Edcampstl has come and gone but its impact is here to stay. Reflecting over the past couple days, I left edcampstl with a renewed passion for bringing change to my work. Walking into edcampstl, I was totally unsure how this would go and if I would have the guts to sign up for a presentation. I am not a social person but yet I had to mingle and interact with my peers to the most out of edcamp. I took the leap of faith...and it was worth it!
What really set edcampstl apart from every other conference I have attended were the conversations. It all started in the "Bold Schools" session. Everyone was able to express their opinions, build upon the knowledge of others, and really start to come up with solutions to the problems of our education system. We did not leave that session with any concrete answers, but I think each person left with knowledge to carry this discussion forward to their schools. Later in the day, I facilitated a session on bringing innovations to our schools. Unlike conference presentations that I have given in the past, this session was pure conversation. I just kept the discussion going. I was not the all knowing presenter but instead was an equal participant looking for answers. These conversations continued through the lunch hour and in the hallways. It is the power of the conversation that makes Edcampstl so unique and powerful.
If conversations were not your thing and you wanted to be a listener, there were sessions for you too. I sat back and learned many great strategies for integrating social media into school instruction. When attending the Evernote session, I gained knowledge that I did not have before the conference.
So there was really something for everyone and that is the beauty of edcampstl. This conference was only going to be as good as we made it and we made it great! But all of this means nothing if we don't do anything with it. I plan on making edcampstl worth my time by bringing knowledge back to my schools. I have a huge list of resources to review and share with others. I have a treasure trove of strategies for technology integration to pass along with those who did not attend.
But most of all, I have the idea of change and growth to fuel the work in my district. Using the 1% to 99% analogy that was tweeted during the conference, I hope that as the 1% who attended edcampstl, I can motivate and inspire the other 99% to examine their teaching practices, examine how they grow as professionals, and how they engage and teach our students. It is a goal to bring the Edcamp model of professional development to my schools and hopefully to my district. These are lofty goals and will require much work. But without following through and attempting to create change, then this was nothing more than a wasted day...and Edcampstl was far from wasted.
Thank you to all those who made this possible. I look forward to attending again next year!