I had full intentions of attending #edcamphome a joint effort of David Theriault (@davidtedu), Karl Lindgren-Streicher (@LS_Karl), Kelly Kermode (@coachk), and Shawn White (@swpax). The idea was just that, create an EdCamp that was totally online, one where schmucks like me who live in the middle of no where can participate!
I’d be pointed in this direction by Kimberly Hurd (@khurdhorst) as we’d both been smack in the middle of the #NotAtISTE group that formed up. The whole idea seemed awesome to me as the farthest I can get is about 90 minutes during the summer. School conferences, nope. Our funding has been cut to the point where any “conference” is a training. The idea of an EdCamp where I could participate in my shorts, t-shirt, and Cubs cap had it’s appeal! 🙂
My first stumbling block, Google+ and Google Hangouts. As I may or may not have mentioned, I’ve not been able to access either during the school year, which really didn’t bother me too much, but I asked all the same to have them opened up. My Google+ account was good to have opened during the #NotAtISTE fun, but I’d not been able to get to my Google Hangouts, so I asked again. As it was, we are entering into a whole grade sharing agreement with a neighboring district, and with that has come an email/domain name change. Really? Whole different blog post, but by doing this, I’d have TWO Google+ accounts, so I simply deleted the first and readded many people. But, the change in domain seems to mean that my GHO are open as I’m able to them, and I was excited to participate in this form of technology.
So, I’ve got my email set back up the way I want, my Google+ is starting to populate itself with all these awesome teachers, my GHO are up and workable, what could go wrong? Life! 🙂
My daughters both show Brown Swiss heifers three or four times a year in the summer/fall. To do this, you have to get your halters ready, all the grain and hay you’ll need, along with washing them and clipping them. Yes, you take some pretty substantial clippers, and trim back almost all their hair, trying to bring out the depth and dairy of your animal. Now, I’m not a dairy farmer, cow famer, or even really big animal farmer, so the first time I learned about this I laughed long and hard. However, sure enough, that’s what we get to do each time the girls show, clip heifers. This isn’t all a terrible thing because they are used to it, their hair is a little shorter from the first clipping so things go a lot faster. The problem is, yesterday was our day, period. So, my grand plans of being part of this awesome event were sidelined by four legged bovines and their need to get a hair cut.
Now, I could be grumpy, but there are some positives that took place in all this:
1) Heifers are clipped and ready for the fair! 🙂 Enough said.
2) I did get the chance to be part of very beginning of all this, and watched at the online bulletin board was flooded with great ideas in real time, to the point where the moderators had to tell people to stop for a time. Are you kidding me?? That’s what online learning and choice is all about!
3) There are tons of blog entries, ones that are way cooler then the one you are reading, about the #edcamphome experience, and wow, did some great things happen. It just makes me that much more eager to carve out time to participate the next time this comes up!
4) As I’ve gone back into the website, all of the sessions are posted. I guess that’s my learning as well, that with GHO you can record and post the hangout on YouTube. In going through the sessions, there’s about four hours worth of stuff that I’m planning on downloading on to my iPod and listening to! All of it on ONE web site. Terrific!
And finally, my Google+ circles have all these awesome teachers and administrators in them now. It’s just another way that I can collaborate and keep myself, my students, heck my co-workers connected with what I do as a teacher.
While I’m disappointed not to have participated nearly as much as I wanted to, I know what it’s like, and when #edcamphome2 comes up, you can be sure that I’ll be in my hangout, headphone and microphone ready to go! 🙂