So how does a nerdy ed tech professor spend her Saturday morning on August 5th. (before school starts)..
Well she first goes to a garage sale, but then at 9am she participates in the Edumatch EdCamp. http://www.edcampedumatch.org/
This is an online Edcamp that lasted from 10 to 12 eastern time and consisted of 3 sessions and an opening and closing. It was run by the group #Edumatch which is group that helps educators connect via social media.
I heard about it when Sarah Thomas posted about it on Twitter and I joined for a few reasons.
- They were using the Unhangout from MIT which was a platform that is open source and designed to do things like online conferences. I wanted to explore it as a user for maybe use with our online masters. (btw.. it worked really well)
- It was a chance for me to better connect with #EduMatch who I first met at #Badgesummit and now that I know to look for them, I am really impressed with their group work..(I followed many members individually but did not get the big picture). Read more about it here: http://www.edumatch.org/
- It is a good way to reconnect and get my head in the fall semester.
So it started at 10 am EST (9 CST) with an opening session.. In this session the organizers introduced the event and also the side events going on. There is a badgelist page where people can earn badges https://www.badgelist.com/Edcamp-EduMatch-2017 and a google classroom where people could share resources as well. They did a really good job modeling using technology to support learning. And as someone who has trouble not multi-tasking the multiple modalities kept me engaged for the full two hours.
In the lobby while the welcome was going on and in between sessions – there was an chat room that people could leave messages.
Then at the top of each session, people could propose a session (just like EdCamp) and then people could join.
In the first session, I attended helping reluctant ed tech teachers, the second I lead was on what Preservice teachers should know, and the third I attended on Makerspace Events. I learned from all of them and they are relevant to my job and my students.
So you left the main room and then went to a small room with up to 10 participants.. They asked people to record if they could. When time was up we were asked to return to the main room or lobby.
I will focus on my session (The video will be here https://youtu.be/aCyttPAC7Gk but I did miss the first few introductions)
We had a few themes come out in the session that were super important.. What is it most important for new teachers to know: Relationships and Planning and that hit most things.
If you are using technology or not – it all comes down to planning. Having a plan, archiving materials, and having a plan cuts down on classroom management issues.
For relationships – it is all about relationships with both teachers and understanding the chain of command in a school and following.. Ie.. even if you really excited to get started, you can’t burn up the chain and have to respect it.. Also, in a relationship sense – students all have issues – and behavior management is easier if you have a personal relationship with kids. Finally, in the last few minutes one participant shared that being culturally responsive is so important. This too is a manifestation of good relationships and being able to understand students as people.
This was a very enlightening session and I loved all the voices I heard – new and experienced teachers, other people who work with training new teachers, and technology people as well. In the end it was never about the tech, but more about the planning and relationships.. A good take away.
Overall I really enjoyed the format. There are few things that I would have changed.. ie.. had a place to share social media addresses, being able to boot someone out if they tried to hijack a discussion – but overall it was a great experience and I could see using it in the future with my students both graduate and undergraduate.
I hope to participate in more Edumatch sessions in the future. This group has great positive energy and a wonderful collaborative vibe.. Funny in that getting the full edumatch picture was probably one of the best things I got from #Badgesummit (completely unrelated really).