1. Teacher Life

How I Turned My Class into an Edcamp

Last week I ran a three-hour intro to edtech class for our incoming cadre of about 40 MAT students. In the past it been done lecture-style, but that’s not my thing. As a founding team member of #edcampPDX, I thought why not an edcamp?

We gathered in a large multi-use room and I opened with a few “get-to know-each-other activities” (this cadre has just started this summer). I gave a 30 min demonstration / lecture on “5 ideas for teaching in the digital age.” See handout on site.

Summer Edtech Camp

Then I turned the group over to this Google site I had created. I split them into 10 teams and assigned them one of the 10 apps with the following instructions:

Click on the link for your app and you will see a demonstration of the app, a short “how-to” video and links to set up your account. Work with your team to figure out the app, create something using it to share back to the group via this Padlet and be prepared to tell the rest of the group what you liked / disliked about the app and how you could use it in the classroom.

They dug in and all were successful at creating content using their app and gave some “spot -on” critiques of the apps. I closed with a Google form “Exit Ticket” and here’s some of their responses to two of the questions:

What’s one thing you learned about edtech today?

  • That using technology as a teacher isn’t as difficult/scary as I thought.
  • Find ways to embrace tech in the classroom rather than ban it.
  • I learned the importance of “being less helpful.”
  • I learned about all these different apps I had never heard about before.
  • I learned about a lot of sites and apps I can apply to education and to also pad my student teaching portfolio.
  • It allows students to create/synthesize content that promotes higher order thinking.
  • That we need to create opportunities to create and not just consume when using technology.
  • There is more technological help out there than I thought.

What’s one thing you learned about yourself today?

  • That I’m still intimidated by technology, but less-so now.
  • It takes me a little longer to be creative.
  • I can do more than I thought I could do with technology.
  • I liked being able to engage with site in an interactive way and just messing around with it to figure out how it works.
  • That I can be more techy.
  • I work well in groups of people with similar ideas.
  • That if I don’t keep up to date, I’m going to be that teacher that does not know how to operate the projector or future equivalent.
  • That I am capable of using technology and do not need to be afraid of it in my classroom. This will help a lot when it comes to working with students who are technology driven.
  • I was scared to use technology in the classroom before but I realized today it is super easy. I can see myself using way more technology now.
  • I should teach myself more of technology.
  • I thought I wouldn’t like using technology in the classroom, mostly because I tend to be technologically challenge, and easily intimidated by it. However, today I learned that I can use lots of these sources. They are not to be feared!
  • I learned that I enjoy working on platforms that allow for multiple people to work on them at once. I found that to be really useful.
  • It takes me longer to figure out technology than my younger peers.
  • I used to think that I needed a tutorial to figure out technology, but I think it is beneficial to just work with the site.
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