My #EdcampCitrus 2015 Reflection

I’ve been looking forward to Edcamp Citrus since Edcamp Leadership this summer. I admit that I love edcamps in general. Something magical happens at every edcamp I’ve ever attended. This one was no exception.

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The FLedChat Voxer group was alive early as educators from around the state converged on Citrus High School. Our voices were excited about the reunion. Edcamp Citrus has special memories. For many of us Edcamp Citrus was our first ever edcamp. This event has inspired so many others around the state. Jerry Swiatek (@jswiatek) always does an amazing job putting this event together.

Soon after I arrived, other educators I knew also arrived. It was great to see so many educators giving of their own time to take control of their own learning. This is when the magic begins.

The schedule for the day began to emerge. Those that know me know that I generally volunteer to do an introduction to Twitter. Jerry Blumengarten (@Cybraryman1) was there as well to help me bring new teachers to twitter. The room filled rather quickly. It always starts with a task – Find someone you don’t know and introduce yourself. For the next 30 minutes or so we answered questions about Twitter. It was clear that there were a lot of educators in the room that either never considered Twitter before or who had created an account but didn’t know how to connect with other educators. I hope we provided some insight. (After I got home, I was able to put some notes in the shared document that Jerry Swiatek created so we could all share. Check it out here.)

For the second session, I volunteered to share about Voxer and Periscope. While the room wasn’t as full, the questions were just as thoughtful and in depth as the previous session. Some of the educators present had heard of Voxer. The live demonstration was an eye opener for many. (Special thanks to Doug Timm [@DougTimm34]). Stephen Veliz (@StephenVeliz) periscoped the entire session. You can see it on his katch page, here. During the periscope portion, Stephen and I shared what we knew. We also brainstormed with the educators in the room about how to use it for our students. There were questions about how to keep a periscope “protected” from inappropriate comments so I showed everyone how to create a private scope through the use of a “passcode” within the app. We also talked about how to set your app to save the scope to your camera roll before you create a scope. It was an amazing conversation today.

I learned a lot by facilitating these sessions today. The questions the teachers asked made me think about those students in my classes that aren’t “techies”. Other discussions brought new ideas on how to use the apps we were discussing.

Lunch brought a fantastic App Smack-down. Lots of sites, apps, and programs were shared. Check it out on the EdcampCitrus.com website.

After lunch, I participated in a session called “All Things Google”. It was an amazing group of educators all sharing what works well for them. Several Google Add-Ons were shared including Flubaroo and RowCall. We also talked about how several of us use Google Forms in our classrooms.

The fourth session was a little different for me. I spent some time in the Blogging session but had to leave to meet up with some educators that I’ll be presenting with during FETC. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to brainstorm in person with Kristin Harrington (@KristinCHarr) and Sean Farnum (@MagicPantsJones). Kim Martin (@kmhmartin) also added greatly to the depth of ideas.

Edcamp Citrus wrapped up the day with a drawing for the swag. Lots of great tools and resources were given away to educators. Students around the state will be able to do some amazing things this next week. I can’t wait for the next edcamp. For me, that will be Edcamp Tampa Bay. Hope to see you there!

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