Camp was fun! Everything there was so much fun!
His words pretty much cover it, but I'll try to elaborate. When I first heard about it, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to go. Although it was my state Edcamp, it was a long way away. I took the plunge and made the 11 hour drive to be there.
|Photo by Simon Miller
Everyone was excited to be there to share ideas, and they were all unbelievably helpful and friendly. Being at the other end of the state, I only knew one other person there. Simon Miller is a technology coordinator from Kellogg, Idaho who I first met at a Google Apps for Education Festival this winter. He helped arrange accommodations for me in Hailey. I also met my host for the night, Dave Guymon. He just moved to Hailey to take a job with their school district and graciously offered a place for Simon and I to stay the night (and he cooked us a hearty breakfast before our day of learning). Tim Rocco was kind enough to supply us with sleeping bags for the night. In addition to the effort those three put into making sure I had somewhere to sleep, everyone else at dinner instantly made me feel at ease and comfortable. I met four more members of my PLN: Tami Rigby, Marita Diffenbaugh, Janet Avery, and Chad Avery. There were plenty of teachers who weren't on Twitter (yet) who joined in our conversations that night.
|Edcamp Idaho session board photo by Janet Avery
My first session was Teach Like a PIRATE. Although only a handful of teachers in the room read the book, we had a great discussion on the importance of rapport and a lot of ideas shared for transforming classrooms. I went to sessions on favorite classroom apps and using Discovery Education, but my favorite session of the day was "Things That Suck." That session presented us with controversial education topics and everyone in the room physically arranged themselves in order from strong agreement to strong disagreement and then we debated. I found that I was frequently in the middle, but there were many passionate arguments for and against merit pay, high-stakes testing, and homework. I was surprised by the diversity of opinions in the room.
|Hanging out with other edcampers - photo by Marita Diffenbaugh