The power of the participant-driven learning model came clear recently at EdCamp Round Rock when I looked around the room at teachers from five different public school districts, a private school network, and even a future teacher still in college choosing to spend their Saturday morning together. That room contained classroom teachers from early elementary to high school. There were librarians, Instructional technology specialists, a few of us administrators, and even a school board member. The conversations revolved around personalized learning, tools to enhance Instruction, better ways to communicate with parents, etc.
I venture though that even more powerful connections and conversations took place between sessions, during breakfast, or during the share-out sessions at the end. Click here to check out the tweets using our #EdCampRRock. I tweeted the below question after the event for folks to share some highlights:
As for my favorite part, I enjoyed the open and honest conversations. It was nice to see everyone having some of the same concerns. I learned that it is okay to be open to other ideas and that we all may share the same struggles. pic.twitter.com/937ILCFjpT
— Jennifer Gregorcyk (@Mrs_Gregorcyk) February 5, 2018
I loved learning about @Seesaw and making connections across Cen-Tex and within the RRISD. It was also cool to see F2F some of my PLN. Being w/so many people passionate about kids and self development in a stress free environment was awesome. Excited for our next #EdCamp
— Monica Collins (@MrsCollins1787) February 4, 2018
I liked being in a room with people from all sorts of experiences and job titles and that everyone is equal in the conversation. Came away with tons of resources to check out! #rrisdpd #EdCampRRock
— Robin Young (@robinrenee) February 4, 2018
I enjoyed seeing teachers become leaders of their own learning. The level of engagement was thru the roof! I learned a lot about @Flipgrid and great ways to use it in the classroom.
— Brandie Cain (@brandie_cain) February 3, 2018
Favorite part was great conversation with lots of knowledgeable folks in education from around central Texas & my PLN. Learned some best practices for Google Classroom from @pezucation #EdCampRRock #rrisdtech #rrisdpd
— Will Waghorne, M.Ed. (@mr_wag) February 3, 2018
I love that you get to collaborate with teachers/staff of different grade levels, subjects, schools, and districts. Today I learned about @Seesaw and the hashtag #edcampjunkie #edcamprrock #rrisdpd #rrisdtech
— Kimberly Wassmuth (@kmwassmuth) February 3, 2018
The power of getting diverse sets of voices and ideas in a room is never more clear than when we keep it informal. I was at the TASA MidWinter conference last week. Thousands of Texas school district administrators getting together to listen to presentations and get pitched to by vendors. The most valuable hour I had at the conference was sitting at a corner table with my compadres from Liberty Hill, Hutto, and Manor ISDs. We could do that at any time, but for some reason, we need a state-wide conference to make it happen. We need to do better.
EdCamps are an incredible start to providing the space for these authentic conversations. They are free to attend, and vendors can donate door prizes, but not attend in person. Stay tuned for more EdCamp opportunities here in Round Rock ISD and throughout the state of Texas.
Don’t forget to check out the shared notes from this past weekend’s event!