First things first: A thanks to the team from edcampSWO 2012!
The event would never have taken place without the dedicated efforts of:
Thanks also too:
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.
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!