The 2018-19 District Initiative is in full swing! It started in New Mexico with a 150 person Edcamp at the beautiful Rankin Training Center in Albuquerque. The APS team was trained to be Edcamp Specialists back in April. They have been planning ever since. They are hoping to help teachers feel more comfortable when it comes to using technology in the classroom. Some of the topics were Google Classroom, Apps for Engagement, Project Based Learning, Passion Projects, All things Google, STEM, Edpuzzle, Nearpod, Classroom Management in a 1:1 classroom, PBS Learning Resources, Coding and many more. The teachers were excited to learn and fully engaged in the day. Edcamp secured the food for the day. We purchased food from two local restaurants. One that specializes in breakfast tacos and for lunch pizzas and salads. The day ended with the Edcamp Specialists giving away prizes and sharing their favorite tech platforms. Edcamp will be back in New Mexico in November and again in the spring.
Next, we flew directly from New Mexico to Virginia. Our second District Initiative was held in Newport News, Virginia. We hosted 2 back to back Edcamps here. There were Edcamp Specialists at both events. The first Edcamp involved 3 elementary schools with very different student bodies. The conversations were rich and lively. Some of the topics discussed were Mindfulness, Integrating Content into Literacy Blocks, Morning Provocation,, Trauma Informed Care, Community Engagement, Math Strategies, Flexible Seating, How to Conference During Reader’s Workshop, Student Discourse, Effective Writing Instruction, Google AR and Virtual Reality, just to name a few. The teachers were very thankful for having the opportunity to attend an Edcamp. The administrators attended the sessions also and offered support and shared success stories.
Day 2 in Newport News was centered around 3 high schools. We brought together a high school who is 1:1 technology with high schools who are just going 1:1 this year. The conversations centered around Classroom Management in a 1:1 Class, Go Guardian, How much technology is too much, Cell phones?, Homework?, Co-Teaching, Flipped Classroom, Virtual Reality, Trauma Informed Care, and so many more. There were 400 teachers in total at these 2 Edcamps in Newport News. They had a DJ and many activities that had their teachers dancing at 7:30 am! We will be back in the beginning of 2019 to host and Edcamp Encore and to check on the progress and forward motion from these 2 Edcamps.
Here are a few testimonials from Newport News, Virginia:
"The free flow of ideas was invigorating. Not having the focus of the training be what the facilitator envisions but what the participants need and want out of the session was mind blowing and so helpful. I hope that we continue to conduct our PD sessions in the Ed Camp style." - Sally Cate
"I remember how excited and inspired I was after my first EdCamp. At first, I was a little apprehensive because I didn’t understand the format but then that apprehension turned into amazement. Our first District Initiative EdCamp allowed me to watch this journey for over 350 educators. They not only learned from other educators from other schools but they rallied together for an experience of a lifetime. My favorite tweet from the day: I should have gone to an #edcamp a loooooong time ago! This came from a new teacher that is already doing great things in her classroom. Educators from six different schools made new friends, learned new strategies, and had a blast while doing it. We danced, we ate, we learned, we conquered! Thank you EdCamp for sparking a fire for learning like never before in Newport News, Virginia." - Brandie Wright