Today was nErDcamp Northern New England.  My friend and colleague Susan Dee and her awesome planning committee put on tremendously valuable professional development in the form of a literacy-based edcamp.  

The best part.....it was right at my high school.  The nErDcamp NNE took advantage of our recent $34 million dollar renovation and held it at Biddeford High School.  It was great to hear all the comments about what a beautiful school it is.  We haven't heard that in a long, long time.  

This was my first edcamp and I give it two thumbs up.  Picture an hour-long professional learning community where you can share, ask questions and just talk about the particular topic you signed up for.  The schedule is built at the beginning of the day, based on whatever the group needs/wants.  There is a volunteer facilitator who may or may not be the expert on 
that particular group's topic.

So no one has to prepare a presentation, or stress about handouts, or feel like you have to be "on" and entertain/inform an audience for an hour.

It's so low stress that I facilitated a group session about using Google Apps for Education for feedback and assessment.  While I may have shared a few things, I got way more out of someone who shared how he uses Google forms for assignment submission.

Whoa!  Mind blown. Seriously.  While I thought I was pretty nifty with forms, he totally rocks the forms for education.  Of course, I stole everything he showed me -- with permission of course.  He is an eighth grade English teacher from Southern Maine named Chris Pirkl.  Go follow him on Twitter!

I also attended sessions on Flipboard, strategies for helping high school-level struggling readers and eBooks.  I always consider a PD event a success if I can walk away with at least three new things/strategies/idea to try in my classroom.  I got three and then some!

Hats off to the organizing committee and to my friend Susan Dee.  Thanks for getting me involved.  Give an edcamp a try -- so totally worth it.  It also earns me a voucher day to take a day off of school.  AND -- I won a door prize.  (There were TONS - worth attending for just the goodies)  Double yay!

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    English teacher, DIY'er, mom, wife, Pinterest addict, and ex-triathlete :( trying to figure how to fit it all in. 


    January 2014