Tuesday, April 30, 2013

EdCampWaller - April 28th, 2013

Wow, what a whirlwind weekend.  This weekend Waller hosted it's first ever EdCampWaller!  We had over 200 educators from all over Texas!!  Several of whom drove over 7 hours to be there.  To say that it was an incredible day is an understatement.

The idea of EdCampWaller came from when Stacey Huffine (@TechNinjaStacey) and I attended EdCampDallas in September last year.  We fell in love with the idea and knew we had to bring the concept to our area of the state.

So the planning began on the drive home from EdCampDallas and we've been working hard since.  We had over 55 sponsors that provided us with wonderful door prizes for our attendees.  From a entire school license to Flocabulary, Houston Astros tickets, free Blue Bell Ice Cream, Camtasia Licenses, 2 Google Nexus 7s, a ByteSpeed Netbook, tons of shirts, and so much more.  We're proud to say that every single person walked away with several door prizes!

The day was incredible!  As people arrived they were greeted with smiles as we checked them in on iPads from their registration on EventBrite.  They then got free goodies from companies like Google, Remind101, Claco, Premium Outlet Mall (in Houston), Evernote and many more.  Participants also were provided with a free light breakfast of bagels from Panera Bread and bottled water (Thank You TCEA and AnswerUnderground)

As people entered the auditorium they were able to see all the awesome door prizes up on stage and the giant blank schedule in the back of the auditorium.  The schedule filled in quite quickly!  We were a little nervous ahead of time that maybe the schedule board wouldn't fill in, but I think we got a great variety of sessions for every hour!  Some have debated whether or not our EdCamp was in the true EdCamp style of all sessions being discussions and round table environment.  I agree that that is something we can definitely do better at next year!  There were some traditional presentations (which EdCamp founders sometimes frown upon) but in the end all I heard was how much people learned, and to me that equates to a success.  Is there work to be done to make our edcamp better??  OF COURSE!  So we greatly appreciate ALL the feedback we've received!

We also had a group of Student Council members selling snacks and drinks to participants.

Now when it comes to attending sessions, I truly wish I could have cloned myself.  There were WAY too many great sessions I wanted to attend.

I lead a session during the first time about Flipped Classroom and PBL.  It was awesome mainly because I got to lead it with 5 of my students!  The room was beyond packed and my students were a little overwhelmed and nervous but they did awesome!  And we got some great feedback.  It was my students first time presenting in front of teachers and they rocked it!

I also got to see a session lead by Fayettville Students and man they were incredible!!  Some great conversations happened in that room!  Another overflowing session I caught some of was the Teach Like a Pirate session lead by Chris Kelser (@iamkesler).  All I could hear was great ideas being thrown around by the entire room.  If there was any session Saturday that was very in the EdCamp mindset it was definitely this session!!

There were even more incredible sessions that I could just be writing for hours!

The only real complaint we heard about the day was that ever annoying WiFi!  I think what happened was somehow there was a "limit" set on the WiFi and it kept kicking people off.  I'm not sure if that's what happened but it is definitely something we are fixing for next year.

200 teachers from all across the state of Texas came together on Saturday.  75% of whom had NEVER been to an EdCamp or much less any conference.  And from the feedback we've already received from a survey LEARNING HAPPENED!  And teachers got connected with other passionate educators from around the state!

So in closing, THANK YOU to everyone who attended.  Thank you to Waller ISD and Superintendent Danny Twardowski for allowing us to use the Waller ISD facilities.  Thank you Rosa Ojeda for doing a ton of prep before and on the day of.  Thank you to the entire EdCampWaller planning team.  EdCampWaller was a great success because of EVERYONE involved.  Powerful things happen with passionate educators come together.  EdCampWaller is proof of that!  Can't wait for EdCampWaller 2014!

By the way check out this awesome video the ever incredible Andrea Keller (@akbusybee) made of the day! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i7jyzDOdCU

And Two sessions were recorded (Genius Hour and PBL; with @iamkesler and @cfanch)
You can view them by visiting these links

Fancher PBL
Part 1 -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej8ivhkMBxo
Part 2 –
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKeFaif9-b8
Part 3 –
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS8aZDhxZQ8

Kesler Genius Hour
http://ustre.am/QDwx


Please join in on this GREAT document created by Mindi Vandagriff (@mindivandagriff) and Amy Pratt (@apratt5) They said they would love to have notes from every session, so please feel free to add yours and keep the link to refer back to.
http://ow.ly/kvCNX


And you can check out our slideshow by visiting http://cellblock.com/watch.htm?id=mWyCzcGeTyBfYdccSTkG

Interested in attending some other EdCamps in TX?


EdCamp San Antonio (July 15) - http://edcamp.wikispaces.com/edcamp+San+Antonio


EdCamp Dallas (Oct 12) - http://edcampdallas.wikispaces.com/home