Monday, 13 May 2013

REDCAMP 2013


I had the opportunity to attend REDCAMP in Red Deer, on Saturday. The opportunity came to my attention because of Twitter. I have never attended an edcamp before. Sean Grainger (@graingered) posted a link to information and registration for the event. I had an idea as to what the event would be about, and registered right away.

There were a few really neat things that came out of #redcamp13:
  • Reaffirmation of the fact that you can never trust navigation on your iPhone!
  • I got to meet people I had connected with on Twitter. @hewsonk27 @joe_bower @graingered @Weilinga1
  • Whenever you get educators together and let them talk about ways to move forward, best practice, tools to improve instruction, etc. you are guaranteed to have rich and powerful discussions.
  • I was able to make new connections. Sitting in sessions and listening to people talk about their learning, really gives you a good idea about where they are coming from. I added a number of new people to my PLN. Some people added me as well.
  • One of the most enjoyable sessions of the day was the JAM session. @mrtetz, @socgall, @BowmanTwits, myself and one other music teacher participated in writing a Redcamp song...                                                                                                                  
The quality isn't the best, but this type of collaboration is just as powerful as the discussions around education. We also discussed that Jam Sessions are the original Edcamp!
  • Not everyone participating in the sessions agreed on everything. Being open to the ideas of others and discussing opinions, is very powerful. It's the discussion that is the important part. We are always learning and it's so great to be learning from each other.
After the opening session, which itself provided some great ideas, I attended a session on what we are going to do now that PATs are over. The discussion was great, but there was a focus at first on speculation around what was going to be done to us as educators now. The discussion did turn more towards the opportunities that were presented if we choose to exercise our voice and put forward what our feelings as to where education can go from this point.

My second session was presented by @EbertsR and discussed establishing a culture of collaboration in your school. The collaborative culture we establish in our PLNs can add to the scholarship that exists in our schools.

After lunch I attended a discussion on Twitter with @jbechthold and @KirbyFecho. This was a smaller session, but really demonstrated the power of using Twitter in our schools and for our personal learning. One neat thing about this session was that there were three pre-service teachers, two of which facilitated the session. There are many reflective, forward thinking young teachers out there. It is exciting to see the passion and commitment that our up and coming members of the profession have.

The last session I attended, as I mentioned in my list above, was the JAM session. That was very fun, and a great way to end a great day.

I hope to be able to attend many more edcamps in the future!! YOU SHOULD TOO!!

D Propp
(This is also posted on my personal blog at www.principalpropp.com)