If you know the song On a Boat, by Lonely Island, you’ll know why I cannot post the video for this (and if you look up the video, the language is NFWS). However, I cannot get that song out of my head! 🙂
Yesterday was EdcampSurfIA, an edcamp held in Clear Lake, Iowa, at the historic Surf Ballroom. Last year’s event, written about here, was pretty dang awesome for the fact I’d never been to the Surf Ballroom, so, I figured this year would be awesome for other reasons.
And yes, I was right.
First, the people. I finally had the chance to meet the #edufamous Kimberly Hurd-Hurst (@khurdhorst ). We figured that it’s been four years since we’ve “met” via Twitter, and after talks of #edcampRootRiver and #edcampLanesboro (check them out, awesome bike trail and river valley), we finally met in Clear Lake. She’s one of the most positive people that I’ve ever come across, and has been an inspiration to me for sometime now. If you aren’t following her on Twitter, please click out, follow her, and come back for more! After a big hug, I got to hang out with her Minnesota crew. Sandy Otto (@sandyrotto), Jenny Wamsley (@JennyWamsley), and Krisanne Wessel (@kwessel10) were great to meet for the first time, face to face, and yes, Sandy, when we are in Maple Grove, we’ll let you know! 🙂 I also had the chance to meet Cari Teske (@cariteske) along with her son (a soon to be first year teacher) Trent! And of course, the head honcho of the whole thing, Steve Kwikkel (@SKwikkel) and his “support crew” (those really running the show) Kay Schmalen (@schma3) and Emily Hill (@mle9903). There were many different interactions that happened throughout the day, but these people made the difference for so many others. I’m glad to call them part of my PLN (and you should have them in yours too!).
And the learning! We talked literacy (elementary and secondary), Google Classroom, assessments, culture, homework, teacher leadership, and so many other things too. I love this kind of professional development, because if the session isn’t for me, that’s ok! I can get up and find something new to connect with! My highlight, the boat ride.
Yup, that’s right! One of the sessions was titled “Wisdom and Water” co-lead by Steve and Kimberly, on Steve’s boat. We had a group of eight that jumped on (I felt like T-Pain on the video), and away we went onto Clear Lake. The “Las Vegas Rule” was put into place by the previous group: what’s said on the boat, stays on the boat”, simply to create an atmosphere to honesty about the topics discussed. This was probably my favorite session simply because, it wasn’t what we thought people should hear, it was speaking from the heart about educational topics. It’s too bad we can’t have more of the true, meaningful conversations instead of the dancing we like to do! But that’s for another post.
And before long, it time for the picture and the drive home. All in all, it was another great experience, and next year, dang it all, I will be staying for the after party, held on Main Street! I just need a reminder months in advance!
So, someone get on that for me please?? 🙂
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