edcampNoVA Spring 2017

I keep waiting for an edcamp where the magic is gone.

Where I leave disappointed.

Where I’m frustrated because none of the sessions fit me.

Where I can’t find someone to talk about my struggles with.

Where I feel out of place.

And I haven’t found it yet.  Each and every edcamp (I’ve been to at least 9, I’ve lost count) is different and yet they all meet my needs.  This was our 5th edition of edcampNoVA and each time it feels slightly different.  Different folks from different districts attend.  Our people change, our needs change and yet, we all get what we need.

Here are some highlights of the day from my perspective.

So many fantastic educators! I met new friends and reconnected with friends I do not see often enough.  It’s always good to chat and have time carved out for real conversations.

The spaces in the Arlington Career Center were perfect for our breakout sessions, large and small conversations and for those who needed quiet spaces.  The furniture was flexible, could be quickly rearranged and offered distinct learning spaces.  I felt like this space, this large open space was a huge contributing factor to the success of the day.  Previous feedback mentioned that our conversations were too loud and too close together.   This space and arrangement ensured we had lots of opportunities for the conversations we needed.

The twitter challenge needed a refresh, as did the photobooth.  We did both with a great idea (Thanks Molly!) of awarding a prize for the best photo tweeted with our hashtag and selfie sticks donated from VSTE.

Everywhere we looked, educators were so engaged.  I know I keep using the word conversation…probably overusing it in these reflections.

And of course, the planning team.  Seeing the work we’ve put in, the thoughtful changes based on evaluations and feedback, all come together to ensure a great day of learning is what matters so much.

(and a photo with the elusive Tim Stahmer always makes for a great day)

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