After a particularly long week, a Saturday alarm set for 5:15 a.m. was not really what I needed… Saturday mornings are my one opportunity to sleep as long as my heart desires. I’m usually WAY behind after too many nights up past midnight at my computer. Wake me on a Saturday and there’s hell to pay.
Wayyyy back in September, though, I saw this tweet from Susan Carter Morgan:
@scmorganSusan Carter Morgan
Working on edcamp IS-VA for VA independent school teachers. #isedchat
I had never done an unconference, and was intrigued. Our grant money to have a second year PLP team had been delayed, and I was feeling lost. Susan was an amazing resource through my year of PLP, and the opportunity to work with her sounded wonderful. I emailed her and her response made me smile:
“I just had a thought one day that we really needed to organize an edcamp for VA independent school teachers. I emailed a few people, and tweeted it once. We are just beginning to chat. Please add your name to the google doc and any thoughts…”
So I joined an amazing team of planners (they did most of the work) and yesterday, December 3rd, we held EdCamp IS-VA at Fredericksburg Academy. Fredericksburg is about 2.5 hours from my house – Hence the 5:15 alarm…
I had posted two potential topics for presentations on the wiki (bold (and possibly a bit stupid), since I’d never presented anything to anyone before) – Twitter and Digital Storytelling. Surprisingly enough, there was significant interest in both, and I ended up presenting one in the morning and one in the afternoon! I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the most polished presenter they’d ever seen, but hey – there’s a first time for everything, right? Nobody shot me, so I’ll count that as a win…
It was a fantastic day… No surprise, when you’re with a group of educators who want to spend a Saturday learning from each other. Susan (aka Wonder Woman) did a phenomenal job organizing, and is already pumped about planning another unconference next year.
After leading two sessions, I was grateful to be able to attend the last session of the day. Susan led a session where we took a look at Will Richardson’s “rules”
- Create your own education.
- Find problems and solve them.
- Be unique.
- Make beautiful, useful stuff.
- Build a network of really smart people who you will never meet.
- Be indispensable.
- Do real work that changes the world.
- Have a brand.
- Share widely and safely.
- Add value.
- Be a voracious learner.
- Tread softly but boldly.
- Edit the world.
We talked about what these meant, where we agreed and disagreed, and even made some rules of our own! Looking at the rules, I remembered Will’s first presentation to us at the PLP kick-off last year, where he told us that we couldn’t remain “lurkers”. Over the course of the last year, I’ve learned what it means to “share widely”, and today was yet another step in that direction as I shared as a presenter for the first time. It felt good. J