topics I chose were not all new to me. I love to be able to say that...the sessions I chose. I love having the ability to direct my learning. I love looking at the schedule and know I am in charge. They are all open to me. There is no limit and no one telling me which I will go to. I can choose to go, and if it doesn't meet my needs, I can walk. I can also return and look at the shared documents and see what I missed. It is all available to me. I enjoyed choosing things I had an idea about, yet hearing it from the perspective of the facilitators or others in the room sharing their experiences. My favorite sessions are where you are hearing many perspectives, ideas and experiences. The "round tables" where it is hard to see who is facilitating. Where the voices are many and the ideas are diverse, that is where the best learning occurs.
"We need to keep our feet in the past...and in the future"
This was my take away quote of the day. An ideal that came from Walt Disney, not sure if it is a direct quote from him, but certainly was a reflection of his thought. It resonates with me because it shows where my philosophy has evolved into over the last two years. As you participate in professional development such as an Edcamp or Twitter chats you are hearing of the cutting edge tools and processes entering schools. You become one of the innovators in education. It seems to be a natural process. You are hearing about what is rising up, you have your foot in the future. I have become that teacher who is trying new tools, trying new methods, using the social media tools to connect to the world and widening my perspective and my students. Yet, you find you won't let go of the foundation of what you know is right and beneficial to students. As you have one foot in the future, you still hold on to your past. The things that will always hold true. They can and should mix together, it is where the magic takes place. I started my day in a session on coding and ended the day in a session on the importance of storytelling. How appropriate...a foot in the future and yet holding on to one of the greatest tools of our past, the art of story telling.