Last Saturday Carolyn Stuart and I attended Educamp Welly, hosted by St. Mary’s College in Thorndon. We joined more than 100 other teachers, who had travelled from afar afield as Auckland, Palmerston North, Hawkes Bay and Wanaka. There was an enthusiastic and positive vibe, and we had a great day.
EduCamps follow the unconference format. Sessions are led by an individual who is interested in a topic, or has an issue to discuss. If you are interested in that subject, you head to that session. The session may take the form of a presentation with Q&A, or an open forum for sharing of ideas. One of the best bits of this format is the serendipitous nature, and having an opportunity to be challenged, to contribute, and then continue conversations beyond the room.
Our day started with a introductions and a user built Smackdown session to introduce participants to a wide range of ideas. After a quick break for morning tea we had a series of sessions on coding in schools, Minecraft, design thinking, SOLO taxonomy, science in schools and a myriad of others (including a quick presentation from me about N4L, Pond, and the Managed Network). The sessions were short, but full of animated discussion.
It was an enjoyable time, and there are a couple of blog posts that I’d encourage you to read, to gain some perspective on the types of teachers that attend these events: Sonya Van Schaijik and Leanne Stubbings are two excellent educators who reflect the spirit of open sharing.
A big shout out to the Philippa and her WellyEd crew and CORE Education for their support too.
Hopefully I’ve whet your appetite enough to want to get involved. Check out the EduCamp website for details on what EduCamps might be hosted near you throughout 2015.