I went to an EdCamp last week (June 30, 2017) ( #EdCampLdrOH ). This one was in Gahanna (Columbus area) and was organized by Bobby Dodd @bobby__dodd & Dr. Neil Gupta @drneilgupta . I went for 3 reasons. First to broaden my network, second to have some conversations and hear what others are doing, third to see the Gahanna High School FabLab @lincolnfablab (Bobby’s school).
I did add a few people to my network. One was a 4th year Education major. Good to see them get some real professional learning. They were worried that their instructors had been out of the classroom too long and were not preparing them well for their future. After participating in today’s discussions, their fears were found valid. Others were admins, podcasters, and teachers, a few from West Virginia. Though I thought I was already following one of them since we have been in Twitter discussions.
One discussion was about STEAM Maker. @PrincipalCMill is doing some awesome things with outdoor education and is planning a solar powered greenhouse project. (I think every school should have a greenhouse). A student portfolio’s discussion talked about possible resources. We also talked about how each level might need something different and privacy concerns. There is no one solution for all classrooms at all grade levels, find what works best for your situation, whether that is Kidblog, Sites, Blogger, Seesaw, or Book Creator. We did say that there needs to be one place to curate/consolidate the variety of things students will be creating, one “central repository”. The statement was made “how could others (admin/teachers) NOT see the benefit of publishing student work” ….though I believe many don’t see its benefit or see more negatives than positives. I believe students should have a k-12 portfolio, with varying degrees of “publicness”. The Lincoln High School FabLab was a thing to behold. Several students talked to us about the class they take and what they do. It is run like a business and they do work for local companies. Some of their work has ended up at the Indianapolis 500. Every school should have a FabLab that reaches into the community. They do CNC work, 3D printing, vinyl banners (even vinyl car wrapping), vinyl stickers, and vinyl images for t-shirts, as well as some other things I did not catch. The final session I attended was on Re-inventing Learning Spaces. I have already been doing many of the things discussed : tables, various heights , different chairs, standing options, floor, hallway, lighting, sound...It really all starts with a mindset = not everyone learns in the same position and you have to be open to students having choices in how they exist. As someone “famous” says, “every space is a learning space”