Wednesday, July 27, 2011

educamp magic

Reflecting on the magic of the educamp has my mind buzzing in all directions and has left me with soooo many questions.
Why is it such a successful professional development model?
How will the momentum be maintained?
Will educamps become the conference of the future - by the people, for the people?
How can we share the "Twitter Magic" with those who just don't get it?

I entered a room of people at a school 1,604 km away.  I had met 3 staff from the school the night before and have tweeted with four people over the past year.  I felt so welcome, at home, and a part of the educamp.  Twitter really does break down barriers and make you connect instantly.

The smackdown is an amazing way to start the conference.  It is timed - 2 minute slots.  You get to introduce yourself, share a passion, skill or learning opportunity.  Through the smackdown you get to meet everyone and out of this a number of conversation starters or discussion groups arise.  Groups then disperse to converse.  This is the greatest time - there are no timelines, guidelines, rules or instructions.  Everyone becomes involved.

The power of being in a room of like-minded educators is so stimulating.  It is all about connecting, sharing, and collaborating.  The day flew by and I was really reluctant to leave the premises to get lunch.  After a quick trip out to a local cafe - the conversations resumed and the learning continued.

I wonder if we should have an option of ordering food in for #educampdunners???  Although it is nice to get out - it would be nice to have the option of staying together and dining on site.

All too soon the day was over and I have new learning, new friends, new respect for the power of professional conversation and new enthusiasm for the learning and education in New Zealand.  We really are a nation rich in sharing!!!

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