The past two summers Wayne Township has sponsored a Google EdCamp and invited educators from around the state to join. This year, as an official Summer of eLearning event, they took what they learned from their earlier experience and magnified the good. Google EdCamp opened its doors to 400 Indiana educators this morning. Attendees were greeted by a team of student leaders who orientated them on the ticket system, handed out the swag, and directed them to the session planning board.
Pete Just, Chief Technology Officer, served as Master of Ceremonies in the opening session. Following introductions of the Google EdCamp team, Just explained the philosophy behind the edcamp model of professional learning. He prepared the packed auditorium for their first breakout session by demonstrating how everyone in the room is a presenter and a learner. After getting everyone on their feet and in the edcamp learner mindset, he left participants with this message, "You can come with problems, and you can leave with solutions. If you leave here and this isn't true, you didn't ask the questions."
When your brain got too full, you could take a break in any of the lounge-like areas in the building, play corn hole (indoors away from the drizzle outdoors), take a group photo, or explore the Makerspace in the Media Center.
Leslie Preddy from Perry Township joined the Wayne Township team and created a MakerSpace in the Chapel Hill 7th/8th Grade Center media center. She brought a dozen activities that she considers the gateaway activities to encourage kids to start thinking about the possibility of making. "Students are not used to thinking with their heads and their hands at the same time," Preddy explained. The inquisitive teacher comments revealed students aren't the only ones craving this kind of experience!
And the learning continues even after the last picture is taken and the final doorprize ticket is drawn. Michele Eaton is leading a virtual Google EdCamp Continued #INeLearn Chat to wrap up the day.
If you are interested in the EdCamp format, Indiana boasts two other events. To learn about EdCamp Indy contact Susie Highley. And for EdCamp Fort Wayne, contact Jason Bodnar.
To see what was shared via Twitter, check out the hashtags #GoogleEdCamp and #GoogleEdu.