Monday, March 24, 2014

Reflections on #EdcampOmaha14

My bucket is brimming over after spending a day at #edcampomaha March 22 with tremendous educators from across Nebraska and the Midwest who chose to spend their Saturday convening on Roskins Hall at UNO!

EdCampOmaha is...

The Conversation Begins
I picked up Michelle Klamm, @klammlovesmnms , for her first #edcamp!  As the car door closed, #edcamp conversations began. Michelle's energy was contagious and the 30 minute drive to #edcampomaha  felt like 30 seconds.   As we arrived on 2nd floor I was filled with the same awe I felt at my first #edcamp last year!  I remember walking in where @catlett1 welcomed me into the #edcamp family and showed me the ropes! This year it was my turn to pay it forward with the same hospitality that was extended to me!  

This year was an extra special because so people from Bellevue Public Schools shared in the fun! We had a large group of our #ipadacademy and #bpsne teachers attending #edcampomaha for the first time! It brought me great joy to see all our first timers quickly enveloped into the #edcamp family too; laughing, sharing, connecting, and energizing those around them!


A room full of people, who are gifts to each other,  all gathered around and eagerly waited for the day to begin.  Josh Allen, @j_allen, kicked off #edcampomaha with inspiring opening remarks and a great explanation of how the #edcamp flows. The boards quickly filled with session topics, were rolled out the doors, and sent up the elevators to the third floor where the conversations ignited the rooms!

Decision #EdcampOmaha14 - Which Sessions to Choose?

So many interesting topics popped onto the board.  After a few minutes of deliberation and a quick visit with Stacy Behmer, @sbehmer, I headed to Personalized PD led by Eileen Heller @opstechtrainers .
Edcamp Sessions

It was so fun to look around in my first session and see so many faces from my Twitter PLN and my district too!   It was awesome to refuel my tank and soak up the positive, constructive people who continue to inspire and push me to be a better educator and a better me.    I loved meeting Laura Gildchrist @lauragilchrist4 and Michelle Nebel @mnebel from my PLN face to face!  I also found out I wasn't the only Feldmann in the house! To my delight, I met Lori Feldman @lfeld52 from Lincoln! Small world to have a pair of  "Techie Feldie's"!   

The driving question for Personalized PD session was, "How Can We Make PD More Helpful or Productive?". The discussion was rich and the sharing was abundant.  It was impressive to hear all the wonderful ways everyone is providing professional development opportunities and how deeply each person cares about helping teachers grow, try new tools, and continue to develop professionally.  Conversations highlights are found on this Google Doc.

Next up was a session facilitated by Tim Hahn @TimHahn projectConnected on "Learning Environments, What Does That Mean?". To my delight, seated at my table was Michelle Baldwin @michellek107 all the way from Centennial, Colorado. Michelle taught me how to play the ukelele at my first #EdcampOmaha last year! Also at the table was Tina Holbook, @tinamhollbrook from Bellevue #ipadacademy, and Patty Margritz @pmargriz from Cozad . The fickle finger of fate determined our roles in our group, and we did them well! The discussion and sharing within our group and then as an entire room were rich and inspiring. I loved listening and soaking up the ideas. Check out the notes on this Google Doc.

Patty, Michelle, Ann, and Tina

It was super fun to slide down the hall where creativity literally met me at the door as teachers with iPads in hand were heading out to create in the App Smashing session by Craig Badura @mrbadura and Heather Callihan @hcallihan.  It was awesome to see creativity unleashed and everyone so jolly!  What can be more fun than seeing the creative genius of @catlett1 up on the big screen and his Chatterbox app smash a hit?   I walked away with ideas swirling in my head, new apps to try, and a spring to my step.  Thank you, Craig and Heather, you knocked it out of the park. A list of App Task Challenges and resources can be found on Mr. Badura's site The Digital Dog Pound
and Heather Callihan's Site  Mr. Badura also shared the link to that is worth checking out too!

I also popped into the "Low Tech" Session! Check out these great resources found in this Google Presentation

Thank YOU! Thank YOU! Thank YOU! Thank YOU! Thank YOU!

Thanks to all those who made #edcampomaha possible and for all the hours you devoted! Thank you Josh Allen (@J_allen), Mrs. Allen (loved seeing you at the registration table), Kristina Peters (@mrskmpeters), Bob Goeman (@bgoeman) and everyone who attended, shared, and made #edcampomaha the experience it was this year!

What a day! It is much better summed up in photos than wor
ds! Thanks  Laura Gildchrist for sharing your photo collection
Kristina Peters @mrskmpeters was kind enough to put a  twitter list of all of the awesome people who are woven into the fabric of #edcampomhaha last week-end.  Follows these educators, you will be glad you did! 

And the Journey Continues

As Michelle Klamm and I headed back to life after #edcamp we discussed the need to hit the road and attend another #edcamp soon, next March seems too far away!   Lucky for us, there are #edcamps popping up in cities everyone.   The next #edcamp is on the horizon in the Twin Cities.  Check it out at
You are the catalyst to make big things happen every day! How will you keep #edcamp fire kindled in your workplace?  

Read up on how reflections from our #ipadacademy teachers' experience at #edcampomaha below.
Michelle Boyce 
Michelle Klamm
Jenn Manning

Written by Ann Feldmann

1 comment:

  1. Great post Ann! It was great to see you there and your sidekick Michelle! Thanks for sharing all your resources and google docs from your sessions because as you know I was in different sessions!
    This is why I have attended so many Edcamps! Best free and inspiring PD there is.