Saturday May 4th, beautiful sunny weather, no humidity and roughly 150 energized educators at Ancaster Sr. Public School to participate in Ed Camp Hamilton.
First, hats off to the organizing committee for planning a great event — lots of positive energy and opportunity for networking — take a bow.
I arrived early enough to take advantage of the opportunity to network prior to the official kickoff. It was wonderful to greet friends, meet online acquaintances for the first time and make new connections.
The day followed the traditional ed camp format with a group kickoff to pose questions to form the basis for the days discussion. The submissions were sorted into groupings and assigned to room locations to facilitate the proceedings of the day. Each of the discussions I attended was thought provoking:
- motivating colleagues to change, try new things and take risks when they are reluctant
- the role of administrators
- innovation: grass roots, top down, or both
- what other ingredients are needed for change
- assessment: do current practices hinder change?
- the squashing of innovate practice by some of those who fear change and risk taking
Great discussion, no easy answers, nuggets to chew on, things to ponder, take aways to try, ideas to share — awesome! In addition to the excellent session discussion, three additional conversations are still rattling around in my mind. One conversation started with Ron Millar and continued with Jenni van Rees — new ideas for scaling a PD plan for next year. Hold that thought and perhaps watch for a future blog post.
The second conversation started in the lunch line with Jane Mitchinson and Carlo Fusco, then continued at the lunch table with Ron and Jenni joining us. We got talking about socialization, the impact of that process and when important conversations become too big and lose focus. I believe we agreed that one of the hot topics and key elements of change in education right now is the “hot ball” of putting the conditions of change in place, the shift to technology enabled learning, continued focus on pedagogical improvement and building capacity for change and risk taking. In essence, I believe this synergy burns brightly because events such as ECOO, the OTRK12 conference, the Ontario GAFE Summit and this Ed Camp event keep fuelling the flame for continued learning, sharing and professional reflection. Sustained energy is SO important right now.
BUT, what happens when the conversations become blurred by the big paint brushes — questions that could take the collective us off our game. Questions that are too big and too general to ever be wrestled to the ground. Loss of focus would be a major hinderance. Do people supporting change NOW, have to also be guardians of the focus of the journey?
The third conversation happened after the event – a very engaging conversation with Donna Fry. We talked further about the challenges of creating opportunities for change, and sustaining the energy to keep things going. Donna has great ideas and big plans for her area — what an amazing educator! I hope I can be a part of the action.
Thanks again to team Ed Camp Hamilton for arranging this successful event. For those that could not attend, check out the #edcampham twitter stream. Until the next event, see you online and keep the learning, sharing and reflecting GOING.
Now Thats PD by Jane Mitchinson
The revolution will be tweeted … at the Shifting Ideas blog by Carlo Fusco
Ed Camp Hamilton Reflection by David Fife (www.davidfife.ca)
EdCampHam left me with more questions …. by Karen Wilson