My wife @Mrs_JulOldfield and I just made it back from EdcampILE at Hilliard Bradley High School in Ohio. The Edcamp was hosted by Craig Vroom @Vroom6 and Jacki Prati @Jacki_Prati. In an effort to keep this short, I want to say I first connected with Craig at EdcampCbus on March 1, 2014 at Lincoln Gahanna High School. Since then Craig has made a tremendous impact on me as an educator and a leader. He’s given of his time to take my phone calls and accept my requests to Hangout during a course I was teaching. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with Jacki and many others from Hilliard City Schools during Twitter chats their district holds. I’ve seen the evidence first hand that Jacki and Craig are effective leaders that model innovation and cultivate growth within their buildings.
My experience at EdcampILE was not unlike experiences many other Edcampers have shared. First, there is absolutely no hierarchy at Edcamp. What I mean is you won’t see administrators or district level officers looking over shoulders during sessions or walking around in what appears to be “observation mode.” Everyone attends Edcamp to learn and to contribute. Edcamp breaks down any barriers to progression that hierarchy often presents. Second, Edcamp is supportive. Rarely, if ever, do educators get the opportunity to surround themselves with other like minded educators attending for the same reason: to learn and to share. Edcamps are free and often there is no reward for attending.
I can’t say enough about how encouraging it was for me to get some face to face time with a group of educators that have inspired and supported me along my journey of growth and development. Since I first met many of the group represented by today’s Edcamp:
- I’ve hosted an Edcamp at my school, which has lead to the development of a 2nd Edcamp in WV coming in September
- Continued to help cultivate a community of West Virginia educators through our state-wide Twitter chat #WVedchat
- Facilitated two week-long courses in Digital Leadership aimed at inspiring educators to take control of their own growth & development, and spark a desire to improve parent engagement at their schools through 21st Century means of communication
The opportunity to absorb some face to face time with so many educators who have made their mark on my life was priceless. My takeaway from today’s Edcamp was a renewed commitment to impact other educators in ways that Columbus area educators like John Riley @MrRileyJo, Melissa Eddington @Melsa777, Kimberly Halley @halleykimberly, Scott Jones @escott818, Jacki Prati, Craig Vroom and many others have impacted me.