About Ben Wildeboer

Teaching & learning, FTW!

EdCampCT 2014 Smackdown Resources

A big thanks once again to all the participants of EdCampCT 2014 for making it the amazing, inspiring, and informative event that it was. As you post photos & share blog posts please tag them with #EdCampCT so everyone can find and share them more easily.

Below is the official list of resources shared during the 2014 edition of the EdCampCT Smackdown (link to view it directly in GDrive):

Sharing ideas for EdCampCT 2014

[tl;dr – Sharing is awesome. You should do it. Here’s the padlet where you can share ideas for conversations and sessions you’d like to see at EdCamp CT 2014]

Sharing is hard. Taking a personal and private thing and putting it out for the public can be scary. We can be worried about looking silly, or naive, or unoriginal. But sharing is super important- especially in the education world.

Sharing is Hard.

Teaching is hard. There are so many variables. There are so many seemingly little things that can have a surprisingly large impact on how students learn. Learning from the successes and failures of others can help increase our own successes and reduce our own failures.

Any EdCamp is wholly built on a foundation of individuals sharing what things have (and have not) led to success in their educational practices. I have found the most value in my EdCamp experiences whenever I am willing to jump out of my shell and share with others through one-on-one conversations, discussions in sessions, or by proposing and leading sessions. When I sit back and keep my ideas and experience to myself, I still enjoy EdCamp, but I get less out of it.

Maybe it’s your first EdCamp, or you don’t feel like you have much educational experience, or you don’t feel you have anything original to share. Your sharing is still welcome at EdCampCT.

In a post reflecting on how hard it is to share new or original ideas, Dean Shareski notes:

…although on the surface our stories, insights and ideas may not be new, they come with our personal context and perspectives and it’s those aspects of sharing that to me are most interesting and meaningful.
Maybe originality is overrated. But your thinking isn’t.

We hope EdCamp Connecticut will be a place where we welcome your thinking. Where you can share your perspectives, even if they’re not truly “original” ideas.

Your ideas for EdCamp CT 2014 Sessions

To get the ball rolling, we’ve created a Padlet (link here) where you can post ideas for sessions you’d like to share or sessions you’d like other attendees to share.

EdCampCT 2014 Session Ideas

If you’d like, you can also view session ideas from vintage EdCampCTs.

At EdCampCT world headquarters we are super excited to see the awesomeness that your sharing will bring to EdCampCT 2014.

Photo Credit: ryancr via Compfight cc

Prepare yourself for EdCampCT 2013!

It’s that beautiful time of year once again: the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the first few clouds of what will eventually turn into a major hurricane that will inevitably bear down on New England have just formed in the Eastern Atlantic. All signs that the awesomeness known as EdCampCT is about to go down!

Super-Awesome Map of Attendee Locations

This year we’re looking forward to an amazing day with nearly 150 passionate educators coming together to share ideas, build relationships, and get psyched for the 2013-2014 school year. If you happen to be curious where the attendees for EdCampCT 2013 are coming from, then you’re in luck! A map of all the towns and/or schools the participants in this year’s event are coming from is below:
If we focus in on the state of Connecticut, here’s what it looks like:
EdCamp2013_Participant_LocationsYou can see a larger interactive version of that very map at GeoCommons.

*Location data was gathered primarily from email addresses provided (i.e. if you signed up with a @rsd6.com email address, your location on the map is Litchfield, home of RSD 6 central offices), twitter bios, or- for a lucky few- from my personal knowledge of you. The NSA had nothing to do with it. I swear.

Sharing Session Ideas

As in years past, we’ve created a WallWisher Padlet Wall where you can share ideas for sessions you’d like to see at this year’s EdCampCT. While these ideas might be for a session you’d be willing to lead, feel free to add any sessions you’d simply be interested in attending. Putting an idea on the wall is not binding. :-)

EdCamp Guiding Principles

If you haven’t had the pleasure to yet experience an EdCamp, it’s a little different than the typical education conference. Here are some guiding principles to help get you ready for the event:

  • It’s Non-Commercial. EdCamps are about learning, not selling. Sure, we have sponsors, but there won’t be any vendors pushing product.
  • It’s Participant Led. Right now, no one- not even your fearless EdCampCT organizers- have any idea what sessions will be offered this Friday. That’s because the attendees (Yes, YOU!) determine the sessions the morning of the event. This may sound crazy, but it helps ensure that the topics are relevant to your needs. Plus, it opens up the sessions to anyone, not just “professional presenters.”
  • It Relies on the Law of Two Feet*. Did you go to a session that you thought was going to be perfect, but it turned out to be about a different topic altogether? Get up and find a better fit! EdCampers are encouraged to leave sessions that don’t meet their needs. In fact, as evidenced in the tweet cited below, EdCampers are morally obligated to leave sessions that aren’t working for them:

    You may feel awkward, but it’s a great way of ensuring sessions are engaging and relevant (and way better than wasting an entire session).

  • It’s Engaging. Sessions should be conversations, not lectures. If you’re spending time putting together a massive slide deck for an EdCamp, you’re probably doing it wrong. If you’re thinking of leading a session, be sure there’s a place for the session attendees to play a major part during the session.

*also known as the more inclusive “Law of Your General Position in 3-Dimensional Space.” (© Andrew Marcinek).

Share your learning with Posterous!

Update: Turns out Posterous didn’t email everyone when I added them to our posterous site. However, I’ve double-checked & everyone who provided an email address when registering for EdCampCT has been added. If you didn’t provide your email address at registration (if someone else registered you, for example), let me know and I’ll add you. 

Since EdCamps are all about sharing and openness we have a Posterous site (http://edcampct.posterous.com/) where everyone who registered for EdCampCT can share their experiences in a quick and easy way. If you take notes on any sessions, take any pictures, shoot any video, prepare any slides, or write up any reflections or summaries of your EdCampCT experience we’d love to have you share them on this site. This is the same Posterous site we used last year. We hope to add to it each year so it becomes a collective record of what participants see, learn, think, feel, and experience by attending EdCampCT. The site will become a virtual archive of the event from which anyone can learn.


If you’ve registered to attend EdCampCT, you may have noticed you’ve already received an email from Posterous letting you know you’ve been added as a contributor to the EdCampCT Posterous site. If you’d like to create a post, all you need to do is send an email from the account with which you registered for EdCampCT with your text, pictures, or video attached to edcampct@posterous.com.

We’re looking forward to all the learning and sharing!

NOTE: If you’re attending EdCampCT and didn’t receive an email notifying you that you’re a “Contributor” to our Posterous, one of two things could be happening:

  1. You attended EdCampCT last year and are already a Contributor. You can check by going to http://posterous.com/#spaces. If you see EdCampCT listed, you’re all set.
  2. You’ve inadvertently been left off the list. Just let us know either leaving a comment on this post or sending a tweet to @EdCampCT and we’d be more than happy to add you!

Share Your Ideas for EdCampCT Sessions

I'll be a monster EdCampCT is just around the corner! We know many of you have ideas you’ve been thinking about and want to share during a session at EdCampCT. We also know others of you have specific things you’d like to learn while attending EdCampCT.

Either way, we’d like you to share your session ideas on the official EdCampCT 2012 Wallwisher! No login is necessary, simply head over to the Wallwisher and post your idea.

If you’d like to see last year’s Wallwisher for some inspiration, you can get to it here. However, you won’t be able to post anything to the old Wallwisher.