Edcamp Broken Arrow Style

Posted: August 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

EdcampBA BINGO Card for the day

Yesterday was yet another great day of collaborating and learning with teachers. As many of you know, I’m an edcamp junkie. Why? Well, I think it because of the collaboration that I have with many of my educator friends during the one day event. However, maybe it’s time to dig a little deeper.

Saturday morning started at 6:30 when Toby Brown came to pick me up to head to Broken Arrow. Those who know Toby, he is a great talker and visionary for what we need in education. Our conversation in the car only pumped me up to see everyone.

When arriving at Broken Arrow High School, I was given the confirmation that I forgot to register. They didn’t have my name on their list. Oh well, I stayed anyway.

In the first session I led (sort of) Twitter 101. I instantly knew there were some people who just needed help getting started and others who were on Twitter, but didn’t know what to do. So I moved people around and next thing I knew it was loud and so many groups of people talking. Thank you to Jamie Fithian, Toby, Greg Gorman, Broken Arrow high school students, and everyone else who just took a few people and just answered questions for them.

This was the first time that I saw so many people just break into groups and just go for it. In the past Twitter 101 sessions would be two people talking and everyone else listening and asking questions. It was awesome to see so many people involved and solving problems.

When time was up, I had a few ladies who were still struggling a little with getting started on Twitter, but of course, there was a group about to be coming in for the next session. I told these ladies to meet me in the library and I would continue to talk with them and get them connected. It was awesome to see these educators want to learn more and become better at their craft. They weren’t ashamed that they weren’t “getting it” and met me in the library. I was able to answer their questions in a much quieter atmosphere and really share for what they needed most.

At the end, they made the comment, “Thank you for helping us with our remediation needs. Even teachers need remediation once in awhile.” I thought that was awesome to say. It’s true, we as educators really need to see the needs of our students (and others) and help out when it is needed.

High School students leading a session at EdcampBA. Photo credit @SappingtonTony

The third session I went to was led by a few Broken Arrow High School students. In this session we listened to what they had to tell teachers. It was a great way to just sit and listen to their views about the classroom. A couple of great quotes said by them were:

  • You (teachers) make a bigger impact on some kids than their parents do.
  • Don’t overlook the effort that we put into our work. We work hard for you.
  • We want to be better students for teachers who build a relationship with us.
  • “Not everyone learns in a classroom setting.”

It was great to hear what they said, especially that last one. I whole-heartedly believe that we need to help students learn in an environment in which they need. How do we do that though?

Lunch at Louie’s. Photo credit @TParks

Next was lunch. You always have to enjoy the lunch time. I headed out with a group of “junkies” who I enjoy meeting up with at Edcamps. However, this one was a little different. We had the privilege of Joy Hofmeister, candidate for Oklahoma State Superintendent, join us. It was encouraging to sit and visit with her while listening to what she had to say, but also sharing our views. This was the only interaction that I had with her during the day, but she did attend the entire day at BAHS. We also helped her start to follow a few people on Twitter.

After lunch was the App Smackdown, which I did not attend. Instead I was with a few people and we continued a conversation that was start at EdcampKS about EdcampNextGeneration. What does it look like? Where do we (Edcamp Junkies) go from here to go deeper? I’ll talk about this in a post later this week.

The last session that I attended was #OKMath. It was a small group of math teachers, but we discussed how we can stay connected and learn from one another. Being new to Oklahoma, I want to know who my resources are and what we can do to improve math education in our state. It was a great way to connect and I followed some more great educators on Twitter.

The day was outstanding and of course the ride home with Toby was even more inspiring. When I arrived home I was exhausted. I was ready for bed.

Thank you to everyone who made this yet another successful Edcamp! Next up for me is EdcampStilly right here in my town!!

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