The very first EdCamp Orlando was quickly develop in order to start create an environment of educational innovation and sharing in a style very similar to BarCamps or an UNconference. UNconferences are host to have people signed up in the morning to share something they learned, are passionate about, or want to have a discussion about with a community of like minded individuals. EdCamps happen around the world through the Edcamp Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, to provide organizational and financial assistance to Edcamp organizing teams, promote their events, and help ensure the Edcamp (unconference) model is implemented with fidelity.
EdCamp Orlando (http://www.edcamporlando.com/) was hosted on March 9, 2013 at Lawton Chiles Preparatory School in Longwood, FL. Doors opened at 8:30 am with registration, breakfast, networking, and session-building with your colleagues. This is when participates signed up to lead a session, prepared for the day’s events, and met some new friends.
At 9:00, the organizers kicked off the UNconference and EdCamp Orlando got underway!
Each session was 45 minutes in length, and there was 15 minutes in between each session to allow participants to navigate the building, network, tweet, and reflect on their learning.
The first session I attend was by Dr. Thomas Ho (@DrThomasHo) – Why use technology in 21st Century Learning?
Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman1) and (@
jswiatek) focused on PLN (personal learning networks) sharing examples and discussions on why they are important. Jerry shared his site (which is amazing amount information for educators) http://cybraryman.com/, including a site devoted to PLNs http://cybraryman.com/pln.html.
Carlos Fernandez (@Fernandezc4) discussed the Flipped Classroom http://fernandezc4.sharedby.co/share/4p2lG8
Lunch was provided and attendees were encouraged to sit with someone new, meet and greet people they never met and use this time to network, collaborate and share.
After lunch we were suppose to have a Google+ Hangout with 5 other EdCamps happening around the globe but something must have happened and we had to improvise. We instead did a rapid fire of favorite apps or websites to share which was a great lead into my session on Widget and Gadgets.
I (@professorjosh) actually gave my Widget and Gadgets talk before at the FLBlogCon last fall, but wanted to share with educators some of the same widgets and gadgets they could use to enhance learning and their own learning.