Learning is supposed to be fun. Why else would educators give up their Saturday to come together and discuss issues, strategies, and tools at venues all across the world? Today was EdCampLiberty and this tweet sums up the day nicely…
So why do educators get excited about EdCamps? Probably because no one made them come, no one is paying them for their service, no one is telling them how to think or what to do. Wow… think about that. Total ownership in the learning process and it works.
As an EdCamp organizer, I think it is important to bring the fun as you provide ways for educators to experience connected conversations and get out of their comfort zone to meet and interact with new people. As an educator I love to steal ideas, so wanted to post three collaborative activities we tried at EdCampLiberty 2017:
This year we used an app we created through Whova to keep EdCampers engaged and informed. Within the app we created a photo contest. Over 50 images were uploaded to the app over the course of our sessions and people continued to “like” pics throughout the day. We periodically shared the leaderboard via Twitter to remind participants to continue to interact. During our raffle time, we awarded the top two vote getters with $15 Amazon gift cards. Whova was a nice collaborative addition as it is self-contained, with participants not being required to share their images on social media if that was outside their comfort zone.
Prizes with a Twist
Susan Lynn is one of our EdCampLiberty planning teammates. She came up with an innovative spin to our end-of-EdCamp raffle to get people connecting. During our opening session, she handed out a “bingo card” to each participant and asked them to talk to other EdCampers and fill their card with signatures. Once all squares were signed, the card could be submitted for the raffle. Click HERE to see the entire page.
Having large groups of people collaborate to create something new is always high on my list. We used Mentimeter to create a collaborative word cloud to see what themes emerged from our sessions together. This is a tool that allows unlimited number of people polled, can be used in any venue, is accessible by virtually any device, and is incredibly easy to use with big crowds.
Want to try it out and add your thoughts to our word cloud? Click HERE. We tweeted the poll link out and then watched our word cloud grow. Next time we will have the response slide up during the closing session to encourage participants to reflect and add thoughts. One of the best features of Mentimeter is watching the results live.
At the end of the day, after all of the ideas, strategies, and tools were shared the real strength in EdCamp is evident… the power of these events are in the people and the connections we make.
Thank you for another amazing EdCampLiberty! We can’t wait for Spring 2018!
Stay Connected: http://www.edcampliberty.com
Want to preview some of the resources shared at EdCampLiberty 2017? Here you go!