About Ben Wildeboer

Teaching & learning, FTW!

Share your ideas for sessions!

One of the most exciting, interesting, and sometimes confusing times during an EdCamp is the creation of the session board the morning of the event. IMG_8564

The session board is essentially the physical representation of what is meant when we say EdCampCT is “by educators, for educators.” There’s not some committee deciding who should run sessions, or what the sessions can be about. EdCamps are whatever you- the participant- choose to make them.

Although the session board isn’t created util the morning of the event, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead or start thinking about sessions you’d like to facilitate.

Remember, you don’t need to be an expert to facilitate a session- interested in a topic but don’t know much about it? Throw it up on the board and learn from those who do!

We’ve put together a Padlet where you can share you ideas for sessions you’re interested in EdCampCT. It’s just over a week away- time to start thinking about what you’d like to get out of EdCampCT!Padlet2016

When thinking of facilitating a session, don’t forget these EdCamp guiding principles:

  • Sessions should be conversations. Sessions should actively work to include the voice of all participants in the conversation.
  • Avoid slides if possible. If your session looks like one person giving a lecture with slides, it’s probably not exactly hitting those EdCamp guiding principles (end sarcasm).
  • EdCamps are non-commercial. If you’re a rep selling a product, you’re more than welcome to attend! (but don’t plan on shilling your stuff all over the place) 🙂


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 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.