EducampAKL began in 2007 as an unconference and was first held at Epsom Girls College.
I attended my first educamp at Point England School in 2009. My memories from that day was meeting the fabulous Lenva Shearing and being introduced to wikispaces.
Over the years I have generally attended the Auckland venues with a couple of years where I went to Wellington for the WellyEd first one and drove to Rotorua for the Minecraft Educamp.
I have learnt so much from attending educamps and am continually surprised that not enough teachers find the time to attend a session in their own locations. Over the years I have managed to persuade teachers from my school to come with me. Partly because I believe they have much to share with the community. However that is still an ongoing discussion.
When I go I usually try and find ways of contributing however to move to this level has taken time and I must admit that during the first few years I would attend for what I would get out of the sessions. Here you can check out the smack down slides.
I like educamps for networking face to face with other educators. I always learn heaps of important information that could affect me, my school and my learners. I find out what is going on in other schools and I get to visit other schools to see what they are like.
This year EducampAkl was hosted at Papakura High on Saturday 29th July 2017. There were about 40 educators present. This year the smackdown session was live streamed. Not many views happened but I am never worried about that because I know that the benefit of live streaming is what happens after when the clip is available for rewinding. I created slides to explain what I did so if you are interested in having a go, it is quite an easy system to set up.
I attended Gerard’s session on CS unplugged and found what he had to share very interesting and timely for us as a school. Gerard shared that children do not have to programme on a computer. We can be doing and are already doing a variety of activities that help children with their understanding such as
- Writing instructions for other students because the demonstrates an understanding of sequencing.
- Creating videos that show understanding of direction and of location.
He clarified that data representation is what can we do with data
- How do we collect data?
- How do we sort data using algorithm?
- How do we verify data?
Gerard took us through parts of Unplugged 2nd version
He has a fabulous blog that I often visit to read and here you can find some of what he does. http://oneteachersview.blogspot.com/ Some of what he shared went over my head but that is OK because I know what I need to do to help learn more.
Some teachers wanted to know more about live streaming so I took them through youtube and google Hangouts.
Overall the purpose of EducampAkl is to bring educators together in an unconferenced way and the best people for sharing are whoever turns up on the day. Connections are made and some collaborations are set up. Some educators go on to create reflections or resources that are shared across the community. Fiona Grant is the overall organiser and archivist for the wiki. Generally different schools take up the challenge to host and organise the event on the day. Maybe one day our little school might have the space and parking to be a host.
I think that Educamps work well for professional learning and believe that all teachers need to add the annual event to their schedule of learning.