Saturday, January 11, 2014

#edcampSac: An edcamp Done Right

I attended my eleventh edcamp (I think) today. And it was awesome. Why?

Nicol, Colin, and Peter building the #edcampSac session board.

It was smoothly run. The organizers - Colin O’Connor, Peter Strawn, Trisha Sanchez, Cynthia Cost, and Danielle Lemke did their homework. Signs getting us in. Copious amounts of coffee, apple juice, and donuts. A wifi network without a ton - or anything that I found - blocked. (It sucks to have Twitter blocked at an edcamp…) This team did the little things that you need to do to run a successful edcamp. Props!

There were - as always - a ton of awesome people there. I got to connect with an old friend from #merit11. I saw folks from the GAFE Summit earlier this week. I got to meet people I had only interacted with on the Twitterz. I met a bunch of new people.

There were a lot of new edcampers - this is the first edcamp in Sacramento. The newbies brought a ton of positive energy. Which is, you know, always awesome.

The carpool to and from Sacramento was nothing short of epic. Thanks Greg and Kristen! The funniest share on the ride home? This.

The sessions were small. There weren’t monster thirty person sessions. People had the space to talk. To think. To share.

The people. Greg mentioned this in the SLAM at the end of the day, and it really resonated with me. Greg had attended a couple SoCal edcamps, but this was his first NorCal edcamp. He was impressed by how laid back the people were. Not pretentious. There to learn. All of us. Couldn’t agree more about the crowd at #edcampSac. People had open minds. They shared ideas. Insecurities. Confessions. Shortcomings. With, in some cases, complete strangers! Loved the attitude folks had.

Really, though, what made this a great edcamp was the sessions. Because today, I had the absolute joy of attending four edcamp sessions. Not edcamp presentations. Not straight-up presentations. EDCAMP SESSIONS. Discussions. I’m not even sure who pitched the three sessions that I was in that I didn’t facilitate. Awesome, awesome, awesome. I was a part of four sessions today that all edcamp sessions should be like.

For real: this is what an edcamp is supposed to be all about. Dedicated, awesome educators. The little things were taken care of. Sessions that were conversations, not presentations.

Props, #edcampSac team. I’ve been on the organizer side of a couple edcamps: they’re not easy to pull off. I hope some day I help run an edcamp that goes as smoothly as #edcampSac.

Things That Suck


Okay. I have to include this picture that Rae Fearing took at the beginning of Things That Suck.

I tried to kick Kristen out of edcampSac. It didn’t work.