EdCampKY 2017 by Adam Watson

Posted on Posted in Teacher Stories

When I attended the first ever EdCampKY in October 2014 at Thomas Nelson High School, I was instantly inspired -- some might say smitten, as I definitely fell in love with the "unconference" idea of professional development. Besides deepening my friendships with several educators, I began new ones that continue to this day. A few months later, I was asked to join the EdCampKY planning committee, which was extremely flattering. One of the highlights in the years since was being able to host EdCampKY in Shelby County . . . complete with stormtroopers.

Last Saturday was the fifth EdCampKY, held at Bardstown Middle School, relatively close to the location of the first. (Thanks to Mike Paul for setting up the location at his home school!) It was another great day of educators sharing and networking:

As my Instagram pic shows, the next EdCampKY will be held for the first time in Jefferson County on July 7, 2018! Put it on your calendar!

Two tools from the EdCamp made an impression on me and are worth a mention: Recap and ClassroomQ. (Full disclosure: both of these were also sponsors this year.)

I have blogged about Recap in a previous entry, but in the time since, they have made major changes in how the platform works. What was once basically just a free student video response tool has expanded into a structured space for deeper discourse, which Recap calls "Queues." Students can still make video responses if the teacher allows it, but text responses are also possible; with the ability to respond to other responses, or have a question lead to a sub-level thread of conversations, the conversation can get very detailed and dense! Last but not least, you can create a "Journey," complete with a short self-cam intro, step by step instructions, and external links. A Journey would be useful to kick off the Queue (perhaps by building schema before the conversation begins), or as a way to set up students for their own inquiry-based learning. You can set up a Queue where you can join with just a PIN, which means anyone can start responding in seconds without creating student accounts or rosters.

I discussed Recap in one of my sessions as a useful personalized learning and PBL tool (for example, you could set up a Queue with your PBL unit's driving questions and need-to-know's), but I also used it as a place to capture the reflections of my session's attendees; here's a viewable example. (You have the option of "opening" your Queue as view only for the public to see without being able to post responses.)

This was originally posted on Adam Watson's Edtech Elixirs. You can see the full original post here.

About Adam: Adam is the Digital Learning Coordinator of Shelby County Public Schools (KY, USA). Educator since 2005. Teacher of high school English (2005-2014); became NBCT (AYA in English Language Arts) in 2013.

You can see his full profile here.