Thursday, September 29, 2011

Good Company, Great Conversations and Collaboration...

Living in the South can sometimes lead to a feeling of being somewhat isolated particularly when we have connected digitally with colleagues up north and we hear about their frequent and casual get togethers with like minded colleagues. My envy and desire to be part of such a group made me take a risk.

I'm not one to put myself out there but when an E-Teach group that I had belonged to, looked like it was coming to an end I started suggesting we find out who else in out area is thinking like we do... From that discussion hatched "EduCamp Dunners" A great idea, I know but really quite daunting when you had never even been to one!

It seemed fitting that Educamp Dunners begin at our school given its recent building developments and recent research into learning spaces. It was an exciting day with 40+ teachers not just from Dunedin but also, Mosgiel, Lawrence, Invercargill, Oamaru and even Christchurch! The range of people included primary teachers, lecturers, principals and a physics lecturer. The highlight had to be the 8 students who turned in with one of them even participating in the Smackdown!

We were privileged to have Jo Fothergill come down after her E-Fellow meeting in Chch and there was a great mix of Twitterers and people who have been quietly exploring e-learning on their own within their classroom. The success of this occasion was indicated to me in several ways...
1) A third year student's excitement when she saw collaborative notes forming on a shared doc.
2) The ease that people posted up their wonderings and formed groups quickly.
3) The hugs at the end of the day.
4) and the on-going discussions and sharing that have been happening the day after on Twitter and via e-mails.

To anyone who has never attended an EduCamp, I say "do it" and if there are no EduCamps in your area - be the cowboy and set one up...

Lunchtime and the conversations continued...
Lunchtime and the conversations continued...
Loved the relaxed atmosphere and laid back approach!
Loved the relaxed atmosphere and laid back approach!

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