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With a month to go I am getting very excited for our second EdCampSWO this year being held at Tilbury High-school in Kent County. This year we are innovating by offering a few sessions from EdCampLondon, being held simultaneously, over WiFi!

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Here are my top 5 reasons to attend EdCampSWO.

5. Collaborate. Leading up to the day of our event I get to collaborate with amazing people. Brian Aspinall, David Fife, Sue Bruyns and the entire team for EdCampSWO are some of the most dedicated and innovative eds I have met. This year the collaboration has extended to working with EdCampLondon folks in order to offer simultaneous EdCamps with virtual connections using google hangout and LiveStream (Listen to @dougpete speak on An Educators Digital Footprint at 1 pm!) The collaboration keeps me on the cutting edge of understanding learning innovations. The collaboration deepens when I sit back and listen to the individuals who have chosen to use their Saturday to connect with other educators and continues long after the event.

4. Dialogue. Human understanding evolves by way of dialogue between mutually passionate perspectives. Conversation at EdCamp crosses the line into dialogue. When speaking with educators about professional learning the common theme of dialogue comes through. Educators appreciate and yearn for the dialogue that drives deeper understanding and allows them to share risks, mistakes, successes and celebrations. EdCamp provides safe space to do this. Participants choose where to dialogue, what about and with whom. If the dialogue does not meet the participants learning needs they are free to move to a space that does.

3. Own Your Learning. At EdCamp participants run the show. They determine the sessions, deliver the sessions and create the content by virtue of the dialogue that happens within the session. Participants vote with their feet. If they are not feeling it they are encouraged to leave and find a session more suited to their needs. One cannot possibly get to all sessions. At EdCampSWO we have the capacity for upwards of 50 sessions. Participants can go as deep or shallow as they wish. The learning is free of charge and costs the participants only the time they decide to devote to the learning. This is a day to extend your PLN with F2F meet ups, take risks by sharing your learning story and challenge your current classroom practise.

2. Technology Integration and “SAMR.” At EdCampSWO we can guarantee you will learn of some innovations using technology to the power of SAMR! Teachers step up and share apps, tools, devices and other innovations that are capturing student voice and learning and further redefining learning in their classrooms. Teachers are leveraging the tools in the classroom to deepen understanding and broaden applications of students’ critical thinking.

1. Leadership Exercise. Whether you come to EdCampSWO with a plan to step up or to make room you are coming with a growth mindset. By joining us you are exercising your leadership potential. Your students are relying on you to find new ways, seek new understanding and change methodologies in order to meet their needs. To do these things, to learn essentially, you need to exercise your leadership and change your way of doing things, permanently. Bravo.

We trust that you will have a great experience at EdCampSWO this year. Please take the time to register, participate, present and buy the T-Shirt!

We can’t wait to see everyone!

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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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Please give strong consideration to this homegrown professional learning opportunity….

Why Homegrown? Kristen Wideen, Eric Wideen, Shannon Hazel, James Cowper are coordinating the day with a larger team including other teachers from the GECDSB and WECDSB!

It’s free and we’ll give you all the coffee you can stomach! (there is even an after glow at Rock Bottom!)

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[ http://edcamp.wikispaces.com/ ]EdCamps are held worldwide. They are a free, “unconference” style professional learning opportunity. Professionals gather at one location and learn together. The learning is defined by the participants that arrive that day.

EdCampSWO is being held at the University of Windsor on Saturday, October 13th from 8:30-4 pm.

If you would like to get your FREE tickets for this event see this link. [ http://edcampswo.eventbrite.ca ]www.edcampswo.eventbrite.ca

Sign up today….help us beat the EdCampDetroit mark of 200 participants!

There will be lots of technology-integration learning available:

iPads in the classroom
Twitter for learning
using Smart technologies
Web 2.0 for you
Leading change with technology
iPads in Secondary
integrating tech into your literacy program
LiveScribes in schools
Math and the iPad
blogging, glogging and vlogging!
GoogleDocs, Hangout and SKype in the classroom, etc!

Many GECDSB teachers, administrators, instructional coaches and program consultants are already registered! We are also expecting educators from around Southwestern Ontario!

If you are interested in an awesome professional learning opportunity, check out the link below for more info about EdCamp SWO (south western ontario).

[ http://edcamp.wikispaces.com/edcamp+SWO ]http://edcamp.wikispaces.com/edcamp+SWO

Check it out! Also, please feel free to forward to others who may be interested. Thanks!

You can follow EdCamp SWO on Twitter @edcampSWO

Thanks everyone….see you there!

James

 

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