EdCampNJ 2017

Thanksgiving is this Thursday. That means that another EdCampNJ was held on Saturday at New Brunswick High School. One of the reasons I was so excited about it was to see if our mission of reaching out to New Jersey and New York educators of color was going to make a difference. To paraphrase the great Maha Bali educators of color need to not only be invited to the table, they need to make the table and set the table. It was clear that our organizing team reflected the mission of EdCampNJ. Would the crowd be the same?

The answer was an overwhelming yes! With the help of Newark Public School, EdCamp Brooklyn, EdCamp Urban, and word of mouth the crowd was filled with a beautiful mix of people. We accurately reflected the rainbow of teachers that teach the students in the great state of New Jersey.

I personally spent the day in lovely room G 108. The NJ AHPERD was kind enough to lend us the Revo Labs UC 1500Revo Labs UC 1500. This allowed us to mic the room up so we had people from Texas, Las Vegas, Qatar, and Arizona join us via audio and video.

The first session held in the room was Social Justice. The conversations were amazing. We were able to honestly speak about race in an environment that was supportive and encouraging. I personally enjoyed the discussion when someone says they don’t see race. The gold nugget from this session was when Cory Radisch stated that some teachers are punishing their students for their disabilities. I was a tad upset that we did not utilize an LGBTQIA expert in the room or address intersectionality. I would highly encourage everyone to watch or listen to the session here. The session notes are also attached at the bottom of the video.

The second session was all about Tech Tools. This was a cool session because it was more like a demo slam. Everyone in the room was able to talk about any tech tools they wanted. There were definitely some experts in the room who chimed in a lot but that was needed because others in the room were there to hear about some of the newest tools available. I would highly recommend you check out the session notes or watch the video by clicking here.

The third session titled Social Emotional Learning was facilitated by @Bond007Laura (Laura Bond). We talked all about the whole child and also how we sometimes forget the teacher needs to take care of themselves as well. Lavonna Roth’s new Ignite Your Shine lessons were being lauded to the room. I would recommend checking out the notes and either watching or listening to the session by clicking here

The final session was run by Josue Falaise. The session was all about PLC’s. What I found interesting is how well Josue was able to handle the room. There were a ton of people there but not many knew or wanted to talk about PLC’s he had to do most of the heavy lifting during the conversation. He was able to answer questions and give everyone an idea of what PLC’s should look like. My gold nuggets from this session were the idea that PLC’s should revolve around solving a problem and that there need to be norms created and followed. Brian Costello told a hilarious story about how everyone has yarn balls and if the meeting starts to go sideways they have a quick indoor snowball fight than they get back on track. Check out his session here.

As always I have a list of grows and glows for the (un)conference.

Glow: Bibiana Prada @bookgirl614 ran a great EdCamp 101 three times before session 1.

Glow: New Brunswick High School. The internet was awesome and so was the facility and parking.

Glow and Groan: The prizes were numerous. There was a line at the end to receive them that held a lot of people up.

Grow: There was no real ending to the day.

Glow: Dan Borghoff and Meredith Martin doing their maker thing.

Glow: The diversity of the crowd.

Overall the day was a huge success for the participants. I only heard great things about the day and really felt like educators were able to learn about a variety of subjects. If you attended I would love to hear your thoughts!!


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