Yesterday I had the pleasure to attend the third Edcamp Milwaukee. I missed last year’s event so it was great to return again. The event is held at South Milwaukee High School. A few hundred educators gather together on a Saturday to discuss and learn. The atmosphere simply buzzes with enthusiasm.
At the start of every Edcamp comes a pitch section where educators announce what they want to learn about. While Edcamp Milwaukee is very techy, there was a good variety of topics yesterday. There were far too many intriguing sessions proposed (An excellent problem to have). Thank goodness for the Google Doc resources linked to the public schedule so I can continue the learning later and ‘eavesdrop’ on the sessions I could not attend. As I am very interested in starting a makerspace at my school library next year, most of what I chose to attend was in that vein.
My day started with a session on Ditching Dewey (aka Genrification) and Library Redesign. Most of those who had started switching to genrification had done so with their fiction section, which is where I am at in the process right now.
I also attended sessions on:
- 3D Printers and Makerspaces
- Elementary Robotics (I got to see a sphero in action!)
- Makerspaces/Minecraft EDU
- Elementary Coding (I now have a small heap of apps to try out)
Another wonderful thing about Edcamp Milwaukee is making connections or reconnections. Many of my tech Twitter heroes were there, such as Tami Lind, Chad Kafka and Sue Gorman. I get to touch base with people like the enthusiastic Emily Dittmar. This Edcamp was also fun because I was able to reconnect with Anneke Thompson (@anneket2), a Montessori teacher from my former district. I also met the leader of the collaborative and assistive technology class I have been taking, Ben Hommerding.
After an event like an edcamp, I have a lot of ideas and resources to explore. Sometimes I can be a bit of an idea mayfly, flitting from one thing to another. What I would most like to do after this Edcamp is to:
- Set up a Donorschoose campaign for a 3D printer at school
- Work on my priority list for what I’d like in a makerspace at school (and how to work it into events and curriculum)
- Propose a new summer school course idea for 2015