Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summertime and the Learning is Easy

I hope you’re enjoying some peace and rejuvenation over the summer months. I am writing to share some free and inexpensive professional development in New Jersey and New York. I will be at all of them, so please stop over and say hi if you attend.

Three of the events are of the EdCamp variety. As a recap EdCamp is a “do-it-yourself” type of conference. They are referred to as unconferences. There is no set schedule. The attendees build the conference session schedule the day of the event before the first session begins. You can post a session to lead or simply attend sessions. There is a “rule of two feet”. If you do not end up in a session that suits your needs, you are able to pick up and choose a different session. There are no hard feelings if you walk out of a session in progress and sit in on another that has already started. One time it took me two moves to find a session that fit my interests. The whole basis is getting out and having discussions with other educators.

July 2012

EdCamp Leadership will be held on Thursday, July 26th in Monroe Township at the FEA Conference Center. It is free. On their webpage they say: Edcamp Leadership is a free unconference for school leaders devoted to K-12 education issues and ideas. Its goal is to assemble forward-thinking school administrators, board of education members, classroom teacher leaders, parents/community members – anyone interested in K-12 education – for a day of conversation, reflection and inspiration. This is the first time this EdCamp is being held. I’m looking forward to hearing a variety of local leaders sharing their ideas about education.

Main website:

#140edu will be held Tuesday, July 31 and Wednesday, August 1st at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. If you register as an educator the cost is $1.40. I went last year and it was fascinating, exhilarating, and exhausting, but so well worth my time. The structure is a full day from 9am to 5pm. Individuals and panels have 15 minutes to speak on topics of their passion centered on education. You can view videos from last year’s conference at
Two speakers I really enjoyed were
School Improvement One Character at a Time by Eric Sheninger (principal at New Milford High School)
The Tech Commandments by Adam Bellow 

Main website:

EdCamp Common Core will be held on Thursday, August 9 in Union, NJ at Kean University. It is free. On their webpage they say: This unconference’s theme is the Common Core. You will gain insights by hearing answers to these and any other questions you may have: 
  • What are districts doing to implement the Common Core? 
  • What am I expected to know about the Common Core Standards for the grade level(s) and content area I teach to prepare my students for the 2014? 
  • What am I expected to know as a classroom teacher? 
  • Just how different are the Common Core from previous state standards? 
  • What kinds of professional development are available to assist with implementing the Common Core?
I believe that is the first EdCamp at Kean’s School for Global Education & Innovation. I am looking forward to getting more insight on the Common Core.
Main website:

Padcamp will be held on Thursday, August 16 in Galloway, NJ at the Galloway Township Middle School. It is free. On their webpage they say it is a: free unconference devoted to exploring the use of tablets, e-readers and other handheld mobile devices in K-12 education. I heard a lot of good feedback from last year’s event and I’m looking forward to attending as I begin thinking more about alternatives for sharing among classrooms.

Main website:
Archived Learning
I am looking forward to having the time to view the archived video from the K12 Online Conference 2012. Today I enjoyed the presentation by Kim Cofino and Chrissy Hellyer titled Hardware is Not Enough. It's given me a lot to think about in preparing for the new school year in September. Happy learning!

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