I went to my first EdcampSTL two years ago. At that point I was a newbie on Twitter, and although I was excited about learning something new, I let my discomfort of going there by myself get in the way of having a great day. I didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t make any connections, and can’t even remember walking away with anything.
Then there was last year. EdcampSTL #2 was about 3000% better than the first go-round. I know that some of it was because I went with friends–my best friend, my hubby, actually :)–and since I had been on Twitter a year longer, I had some familiar faces I’d “met” online to connect with, as well. Plus, I guess like with most things, the second time you do something it’s always easier. I met a great new friend, as well, and have been able to learn and share much with her since then, too. Much better experience.
This year was the 3rd EdcampSTL, and it had the largest enrollment yet. We were actually hoping for a record, but I think the weather kept some away from the fun. :( For those of us who were there, though, it was a great day! I have to give a shoutout to by little bro, Chuck Baker, who is a fabulous teacher/father/tech guru/blogger, who came today for his first time! He even got in on the fun and presented a session. Gotta love the initiative there–I haven’t had the courage yet. :) And then, yep, my more-than-fabulous hubby (who is also an amazing teacher, father and blogger in his own right!) Grant was in on the fun again, too; I love that we can do this whole teaching thing (as well as our Masters’ program) together. Adds a different level of help, support and even collaboration when he “gets” what I do. LOVE YOU, honey!!
While I attended several great sessions this time around, I think I am most excited about the one where I learned more about Makerspaces. I’ve been looking into Genius Hour for a little while now, and am also interested in problem/project based learning, and this was exciting to hear; two middle school science teachers shared real-life examples from their classrooms. While it won’t look exactly the same in my situation, I’m interested in getting it all figured out. I’m thinking about doing a really basic, Valentine’s version of a makerspace this week for Valentine’s boxes. Not exactly how it’s supposed to work, but I think it could be a good way to introduce it. Guess we’ll see!
I know to some it seems weird to go to school on a Saturday, to make a choice to get up early to learn on your day off. Believe me, I wouldn’t do it for everything, but for EdcampSTL, it’s totally worth it! Join me next year, will ya? :)