Sunday, November 9, 2014

Edcamp: Wheel Decide When We Get There!

I attended my very first Edcamp this weekend with #edcampkc  at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. The day was packed full of fun with engaging sessions to attend! The organizers of the event were absolutely amazing (Kyle Pace, Laura Gilchrist, Mimi Jones Lachi are just a few that stand out along countless others)!

As a first time Edcamper, here's what I did...I jumped right into the action and signed up to moderate a session! Seriously, I had no idea what the expectations were of a moderator, but I figured someone attending my session would guide me if need be!

Session Title:  Wheel Decide When We Get There! (Topics on Differentiating Instruction)

Wheel Topics:
I made catchy (cheesy) titles for the wheel to capture audience interest.  Here are what the topics stood for:
  1. Tiers in Your Bucket = Tiered Assignments
  2. Horton Hears = Student Voice
  3. Eeny Meeny Miny Mo = Student Choice
  4. Reality Checks = Formative Assessments
  5. A Magic Wand = Descriptive Feedback
  6. To the Retest & Beyond = Reassessing Student Understanding
Session Format:
The wheel was projected for audience members to see.  The audience also joined a back channel via Today's Meet to share questions, comments and/or ideas for each topic.  Since there were close to 40 members in the audience we quickly created small groups for topic discussions.  I ran a timer for 5 minutes and then audience members shared out questions or ideas.  At one point Steven Shaw requested we spend more time on Student Voice by talking about Genius Hour ideas!

I loved how easily the conversations flowed from one topic to the next.  I also was impressed by the groups willingness to take off in another direction and come back full circle to the topic at hand.  The Wheel Decide When We Get There format can easily be applied to any number of topics.  If you like what you see, please feel free to add the Wheel to your next Edcamp or PD experience and insert your own topics!

Voting With Your Feet:
What is empowering about Edcamp is that individuals can hop from session to session.  This means that during my session individuals came and went as they chose.  I learned that, as the moderator, it is important to know you can't take it personal when people come and go from your session. Instead, honor and celebrate the organic learning occurring for each individual.  This is only possible due to the open Edcamp format!

If you have yet to attend an Edcamp. What are you waiting for? Get in there! Try it out! It almost feels like camp from childhood with everyone supporting one another and having fun!  I promise you will grow leaps and bounds by jumping in to the Edcamp pool, not to mention you will meet amazing individuals to help keep you a float!