I caught up with a few sessions for edcampglobal over Saturday, and loads of chat on twitter. Sunday morning dawned and I had to extract myself from family time and head to the office for our session: edcamp Global 2015: Harnessing your Ecosystems
So, what is it, that takes you away from your family time on a Sunday?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata - undoutedly it is always the people.
Some time ago the amazing Fiona Grant gathered together a group of educators from around New Zealand to share a story, discuss how we are connecting in and around New Zealand, indeed, how we are harnessing our ecosystems.
A bit of history is necessary to share my passion for the #educamp philosophy.
Way back in July 2011, I travelled to Whangarei and attended my first ever educamp - educamptaitokerau and I was completely and utterly hooked.
And so begun the journey of educamps in the mainland...
Claire and Anne share the story of the inaugural educampdunners...
Claire Buist from St Clair School, Dunedin, and Anne Kenneally from St Mary's School, Mosgiel, tell of their experience in holding an educamp in Dunedin. Claire and Anne describe how the day came about and why the educamp experience was so successful.
Evident from the onset was the open sharing and support from Fiona and from around New Zealand. For each and every educamp there is a genuine willingness to support others in this crusade - to provide an opportunity for open, free, connecting, networking and sharing.
Dunedin has now celebrated six educamps and a padcamp. Each one unique, special and its own kind of MAGICAL.
Alongside this in the deep south, Christchurch held its first educamp in 2012, and has followed up with an annual event and the inaugural #padcamp in 2012.
Timaru has recently celebrated its third educamp, Central Otago have celebrated three educamps and Invercargill is hosting their second educamp next Saturday, 15th August.
What is it that keeps this incredible phenomena going. Undoubtedly, as I said at the start, it is the people and the open sharing. It is impossible to come away from an educamp without a multitude of ideas, connections, and fully recharged batteries. The buzz of people, sharing, learning is simply contagious. Continually, we battle with ensuring the news of educamps is spread far and wide. We rely on participants to spread the news and bring newbies to events. We rely on the generosity of educators to share their practice, successes and challenges. We rely on enthusiasm for sharing to our SMACKDOWNS.
So, here we are, eight years into a journey that Fiona began in Auckland, celebrating educamps, connected educators the length and breadth of our country.
Thank you Fiona for your MAGIC, your inspiration and generous sharing, and support. New Zealand educators are ever so much richer for the experience.
Thanks also to Annemarie Hyde, Barbara Reid, Juliet Revell and Philippa Antipas for sharing in the conversation. Indeed, a wonderful way to spend time on a Sunday morning.
A huge part of the educamp experience for me has been in travelling to other events and hosting educators from around NZ. So next week, we travel south, for #educampinvers. Please come and join us, face to face, or virtually and experience the MAGIC of connecting and sharing with like minded educators...