Monday, March 24, 2014


A double selfie to start the day!

What exactly is an EdCamp?

On Saturday, March 22nd, I experienced powerful, positive, passionate, and collaborative learning amongst educators at....EdCampOMAHA!  It is a FREE event focused on professional, meaningful, and relevant development amongst educators!  

The morning started with a mini info session as to how the day would flow and then the boards were rolled in.  The boards had different time slots available for ANYBODY to create sessions about ANYTHING!  As I watched people walk to the boards, I couldn't help but think how amazing it was to not have a set agenda/sessions for the day.  This agenda was being created before my eyes by people who had a passion for something they felt was important to share to all!  Michelle Boyce (EdCamp Newbie) even put up a session about her Agile Classroom!  Way to go Michelle!  
Michelle Boyce being a rockstar
hosting/talking about the agile classroom
she has created at her very first EdCampOMAHA!  
The sessions were very casual (not your typical sit and listen sessions) and open for discussion.  In all of the sessions I attended, people were sharing, collaborating, questioning, creating, learning, and more importantly...they were passionate.  Love that the EdCamp sessions allowed people to share their passions with each other!  In the Agile Classroom session, ran by Michelle Boyce, there were multiple topics brought to the table within just that one session!  It started with the agile classroom and from there we discussed, world/cross curriculuar connections being made with blogging and kidblog, building community, classroom management and so much more!  The casual format allows people the opportunity to share and pose questions about what is being discussed. 

The great thing about the relaxed environment at EdCamp is that you can feel free to move in and out of sessions as you need to.  Nobody takes offense because there are SO many great sessions taking place at once and sometimes you feel the need to split the time to enhance your learning experience!  Sharae Geldes and I went to the same sessions and attended different sessions as well.  This was great because we can both come together and share what we learned with each other!  
Speed Dating EDU/TECH
style with Brent Catlett!

Sessions ranged from technology, classroom design, photography, global connections, tech newbies, app smashing, and SO MUCH MORE!  The sessions weren't solely focused around technology, there were a variety of amazing educational topics as well!   Here is a link that has the sessions from EdCampOMAHA .  I also suggest following #edcampomaha.  Take the time to scroll through and read some inspiring tweets from those who attended.  People also tweeted information/resources!

Inspiring educators to
follow on Twitter!
I met a ton of fantastic educators and learned more than I ever thought I could in one day and five sessions.   I am excited to take these ideas back to my classroom and provide my students with more wonderful opportunities.  From app smashing, to global connections, then onto creating a more agile classroom (and so much more), my students are in for a great and surprising rest of the year!  Of course meeting and making connections with several inspiring and passionate educators was one of the best parts of EdCampOMAHA (thanks Brent Catlett (@catlett1) for posting the Speed Dating EDU/TECH style session).  The connections made will stay with me as continue this amazing journey as an educator.  

A Few Inspiring Tweets from EdCampOMAHA:

The world is too negative! We'll teach our Ss that the glass is half 
full and 2enjoy every last sip!

 The conversations are the best part of

RT : Great quote of the day - You aren’t giving up a Saturday- I’m gaining! -

 The power of watching a passionate teacher in action is so inspiring!

Ditto! RT : i seriously love ’s passion for being a “camera-toting teacher”

"Fair is you getting what you need to be successful."-- Michelle Boyce

After my experience at EdCampOMAHA, I am still left wondering....

         Why can't all professional development be like EdCamps?  We are always telling and teaching our students to collaborate, share, and question because that is how we all learn and develop our ideas as well as create new ones.   We learn from others by sharing what we are passionate about, listening, questioning, challenging others to open their minds and think in a different way, so why aren't professional development days giving educators the platform/opportunity to engage in these conversations?  Teachers sharing their passions, supporting, learning, and celebrating each other and the amazing things each of us have accomplished within our own classrooms and with our students would contribute to building a supportive community amongst our staff!  We always say there is never enough time to have a meaningful and productive time to collaborate, so why not give it a try! What is the worst that can happen...we learn something new and are inspired by one another?!

EdCampOMAHA has inspired me to bring this idea to my principal for future professional development days.  If we are able to implement an EdCamp professional development day, there could be an amazing opportunity for growth amongst teachers within our building.  An EdCamp style professional development day would be FREE, inspiring, give educators the opportunity to share what they are passionate about with others, and allow for discussion, questioning, collaboration, and so much more!  I am inspired and ready....who is with me?!?! 

Added Bonus...

I almost forgot about an added bonus to our UNBELIEVABLE day!  Within our iPad Academy we have coaches. Brent Catlett is my coach as well as all of the people listed on his shirt below.  A couple of came up with the idea to create a t-shirt for Brent and surprise him at EdCampOMAHA!  The reaction was priceless (kicking myself for not recording it)!  We are all very proud to have Brent as a coach.  He is an amazing and inspiring person that challenges and pushes me to be a better teacher each and every day!  Brent, thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the....



  1. Wow Jenn! Thank you so much for the kind words!! I am blown away by your post! This is a fantastic capture and reflection of your day! I am so lucky to get to work with you and the rest of people I coach within the #ipadacademy!
    I am so excited that you came and you got to see what I have seen now for 4 years! Edcamps for me are my life blood to staying inspired and connected amongst many other great things that you pointed out!
    Wow! I am so impressed with this post! I am curious to hear how Mr. Kauk will respond to the possibility of something like edcamp for a PD day at Two Springs.
    Simply awesome!
    Keep up the great work and I can't wait to collaborate with you and debrief about the day with you!
    See you soon!

  2. Jenn, thought filled! amazing! inspiring! you captured the whole essence of the day! Thank you for your dedication and your insightful posting about it. I think this kind of post is exactly what people need to understand edcamp! You did a beautiful job summing up a day that no words can describe. Well done, well said! Love that I have you as my iPad buddy! Keep up the good work, and maybe, just maybe...our next district PD will be like this! :)