edcampPDX reflection

edcampPDXYesterday we hosted our first annual edcampPDX at my school near Portland, Oregon.   After attending conferences and hearing about edcamp unconferences around the country I thought to myself, “We need to do this in Portland because we have a lot of talent here but not a very strong network”.

I approached a few local Twitter friends and pitched the idea and the edcampPDX wiki was established.  35 educators attended with 10 of them volunteering to facilitate  sessions.  We self-organized ourselves in the morning and divided the workshops into three sessions.  The variety of sessions was awesome with everything from Design thinking, Google Apps, iPads in the elementary school, Reflective thinking, BYOD, and more. Read more on the blog of Peter Pappas.

All participants were actively engaged in conversations, sharing, and networking.  A sure sign that the day went well is that everyone agreed the networking was valuable so we decided to set up a Google Group for conversations, encourage folks to participate in Twitter and MACEP … but the best part is that they want to meet quarterly instead of annually!!!  Our next edcampPDX meet-up will be on Friday, 11/11/11 at Catlin Gabel school.

Thanks Peter, Melissa, Mike, Richard and LuAnn for your encouragement and assistance.  I think we are off to a great start.

You Matter

I love talking to people who are passionate about what they do.  You know the type, you get them talking and they make YOU excited about THEIR topic.  Angela Maiers is one of those people.  I first met Angela through Twitter connections several years ago but when I finally met her face-to-face it was like seeing an old high school friend.  Angela is brimming with enthusiasm about literacy and the passion driven learning.  I saw Twitter posts about Angela’s TEXx Des Moines talk recently and knew I had to watch it.

You Matter.  These simple two words can make a difference in your classroom, in your school and in your community.  People everywhere want to FEEL like they matter and when you take the time to let people know they DO matter, it can make all of the difference.  Watch Angela’s talk and ask yourself, “Do the students, parents, teachers in my community know they matter to me?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FHdHUzRnms  (Btw, ignore the freeze frame on the video and keep listening.)