"If you build it, he will come!" That line is from the 1989, The Field of Dreams movie starring Kevin Costner. All I can say is, it is true! The inaugural EdCamp South Jersey event was a huge success! We had 137 attendees, a full session board, and most importantly, we had a great day learning and sharing with other educators, administrators, technology staff, parents and students
Considering this was the first Edcamp in Southern New Jersey, I was surprised to see the session board fill up quickly! People stepped out of their comfort zone to present on a topic they were passionate about. It was amazing to see the session board come alive! The sessions ranged from technology, STEM, digital portfolios, to special education topics to bridging the gap between teachers and administrators and much more!. Click on the link to access the session board.
One of the sessions I attended was on 3D printing by Kevin Jarrett. I learned so much in this session. I was curious about creating my own 3D images. He suggested to use Tinkercad or SketchUp to perform this task. He had everyone create a Tinkercad account and we went over a few features of the application. He also explained how to change the filament in a 3D printer, and also printed out a 3D object on the Makerbot Replicator printer.
The next session I attended was on Gamificiation by Chris Aviles. He demonstrated his grading system by increasing the points for questions, quizzes, and assessments, He explained how he redefined his terminology to reflect a gaming atmosphere. It really put a new twist and a different perspective on traditional grading and classroom assignments.
Another session I attended was Dave Zirkle's session on Maker Meetup. He explained the process of taking old and/or broken toys, computers, and electronic devices, and restores them into working robots. He modeled the parts needed to rebuild a broken toy and also explained how to code and download it to the toy.
Finally, my session was on the importance of digital portfolios. Cynthia Leatherwood and I presented different methods of using digital portfolios. She uses it to keep a writing portfolio for her students. Cynthia has her students create and share folders with her so that she has access to her student's writing assignments using Google Drive. I use digital portfolios to track technology literacy for the 8th grade students by using a digital portfolio template that I created in Powerpoint and Google Slides. Students must insert their assignments into the digital portfolio template in which I grade. The template is outlined with section requirements and specifications. Click here to view the digital portfolio template in Google Slides.
In conclusion, it was an awesome day! There were new friends made, and some were reunited with old colleagues. However, I know for certain, there was a lot learning taking place within the walls of the William Davies Middle School that day.
The Davies Technology Department - Reunited
Some of the Edcamp South Jersey Organizers
Thank you to all the organizers who made this event a true success. I enjoyed working with everyone and I look forward to planning the second #Edcampsojersey event in March 2016.
Click here to view more pictures from Edcamp South Jersey