Saturday, July 20, 2013

edcampHome: A Few Initial Thoughts

edcampHome logo, created by Kelly Kermode
Oh man. I don’t really have words right now for what went down today. But I want to try to get something out today before my brain fries. A few thoughts, in no particular order.

I am so grateful to the participants who just rolled with the punches. Did we know it was going to take 50 minutes to set up the session board in the morning? Nope. But people hung with us. Did we know we’d cancel a session in order to respect our end time? Nope. Did we know that it might be tough for people to sign up for sessions and get the Google hangouts (GHOs) started with the people who wanted to be in them present? Well, yeah - we actually knew that. But man, people stayed positive. They came and wanted to learn. Despite the difficulties. So much respect, and thanks for sticking with it today.

I was so impressed with the explosion that the session board became. I totally forgot to credit Vicky Sedgewick for the idea I stole of hers and said this morning, but people really took the ‘What do I want to learn today?” to heart and took risks. Suggested sessions. Moderated sessions. Participated in GHOs. Slammed at the end of the day. So. Freaking. Rad.

Moderator team: thanks so much. You guys freaking rocked it. You lived through multiple sets of conflicting directions from the organizers, difficulty in choosing (or not choosing, as the case became) sessions to moderate, people wanting in and out of your sessions. Wow. Just wow. Whenever I meet one of you in real life, the first drink is on me. I am so humbled that such an #EduAwesome group of folks helped us along the way this Saturday. Wow. Just wow.

Lastly, Kelly, David, and Shawn: y’all rock.  For Realz. Y’all spent way too much time with me these last few weeks - and not enough time with your family - but man was that fun. Things got chaotic so much today, but no one freaked out, or even did anything other than smile. It was an absolute joy and honor to plan this event with you. I can’t wait to get to meet you guys face to face (or see you again, David).

I’m left with two takeaways. One, learning is messy (or a hot mess to quote my buddy Holly Clark). I’m glad that the edcampHome participants got to see us struggle and try to problem solve today, on the fly. Live. The more classrooms we can get teachers and students doing that in, the better. We’ll all be better for it. Fail fast, learn, and iterate. Learning is messy. Share it. Second, we - everyone, everyone I follow and interact with on Twitter - are #BetterTogether. Today doesn’t happen without the brainpower of a lot of people. From folks who didn’t attend today who gave us feedback in April and May to moderators who gave us suggestions along the way, to the rest of my organizing team: we are #BetterTogether. Keep relentlessly sharing and making my classroom a better place. I know I plan to.

That’s all I’ve got. I know others will write more eloquently and do a great job encapsulating the event. But I’m livestreaming a concert by my favorite band and it starts in 10 minutes. I wanted to get out some thoughts. Here they are.

Again, thank you all. Fail forward. Share the mess. We are all #BetterTogether.

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