How to Run an EdCamp via Zoom

How to Run an EdCamp via Zoom

I recently ran a edcamp style morning session for our incoming MATs at the University of Portland’s School of Education. Our session goals:

  • Provide a framework for students to explore ed tech in small project-based learning teams
  • Model a student centered learning space that takes the instructor out of center stage.
  • Reinforce that ed tech tools are more than bright shiny objects – they are a tools to inspire your student to investigate, collaborate, create, drive change and take action.

In advance, I created a Google site – “Pandemic Teachers’ Toolkit” that profiled ten free (or freemium) edtech apps. Each app page included a brief overview, how to log in, samples of the app in action, a how-to video on using the app, and instruction on how to get a sample project from the app to a Padlet showcase. The apps were numbered 1-10.

On the morning of the session, I logged in 42 students and I opened with a brief intro and an overview of the morning’s activities. I did a short presentation on the apps using Keynote with some screen shots that highlighted each app and what it could do. I then used Zoom’s built-in breakout group tool to create random groups of four students each. Each breakout group was assigned to explore their corresponding numbered app. The suggestion was for each student in the breakout group to explore the assigned app in parallel fashion and offer help to each other as needed. When they completed a product with the app they posted it to the corresponding Padlet along with comments on working with the app.

As Zoom host I was able to drop in and out of breakout groups offering support as needed. If anyone had a question they could message me via Zoom. After about 30 minutes of work time we all got back together and shared observations. For example – you can’t be in Zoom and Flipgrid simultaneously – the are both fighting over your camera. (Why didn’t I think of that?)

Then we repeated the process and I created 10 new random teams. Some student found themselves back at the same app. So they did not agree to join that group. I was quickly able to see that and assign them to a new group. Students spent about another half hour exploring the second app. They again posted their work and observation to the corresponding Padlet.

I should note that their app-posts were very clever and creative. And their comments were spot on. As a closer, I provided a Google Form exit ticket. Their responses demonstrated that they saw the experience as very valuable and that it achieved it’s goals.

Here’s a two of the exit questions and student responses.

What’s one thing you learned about yourself today?
  • I learned that I enjoy exploring new technology when it is explained well enough.
  • I love working on my own! It is my first choice when it comes to work options. However, I did need my partners at times so I’m glad they were there to help me!
  • I really enjoy meeting new folks outside my cohort! And I’ve become much more comfortable with online teaching over the summer term.
  • I am better at navigating new apps than I thought I would be.
  • I need to try something before I understand it, so I appreciated the time to do so.
  • I enjoy playing around with the different tools within an app to help me understand the best use of my creativity and instruction.
  • I learned that I’m actually a pretty quick learner with these different platforms, which makes me feel better going forward into the school year next year!
  • I liked being able to figure out to use the tools. I always find it more engaging to learn by doing instead of being told how to do things.
What’s one thing you learned about edtech today?
  • These things are free! And a lot of it is integrated with programs I already use. Great stuff!
  • I have a lot more free, realistic options available to me than I knew about before this morning.
  • I had heard of some of these online resources before but hadn’t used most of them – this was a cool opportunity to learn how to use these resources, I’ll definitely be incorporating some into my class.
  • How user-friendly most of the apps are….I was pleasantly surprised.
  • There are far more resources than I would’ve thought. They were all a lot easier to use than I would’ve thought, too! For someone who struggles with technology, they were surprisingly user friendly.
  • So many other options for distance learning! I’ll be spending some time just playing around with these apps/sites.
  • There are a variety of accessible edtech tools that I was previously unaware of that could make remote teaching more engaging.

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.

#edcampPDX Back2School Edition: Twitter Archive

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We just completed our 10th edcampPDX – a chance to get pumped up for the new school year, network and share new ideas with our colleagues. Here’s our Storify Twitter archive. Check back for updates as attendees have time to reflect and tweet on the awesomeness we shared.
Our Shared #EdCampPDX Notes | Our Wiki here
Many thanks to our host @seani and Riverdale Grade School 11733 SW Breyman, Portland, OR 97219

Calling PNW educators: edcampPDX Aug 16 – Portland Ore

edcampPDX-8-16-14On behalf of our local team of organizers, I’m pleased to welcome you to our 10th edcampPDX since 2011. It’s time to get pumped up for the new school year- network and share new ideas with your colleagues.

