Sunday, March 4, 2012

From Dream to Reality - Making Things Happen

EdcampIS Organizers Introduction
I just returned from Seattle where I helped to run edcampIS, an unconference for independent school educators following the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference. If you read my blog or know me, you know all about this. You know that I have been running unconferences for years. You know that I love them. And, I loved this one just as much as the rest. The day went wonderfully. I had conversations about iPads, about assessment, about parent education and much more. I have lots of notes and lots of ideas of things I want to try, change and do.

EdcampIS Session Board
However, my biggest take-away from this entire experience was that it ACTUALLY HAPPENED! I'm still just not over that. I had an idea, I shared it with my PLN, people stepped up (amazing people) and my idea became a reality. Over the years I have had lots and lots and lots of ideas, but this is the first time I've ever attempted something this big and had it come to fruition. I've been talking about the power of the network for a long time (blah, blah, blah), but I'm not sure I really believed it until now.

Delicious Food!
I lobbed an idea onto the interwebs and Greg Bamford, Anthony McGrann and Jac de Haan caught it and ran with it. Ben Lee opened The Northwest School to us, providing us a beautiful space, coffee, delicious food and a willingness to allow a group of strangers invade his school. Kim Sivick was there in the home stretch to lend her support.

EdcampIS Participants
Finally, there were all of the people who showed up to make the conference happen. Many of whom had never been to an edcamp or an unconference, yet were willing to open them selves up to the possibilities. I've never seen a session board fill so quickly. I hope we can continue this experience at NAISAC13 in Philly!

Now it is time to turn my attention to edcampBoston. I hope to see you there, April 28th Microsoft NERD center, Cambridge MA. Be there or be a rhombus.

Thank you also to Rachel Went-Chaney for all of her wonderful photographs of the event.


Amber said...

I absolutely love these types of stories because an idea is just that until you take action on it.

Amanda Warner EDM310 Class Blog said...

Hi Ms. Davis,

I am an elementary education major at the University of South Alabama and I am currently a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I really enjoyed reading your post about your trip to Seattle and your experience at the edcampIS unconference for independent school educators following the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference. I think it is absolutely wonderful that you made your dream become reality!
You mentioned that you shared it on your PLN. Well one of my latest assignments for Dr. Strange's class was to create a PLN, I created mine by using Symbaloo. I think PLN's are great and I look forward to updating mine and using it throughout my future.
Anyway, Thanks for posting your story and I am happy for you for taking action and letting your ideas about the power of the network come true.

- Amanda

Heather Weaver said...

Hello again!
I found your post on the edcampIS most interesting. I have no idea what an unconference is, but it looks and sounds as though it was very successful and certainly made you very happy. Would you please explain what hosting an unconference means? I would love to be able to share that knowledge with my colleagues.

I also created my PLN on Symbaloo and found it so useful that I have created one for my twelve year old son to use when researching projects or searching for references. I have found that it enables him to be more independent and he feels a greater sense of ownership when completing projects.

Thank you for your wonderful ideas! I will stay tuned for more iPad news.

Heather Weaver
EDM 310 University of South Alabama