Wednesday, June 1, 2011

EduCamp Welly

EduCamp Welly was an amazing experience and well worth the flight to Wellington (not that I ever need an excuse to go to Wellington!) It's not just about the learning that goes on but also about the connections that you make. EduCamps continue to provide a range of experiences and teachers where the conversations can be dynamic and broad.

From the smackdown at the beginning through to the end there were many people to listen to and conversations to be had. The first session that I attended was looking at cloud computing and how different schools/classes/teachers are using the cloud to base their ever increasing digital lives. The conversations in this session involved sharing each of our experiences of what we are doing. For some it mean being consoled as the changes they wanted to make couldn't be undertaken. I guess what I find baffling about this is that 1 person can ultimately change the outlook for an entire school because of what they don't understand.

The second session saw me sharing some resources with a new teacher who has a class with 5 Interactive Whiteboards.... yes 5! Teachers struggle to get their head around utilising one IWB in a fashion past a glorified overhead projector, let alone 5 of them. But it sounds like he is making an awesome start in his journey and what better place to start that heading along to an EduCamp!

While this conversation was happening Tim was running a session on Scratch with one of his students SkyGecko. I'd heard about Scratch at a previous conference and had a go at it, didn't 'get it' and left it. After EduCamp this was the first thing I downloaded and attacked. I am now a full blown Scratch enthusiast! Scratch is simple programming software that allows kids to make animations and games. The layout is easy to use and once you get used to commands, scripts and sprites the opportunities are endless! This week we had a PINs session (more about this later) where I worked with a group of kids to create a game - kids that weren't even in the session want to use Scratch after seeing the games!

All in all it was a fabulous day - great to catch up with the tribe of EduCamp followers from Hamilton and with the ever wonderful Allanahk. There are several more EduCamps to come in 2011 including a new one in Dunedin! So check them out and head along. Don't fret if you're by yourself - there's always a smile and a group of awesome educators there to meet you!

'Scratch 101' for @fionagrant @heymilly

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