Wednesday, May 4, 2011
EdCampBham = Giant Vulcan Mind Meld
The weekend of April 29th-May 2nd was a momentous one. The 2nd worst tornado in the history of the U.S. devastated Alabama and other parts of the south, leaving over 18 schools severely damaged. Then we all received the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in a strategic maneuver courtesy of the US Navy SEALS. Sandwiched between these two historic events was EdCamp Birmingham (#edcampbham); a historic event itself.
EdCamp Birmingham can best be described as a Woodstock style professional development day attended by education mavens from schools in and around Alabama. Attendees were greeted with a blank session board, index cards, and sharpies. If you had a subject you wanted to brainstorm or a presentation tucked away you simply wrote it on an index card and attached it to the session board. The topics varied widely from Using QR Codes in the Classroom to Teaching 2030. No matter the subject, the presentations were fresh, lively, exciting and anything but passive. Every person in a session was the “presenter”, creating what could best be described as a giant Vulcan mind meld!
One of the most notable moments of EdCampBham was the Web 2.0 Smackdown that took place right after lunch. During this Smackdown event EdCampBham attendees had one minute to share a web 2.0 site with the rest of the group. I got fired up learning about new tools to share with the educators in my district and PLNs. (http://www.scribd.com/full/54613521?access_key=key-sr926gcnjpqrb7i3eh)
The highlight of the entire weekend was meeting my professional idol @cybraryman1, Mr. Jerry Blumengarten, and his lovely wife Gail. I met @cybraryman1 at my first Tweet Up event the night before EdCampBham, thus enabling me to cross two goals off my Bucket List. If you are unfamiliar with @cybraryman1 (shame on you) take a gander at his website: http://www.cybraryman.com/index.html . It has become my educational go to site and should be yours as well.
The first EdCampBham Tweet Up took place at Jackson’s Grill & Bar and was a perfect way to meet EdCampBham attendees in a casual setting. Ideas raced faster than Usain St. Leo Bolt as various discussions took place around good food and drinks. One last Tweet Up took place after EdCampBham had ended at Brio’s, a tasty Italian restaurant. I was grateful for this as I was not ready to leave the presence of such dedicated, knowledgeable educators. If you have a chance to participate in a Tweet Up with people of this magnitude I would highly recommend it.
If you missed EdCampBham or the EdCamp in your area (http://edcamp.wikispaces.com/home) be sure to keep an eye out for it next year. It is a must for every innovative educator.
You can access other blog entries and more information about EdCampBham at: http://edcampbham.wikispaces.com/Edcamp+Reflections
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