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First things first:  A thanks to the team from edcampSWO 2012!

The event would never have taken place without the dedicated efforts of:

@shannonhazel, teacher GECDSB

@mraspinall, teacher LKDSB

@globeandtims, teacher WECDSB

@TOBluejay12, administrator GECDSB

@CCHBiology, teacher WECDSB

@mrwideen, teacher GECDSB

@mrswideen, teacher GECDSB

Thanks also too:

@knightchris, consultant GECDSB

@sadone, administrator / consultant WECDSB

N.Fegahli, teacher GECDSB

The Students from Catholic Central Highschool (for being our welcome, sign in and video crew!)

These individuals came through huge in order to secure sponsors, get t-shirts made, take care of food, troubleshoot technology, create websites and SM and generate ticket sales.  They did all of this splendidly in order to pull off the first event of its kind at the University of Windsor, Faculty of Education.  It is rather interesting to note that all of our plans were done through google+, hangout, email, twitter DMs, texts and one 45 minute f2f meeting.  Preparations begin on the car ride home from edcampDetroit in May and ended the morning of October 13, 2012.  Amazing times we live in!

Preparing for an edcamp is scary.  As I stated the morning of the event; you make all the plans, secure the venue, pump out your message via SM/Blogs and then pray people will show up.  And that is not the end of it.  After you have 80+ educators in the room you then start to pray, even beg, for folks to sign up on the matrix board to facilitate a conversation, evoke a question or present and share some valued information.  Prayers were answered (thanks Chad and Ian) as we had 65% of our ticket takers show up, 15 % send regrets and 20% no shows.  As for #2, because of the participant driven Professional Learning, we offered  21 sessions: 10 conversations and 11 presentations.

Our session matrix had 21 options!

The University of Windsor, Faculty of Education, and specifically Dean Clinton Beckford and Dr. Finney Cherian were our gracious hosts on the day of the event.  The University provided the space, the custodial staff and free WiFi for the day to edcampSWO.  Without this location the day would never have run so smoothly.  Hosting an edcamp at the Faculty of Education brought with it an inherent feeling of professionalism and eliminated any chance that the locale would determine specific board dominance.  We came together to learn and we learned differently on Saturday.  We learned with autonomy by offering, selecting and participating in learning that we determined we needed based on our reflections and dialogue.  As a result educators left with new ideas, action steps and most likely something new to try with kids on Monday!  Most also left with plans to hit #edcampDetroit in May!

Thanks to all participants that came and stepped up to the plate.  We look forward to hearing about your work with students as a result of your learning at edcampSWO!

We had a great day.  While reflecting on the learning at the Rock Bottom afterglow we secured two more edcampSWO leaders!  We also guaranteed that there will be an edcampSWO 2013.

I have a call to make to Dean Beckford first thing tomorrow morning!

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A member of my PLN asked today for her PLN to respond to this:

@AdmiMom PLN ~ What is your favorite motivational quote?

By far, By far it is this lovely little mantra by George Bernard Shaw,

This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as I live it is my privilege – my *privilege* to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I love. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me; it is a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got a hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
George Bernard Shaw
Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 – 1950)

This is how I strive to live my life.  Thanks George.

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At school last month we completed a “Fun Index.”  The idea stemmed from a Blog entry at Education Innovation.  The results, questions and data are below.  There were 25 respondants of 25 faculty.Are We Fun? Staff Members were polled for this survey.                        
                                                   
4.32 1 Are new teachers and staff made to feel welcome?                                
3.68 2 School meetings are positive and light?                                    
3.44 3 Does your school have fun activities at least once a month?                              
4.40 4 Is it common to hear teachers and staff laughing at school?                              
4.20 5 Can you be yourself at school?                                      
3.20 6 Does your school have a lot of celebrations or special events?                              
4.28 7 When brainstorming ideas, do teachers like to have fun?                              
4.72 8 Is your Principal usually optimistic and smiling?                                  
4.04 9 Would your students say you are fun to be with in class?                              
4.72 10 Do you have friends at school that make you laugh?                                
4.48 11 Do you, the teachers and staff have a good time together at school?                            
1 5 5 5 4 5 3 4 5 5 3 4 4 3 4 5 5 5 4 5 4 4 3 5 5 4
2 3 2 2 2 4 2 4 3 3 5 4 5 3 3 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
3 3 2 2 3 4 3 4 2 2 3 5 5 2 3 2 5 5 3 4 4 3 4 4 4 5
4 4 4 4 4 5 4 5 5 5 3 4 5 4 3 5 5 4 5 5 5 4 4 4 5 5
5 3 4 4 4 4 5 4 5 5 4 4 5 4 3 5 3 5 5 4 5 4 3 4 4 5
6 3 2 2 3 3 2 3 2 3 2 5 5 3 3 3 4 4 4 3 3 3 5 3 3 4
7 4 5 5 5 3 5 4 4 3 3 5 5 4 3 5 5 5 4 4 5 4 4 4 4 5
8 4 4 5 5 4 5 5 4 4 5 4 5 5 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
9 5 4 5 4 4 4 4 3 5 4 4 3 4 3 3 5 4 4 4 5 4 3 4 5 4
10 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 5 5 3 5 5 5 4 5 4 5 5 5 5 4 4 5 5 5
11 5 4 5 4 5 5 5 5 5 3 5 5 4 3 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 5 4
1 never                                              
2 hardly                                              
3 neutral                                              
4 usually                                              
5 Almost always                                            
Our Overall Fun index=45.48                                      

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It seems that in recent days I have devoted all my time and energy into the creation and upkeep of my school Blog site.  This has been a rich and rewarding experience.  The stats indicate that my learning community is using the resource.  Teachers have joined the march and I have 8 teachers with their own classroom blogs.  Students are engaging in the process by adding content such as journal entries, pictures and opinions.  The time it takes to post an update is equal to the time it takes to send a text message!  The energy it takes to moderate comments and add new content is equal to the energy it takes to send an email.  I am amazed by this medium.  It is certainly catching on among faculty.

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