My 2013 @EdCampNJ Experience

On Saturday I attended my first EdCamp! I attended with my wife, a high school librarian, and my dad, a high school math teacher.
We arrived at Linwood Middle School in North Brunswick (NJ) at 8:30 and we were just in time for a great welcome from some enthusiastic greeters who checked us in on iPADs. We scooped up some freebies – pens, stickers, magazines – and made our way to the cafetorium for breakfast and the opening address.
We selected the sessions we wanted to attend in the hallway as other teachers were moving around as if it were the floor of the New York Stock Exchange!
My wife, Dad, and I at EdCampNJ
Photo courtesy: Kate Nesi (katenesi.com)
The first two sessions I attended included a discussion on Google Apps for Education and another on Google Sites in session 1 and during session 2 my Dad and I went to a presentation by Superintendent Jay Eitner (Lower Alloways Creek, NJ) titled, “Technology tips and Tricks for aspiring/novice teachers and administrators” (Google Docs of session).
I enjoyed Jays presentation because he is a dynamic man with a great personality. He is a school leader who understands how important technology is to a district and a school and he leads by example, like so many other professionals I have connected with over the previous year.
In the afternoon I learned extensively about Google Chromebooks and their place in schools and education. In my opinion, so many schools need to get a little space in the relationships with Microsoft. I do not believe Google to be the devil and it is just ridiculous that a school or district’s technology can hinge on just the opinion or one or just a few people.
The “unconference” format was unique and valuable and I would love to see this style of PD in a school on a given PD day. Teachers teaching teachers would be a great thing. We know better than most corporate trainers what it takes to perform in the classroom on a daily basis. Our knowledge as professionals should be put to much better use.
I am already looking forward to next year’s EdCampNJ and I will definitely be running a session.
Will you be there?