Calling all teachers, pre-service teachers, instructional technologists, IT directors, principals, admins and teacher librarians who live in the NW: edcampPDX – Saturday, August 16, 2014 More info
Riverdale Grade School 11733 SW Breyman, Portland, OR 97219  Map

Students are welcome at EdCampPDX! Make sure to add them to the list so they’ll get a lunch.

What is edcampPDX?
An edcamp is an unconference-style day of professional development organized and given by the local participants.

Sign up here to attend! 
We’ve had lots of proposals for sessions.
Check our sessions out here.

What should I bring?
Bring a friend and a device (either a laptop or mobile device) with wireless internet access to view the website, see the sessions, take notes and view online resources discussed throughout the day.

Are you on the Twitters?
Tweet updates about #edcampPDX. Follow @edcampPDX on Twitter.

What does it cost?
The day is FREE!!! Even lunch.

PPS Teachers – we’ll have some Chromebooks and workshops so you can get a head start.

edcampPX-Storify

What are the goals of edcampPDX?

  • Networking: Connect educators in the Portland / Oregon area
  • Instructional Practices: Learn new curriculum ideas, best practices,
  • and/or tech integration ideas from other educators
  • Personalized: You customize your own PD by suggesting, facilitating and attending sessions about topics that interest you!

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21st C Social Studies at edcampOCSS – Portland Ore

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Calling all educators interested in Social Studies, History, Geography, Government, and Economics who live in the NW. Plus Humanities, Librarians, Technology and Administrators. K-12 plus college level. Here’s a great reason to head to Portland and connect with other educators!

I’ve been involved with Portland’s successful edcampPDX and I’m pleased to be a co-chair of this social studies themed edcampOCSS sponsored by The Oregon Council for the Social Studies.

Join us in Portland Oregon on May 17, 2014.
(8:30 AM – 2:15 PM,  then we’ll go somewhere for beers)

Valley Catholic Middle School,
4420 SW St. Mary’s Drive,
Beaverton, OR 97007 Map
We’ll begin with coffee in the middle school cafeteria. Look for signs to guide you.
The campus can be accessed from Murray Blvd or Farmington. There are signs on campus that indicate the buildings. The main parking lot is on the east side of the building.

This is a free event.
Sign up to attend here
Suggest sessions here

Door prizes from Simple K12 include 5 FREE 1-year, full access individual memberships to SimpleK12’s Teacher Learning Community (each valued at $357). Plus every attendee gets a free copy SimpleK12’s most popular premium eBook resources, “57 Inspirational Quotes.”

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Door prizes from Herff Jones include a one year classroom license to StrataLogica and classroom sets of atlases.

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Big thank you to ORVSD for sponsoring a free lunch for the first 75 who sign up.

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Here’s some of sessions that have already been suggested. More 

  • Teaching with Documents (4-16)
  • Literacy strategies in social studies (3-8)
  • Getting to Know iBooks Author (all grades)
  • Teaching US History from OR perspective (4-12)
  • Discussion techniques for students  (all grades)
  • Teaching with Social Media (6-12)
  • Intro to Project Based Learning in the k-5 classroom (K-5)
  • Population Connections/Geography/Sustainability in a World of 7 Billion (6-12)
  • Using Prior Historical Knowledge to progressively spiral the disciplinary literacy skills necessary to prepare students for college and/or career. (5-12)
  • Using Google tools (Earth, Docs, Sheets, etc…) to study geography and explore history in different places. (6-212)
  • Why’d She Do It? Hacking Motivation (K-12)

On the Twitters? Use hashtag #edcampOCSS. Follow @ocss14

On the Facebook Follow Oregon Council for the Social Studies | Follow event edcampOCSS

What are the goals of edcampOCSS?

  • Networking: Connect educators in the Portland / Oregon / SW Washington area
  • Instructional Practices: Learn new curriculum ideas, best practices, and/or tech integration ideas from other educators
  • Personalized: You customize your own PD by suggesting, facilitating and attending sessions about topics that interest you!