This was collaborative learning at its best. The first session I attended was about using Google Forms to flip the classroom. What wonderful ideas for pre-assessments, assignments and post-assessments. I show my students how to use Google Forms to put together their own surveys and charts but I had no idea how broad their use was. I definitely have to go back and do some research on how to filter responses - that looked amazing.
The second session was one that I led with two women from my cohort on Gender Issues in Technology. I was nervous that we would sound like 'man-haters' with an agenda, and hopefully that was not the case. The discussion was excellent, and it was great to have members of the Ethel Walker School present to discuss how they empower girls in STEAM fields. Third was the session on using Touchcast for the Flipped Classroom - again, relevant and immediately useful! This would be a great tool for days that I happen to be out - leave the touchcast on my blog, have the students watch and then use forms to answer questions or go on to a related activity of their own.
Project Based Learning - or if you're up-and-coming - Inquiry Based Learning came next. Again I marveled at the expertise present; these people were giving away their secrets! And then I realized, AGAIN, that this is what it's all about. Collaboration. Networking. Sharing.
Finally a group of us from UNH hosted an open discussion on an Internet Bill of Rights. People were genuinely interested and much more impassioned than I thought. The dialogue was fantastic and interesting and it was a good reminder that if this Bill of Rights is going to be written for all citizens then we need to make sure we take all citizens' viewpoints and intentions into consideration.
I don't think it's an overstatement to say that after attending this conference, I cannot go back to teaching the way I was teaching before. The ideas discussed were relevant and could be immediately implemented. More than that was the model upon which EdcampCT was based: collaborative learning, constructing knowledge from everyone's experiences and creating inquiry based sessions to motivate, challenge and empower teachers. I'm looking forward to working with @PetroskiLindsay and @jluss in putting together an Unconference of our own for Regional School District 13.