This weekend I attended #edcampmadwi, Edcamp Madison Wisconsin. For those unfamiliar with edcamps, they are informal conferences. There is no schedule and no leader per say. There are organizers who do a tremendous amount of work preparing for the event. However once the attendees arrive at the location of the event, the rest is up to the participants. It begins with a social gathering time accompanied by a light breakfast, although at Madison there were some amazing looking pastries. Then the magic begins. Anyone and everyone is free to suggest a topic for discussion. You can suggest things you feel like sharing, the things that you are excited about in your own practice. Or you can suggest sessions on topics you want to learn more about. The organizers facilitate the building of the schedule.
Schedule is created now what?
Once the schedule is created, every person is free to choose what sessions they will attend. The coolest part about all of this is if you step into a session that isn't for you, just use your feet and find a new session. If there isn't a session that really rocks your fancy, go out to the common area and connect with others. This is where some of the great collaboration sessions have happened as well.
While in each session, you may find a reluctant facilitator who will start by asking for ideas from others and basically is a conversation moderator. This allow everyone to have a voice and steer the conversation. You may find someone who is fired up about the topic, has resources to share, and they are going to run the show. This are great when the resources are what you are looking for. Often times these leaders, and I have been this facilitator at times wants to demonstrate the idea, concept, technology etc. and then open it up to others. It is up to the rest of the attendees to jump in when opportunity presents itself to ask questions, share their resources, and make the session what they want it to be.
I have been in many different sessions and have seen a variety of formats. In the end I and everyone in the session had opportunity to make a choice to stay or leave. If we stay, we also have a choice to contribute, ask questions, engage and learn, or just to be present. Edcamps are all about choice.
How does this all connect to #SSTLAP? Well at this weekend's edcamp, I connected with Chuck Taft again and we discussed how great our GHO (Google Hangout) Session for #sstlap went. I had been thinking about doing some sessions like this since attending my #edcamphome day of learning a few years ago. The idea of learning by connecting via a GHO while sitting at home is intriguing.
I propose establishing the first ever #edcampSSTLAP which would consist of a multitude of session options. Tonight's chat (Thursday) is about organizing this event. I want to see if people are interested, and what topics they might want to connect around.
My plan for our weekly #sstlap chat is to create Google Doc or Docs to allow for collaboration of ideas to help us plan our edcamp.
What will this entail?
First and foremost we need moderators. There can only be 10 people in a session at a time.
If there are people with Google Hangouts especially inviting people in and having people drop out of a GHO would be a plus but not a must.
A few people who would like to help me organize this undertaking would be appreciated.
Then the ideas for what we should talk about.
This will hopefully begin to take shape as we discuss in our chat this Thursday 3/5/15
I am sure there are other things but I am simply brainstorming at this point.
Questions for tonight are not only designed for a great chat tonight, but also to spark your interest in continuing the conversation via GHO in the very near future.
Q1 What are the most important concepts of #tlap that every teacher should understand and apply to their teaching? #sstlap
Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take a chance and be great? -Jimmy Johnson
Q2 What are you doing to be great? How do you play your Drum, and what Tune are you playing? pg 151 #sstlap
Life isn't 100% or Fail! pg 155
Q3 What stands in your way of being Amazing? Don't Let Critics Steal Your Soul! How can you stomp on Life's Obstacles? #sstlap
All Pirates travel with a crew
Q4 Who are the most important people in your PLN? You can branch out beyond #sstlap for this answer!
Spread the message
Q5 How do you spread the Pirate Message to grow the crew and make the world a better place? #sstlap
Are there lessons you could sell tickets to?
Q6 What makes a Ticket Lesson! Dissect what it takes to create a dynamic lesson! #sstlap
"The important thing is to never stop questioning"- Albert Einstein
Q7 What questions should we be asking to assist in our quest for improvement? #sstlap
Q8- What topics are you interested in connecting with other teachers to learn and grow? #sstlap