“Connecting with people who share the same passions affirms that you’re not alone; that there are others like you and that, while many might not understand your passion, some do.” – Ken Robinson “The Element”
That pretty much sums up my time at EdcampOmaha this past weekend. From the moment I got out of the car to meet Brent Catlett (@catlett1), the ‘teacher talk’ started. We met at the zoo for a nice tourist event, but as we walked through the zoo, we were talking students and school with his wife.
I guess this is what I love about edcamps, having the chance to talk about what I love. I have friends and family who know about my passion of teaching and learning with students, but I don’t know if they fully understand. I feel at times I am just talking to myself or a wall as I discuss my beliefs of education and what I do in the classroom.
However, when I attend an edcamp, all is different. I can talk in terms people understand. I can talk with others about my thoughts, feelings, and passion. I can get into deep conversation about all things education. I can be brave enough to stand in front of adults and lead discussions. . . . .
I think that is one thing I love MOST about edcamps. When LEADING a discussion! I am not the know all. I enjoy getting discussions going and everyone being involved. For this to happen, one of the first things I did was move all the tables in the room to groups and NOT lecture rows.
So many links and sites are shared during these discussions. It is so difficult to keep up, especially when you’re leading the discussion. That’s why it was nice to hear about The Archivist and be able to archive the event on Twitter. You can see the tweets from #edcampomaha here.
One of the best aspects of the conference is meeting people you have been talking with on Twitter for some time. It’s also a great place to meet new people; both in person and on Twitter. The relationships you build help motivate you both at home and to go to more conferences.
One excited session I sat in was led by Preservice Teachers. YES!!! PRE-SERVICE!!! They had questions for us and got a lot of information out of us. They will take the information with them back to the classrooms as students to help others.
One Preservice Teacher who came did not expect the reaction to her coming that she received. Whitney Holle (@WhitneyHolle) was standing in the hall talking on the phone during the final session of the day. As she was talking she said, “I’m at a tech conference where Uncle Jim, a principal, should be.” I loved what she had to say, so I tweeted it out and tagged her in it. When she was finished, she wanted to go back in the session, but it was an exit only door. (UNO has some strange rooms) We waved a couple people down, they opened the door for her, I tweeted how she went the wrong way . . . .then she was famous. (If you look for #whitneyblog on the archive you will see she became a hit)
The big thing to remember is when walking away from an edcamp, you have both online and in person relationships who have a passion for education and students as you do. Having them as motivation helps me know that what I believe is not abnormal, but rather makes the passion stronger.
Thank you to ALL whom I met in Omaha this past weekend. I can’t wait to see you all next year! (if not before)