About two weeks ago I attended my second edcamp! Just like my first edcamp experience it was a great day full of learning. I got a chance to connect with an old friend and colleague and meet a couple of my Twitter teacher connections face to face.
Most of the sessions I attended featured deep discussions around important educational issues. We shared ideas, questioned each other and came away with new understandings. The one sessions that didn’t dive as deep into the discussions was the “Things That Suck” session.
I had heard seen “Things That Suck” posted at my first edcamp and avoided it because I was fighting off a lot of negativity in my workplace and thought it was a session for complaining. Luckily, through discussions with my PLN I had learned that it was a session for debating topics in education. I decided I had to try it out! Though the discussions were short, the debates were interesting and got me to continue reflecting long after the day was finished.
What I found most beneficial were the conversations before, between and after the sessions. One group in particular got me thinking about how I use social media for professional growth. This group of teachers were on Twitter, but hadn’t found value in it. They were concerned that some educators seemed more concerned about their image than diving into discussions. The impression was that Twitter was being used as an echo-chamber, full of inspirational one-liners and articles that could be found with a Google search. I explained that through Twitter chats I had found educators who wanted to make meaningful connections and push each other to think differently about many issues.
I believe the edcamp model is so beneficial to educators because it is not an echo chamber. Teachers who attend know that in order to learn we need to be challenged in our beliefs and understandings. Being questioned about the things we say and do causes us to reflect on our purpose and decide if it is truly the best for our students.
The sessions and discussions at EdcampDelta have reinforced the need to push my own and others’ thinking deeper. I am more mindful of who I follow on Twitter and what I retweet. I am inspired to question more to gain a more thorough understanding. I am willing to be a bit more vulnerable in what I share so that I might learn more from my mistakes and failures.