This weekend I had the pleasure of attending my sixth (or is it seventh?) EdCamp at the William Davies Middle School in Mays Landing, NJ (where I work). However, as a co-Organizer, this time was different. I did not host any sessions, but I was able to attend (at least for a few minutes) every session as I was the resident photographer of the day. My goodness, these sessions were some of the best I've ever been in. They were pure EdCamp: discussions rather than presentations. Conversational and participant-driven, rather than pre-planned conferences. What was interesting to me was that I found a common theme in many of the sessions, one I would like to continue to pay attention to and plan to help integrate into my school's character development program for next year: the theme of media literacy, digital citizenship, and the removal of the invisible cloak that many students feel they have when they are on social media. This topic will not be effective as isolated lessons, but integrated and mentioned at every opportunity.
While the total number of attendees was on the smaller side, each session certainly had enough people to have valuable conversations, with plenty of ideas for everyone to bring back to their own schools. Personally, I have connected with four people I met on Saturday, either to get more information on a topic, or help someone else. We had an incredible number of sponsors this year resulting in almost enough prizes for everyone, regardless of the raffle. Yes, they are held on Saturdays, but there is no doubt that EdCamps are the most valuable professional development we, as educators, have available to us.
I intend this blog to be a reflection journal of sorts, on topics such as teaching, leadership, pedagogy, and tacos.