Monday, February 17, 2014

Some #playdate14 San Jose Thoughts

The video above is the epitome of #playdate. It’s something I never would have taken the time to make, because without #playdate I never would have had time to mess with Pixorial. Is it beautiful? No. Does it give me a window into how I would use Pixorial in my classroom because I got a chance to use the tool? Absolutely.

What is a playdate? An opportunity to explore tools - hands-on - with other eager learners. Instead of leaving an edtech conference with a load of tools to mess with but no time to learn them, playdate gives participants time to mess with and learn tech tools of their choice in a space with other educators who want to learn the tool.

The concept of a playdate seemed cool. After picking the brains of the founders of playdate, Andrew Schwab, Lisa Highfill, Rachel Diephouse, Kyle Brumbaugh and I set out to make one happen in the Bay Area.

I’ve gotta say, it was a blast. I got to mess with Pixorial - and envision a workflow for student-created videos on Chromebooks in my classroom, Minecraft - a program some of my kids LOVE and one I hadn’t had time to mess with, and If This Then That - an automation program I had used a little bit, but only scratched the surface on.

Would I have had time to learn these tools? Maybe on spring break. But to get to learn them in a room with other excited educators? Yes please!

#playdate14 in San Jose was a blast. It was a different kind of tech conference, but a very fun one. I loved leaving knowing tools better, not knowing more tools.

Am I done with paid tech conferences? With edcamps? Heck no - I’m really excited about edcampSV on Saturday! Should there be a space in your conference schedule for a playdate though? Yes. There most certainly should be.