Saturday, July 20, 2013

What just happened?!

Something indescribably edu-amazing happened today, and I almost missed it. I've blogged previously about actually using Twitter for something other than pure entertainment and growing a PLN without even realizing it was happening. I also blogged about how this flood of professional educational collaborative awesomeness was a bit overwhelming and how I  was now unable to turn off the avalanche of ideas and concepts that were overloading my brain. As I've previously stated, my Twitter timeline is not a firehose anymore, it's a river. I still treat it like a Facebook timeline, or a DVR however and think I am going to miss something if I don't read every single tweet! (more on that later)

So "why the rehash?" you ask. Well, with several non-work, non-computer projects that I had to do, coupled with a family and other duties, my ability to keep up with my Twitter timeline of spectacular educators was lagging at best. I had seen some references and hashtags to this #edcamphome concept but honestly, I thought it was a sarcastic way of saying that people would be at home and not at a conference. I passed it off as some "inside" joke that I wasn't privy to since I hadn't been attending ISTE or ADE13 or GAFESUMMIT. So I really never looked it up or did any research, not that I would have had time to do so anyway.

Fast forward to this Saturday morning. After sleeping in, or at least sleeping in as long as a parent of 6 and 9 year olds are afforded, I went for my Saturday run. Upon returning, I poured a cup of coffee and planned to watch some of the Open Championship on ESPN. I check my Twitter timeline and see this #edcamphome hashtag going crazy. I follow a few links and lo and behold Edcamp Home was not only a real event but it was going on! I tweeted  Karl Lindgren-Streicher to inquire, and he tweeted back immediately, which I would learn later was even more impressive because of all the awesomeness he was facilitating simultaneously!

Two hours later, my mind was not only blown, but I was so fired up that I couldn't contain my excitement. How did I almost miss this?! Thankfully for me, I'm an uber-dedicated (some say obsessive, but who's counting?) tech nerd, so that learning curve didn't phase me. I was able to use my GAFE/GHO experience to get up to speed immediately. I navigated through Google+, Twitter, Google Docs, and Youtube and instantly joined the event. OK, I probably didn't register correctly and I also didn't shorten my Google+ Profile URL, but this community of unbelievably amazing educators welcomed me with open arms hangouts. I first watched what I called "Command Central," as  David Theriault, Karl Lindgren-Streicher, Kelly Kermode, and Shawn White facilitated the whole thing. Curt Rees tweeted something to the effect that it looked like NASA or mission control. It was a perfect description. These 4 individuals tied this all together with inspirational improvisation and persistence. Additionally, in the Minecraft session, Jo-Ann Fox and a bunch of us were wowed by Jo-Ann's daughter's fearless sharing with us, while unknowingly epitomizing what learning/teaching should look like. It was this amazing (I'm overusing that word I know!) experience that I am not ashamed to admit was life changing.

The slam session at the closing was equally as mind-blowing-ly awesome as people shared and highlighted things they were using or learning about. It was all I could do to contain my excitement and energy and manage to get a coherent stream of consciousness across the hangout for my portion. I could go on and on about how inspirational this experience was for me. Getting to hangout (pun intended) with such amazing, caring, passionate, knowledgable people was career impacting edu-domination! Where there glitches? Yes, but it is not whether or not there were glitches/challenges but how we responded to them. Thanks to the fearless and courageous leaders the glitches were turned into learning opportunities and when everyone showed patience and grace, it was even more powerful. Learning at its purest form. Again... amazing.

I apologize if this blog is more like a mind-dump/ramble mashup, but it's the best I can do at the moment. I'm still processing and reflecting on all that happened and hoping to increase connections with all who participated directly and indirectly.  Additionally I just got back from a few hours of analog family time at our local pool with my daughters. My mind is still racing with excitement!

Thank you to everyone for allowing me to participate in such an amazing, inspiring event. I was already an advocate of Education and Technology but I'm even more passionate after being a part of this!

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