This is what it is all about. If you haven't heard technology mentioned a million times in the last few years, you've been under a rock. I am sure many struggle with why it is so important, especially if what they are doing is working. I myself have often wondered what strategy I might take to help get them on board. Well, simply put, my experience with #edcamphome 2.0 would be a great case study on why technology can be so amazing in education.
1. Learning by doing: I know this isn't something that requires technology, but technology gives far more opportunities for students to create and learn. However, I believe many times we limit students to our own imaginations and access to technology can allow students to do things we could never anticipate. Today, that is what happened for us as adults. The organizers did a fabulous job running the show. It was amazing to see just how much they have refined the process since inventing this crazy idea last summer. There were also a lot of participants who were running GHO's or joining GHOs for the first time, or doing an edcamp style for the best time. There is no better way many times than to learn by just doing it, making mistakes, and learning.
2. Global audience: In one of the sessions I was in today, we had Wisconsin, North Carolina, Hawaii, and China represented. This just simply isn't possible without technology to make these types of connections. We were all able to learn from each other and expand our minds on things we may never have even considered before. Sometimes the resources and the support we need aren't available in the immediate area - but access to technology can get those to us. We need to blow the lid off of schools and get our students and teachers collaborating around the country and world.
3. Digital Citizenship: I messed up a few times today as a moderator, and sometimes the GHO wasn't allowing the invites for the sessions to go through. However, everybody I met with and spoke to were amazingly kind, patient, and just appreciative for the opportunity to discuss ideas. This is an incredible model for what students should strive for in online participation (as well as in person!). It starts with us modeling so we can show students how it should work, and give them ample opportunities to work on their skills. Edcamphome was a perfect representation of how a diverse group of people with no prior connections can communicate and collaborate effectively to reach a goal.
There were many other takeaways. Asynchronous learning. Roles. Reflection. All things that happen naturally for people who consistently use and try and improve on including technology in our teaching.
Lastly, I would like to say the biggest takeaway is how important technology is for opening opportunities. If you weren't involved on social media, chances are that you would never even know an edcampHome existed, or many other professional development opportunities for that matter. Our students deserve to know what is out there so they can lead the best lives they possible can. Technology helps make that happen. Edcamphome showed that to me today.