With upcoming EdCamps, EdCons, Conferences, TweetUps, Elluminates, and more upon us…..here are a couple of guidelines to help make your “camping” experience productive.
#1 PACKING HINTS
Please remember to bring your laptop (or any other computing device you use most often), camera, pencil, paper, jacket (for air-conditioned rooms), power cord, surge bar, flash drive. To ensure immediate friendships: bring a mifi 2200 (or any other sharing wifi device). Bring some snacks (enough to share if you wish) and water!!!
–At NECC 2006 I brought along a surge bar which was a hit at the Blogger Cafe. Anything you can do that helps you — but also helps others is MORE THAN APPRECIATED.
#2 BRING A BUDDY
If you currently work at a school that you feel you are the “ONLY ONE INVOLVED IN ED-TECH”, you need to bring a friend. If not, you will return discouraged and you set your school up to continue to fail.
–EdCamps are free, EdTech Conferences can be paid for with Title monies from your district (private schools can ask for this as well).
#3 WRITE HOME OFTEN
Blog Blog Blog. Tweet Tweet Tweet. Plurk. Plurk. Plurk. Posterous. Posterous. Posterous. uStream. Podcast. Audioboo. And then do it again.
–Share your journey, share your experience, share your knowledge. SHARE.
#4 BUDDY UP
Make some new friends and promise to be pen email pals after this camp. Share your tweet names, blog pages, delicious/diigo links, resource page and get theirs as well.
–bring something with your information on it (business cards, labels, postnotes, SOMETHING, that you can hand to someone so they have a record of it later.) And if there is an “I ATTENDED” wiki page — ADD your name to it!!
#5 REMEMBER IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT TECH
Talk about YOU. Listen to THEM.
–I have said it before and will continue to say it over and over. “The BEST conversations I have had with the people who know THE MOST about TECH has never been about TECH.” Get to know people beyond the EdTech realm. Let them get to know you too!
#6 SIFT OUT THE OPINION FROM THE FACT
As you listen to people share, remember that most that is shared will be opinion!!! Remember your current school situation is unlike anyone else there. What works (or does not work) on your campus will be unique.
–If someone is sharing about what is happening at their school, accept 90% as truth and 10% as hope. UNLESS, they have followed RULE #2 — then you can accept 100% as accurate.
#7 REMEMBER TO REPRESENT YOUR SCHOOL WELL
It will be very easy to fall into the “what you don’t have at your school” mentality. Don’t fall into that trap. Talk up your school — even if you can only think of 1 thing.
–Make others believe your school IS the school to work at.
#8 CAPTURE THE MOMENT
Take tons of pictures. TONS. and then share them out.
–Help create a collage of memories.
#9 KNOW THE HASHTAG
Almost all “cons, camps, etc” now have a hashtag to use when sharing on twitter. Know that hashtag and USE it often.
–If no one has made a hashtag, the create one yourself and share it out!!
#10 GIVE HONEST FEEDBACK
At the end of your “camping” experience, be honest with your feedback. Be fair, but be honest. Talk up the good but share what could be improved. If someone asks you to critique their session, be kind….but be honest.
–Before you write your feedback, remember to be realistic in your expectations but be truthful and offer suggestions/support for future “camps,cons, etc”
Enjoy your camping experience these next few months. I know personally, between now and March I could easily attend 6 weekend “camps” within 60 miles of my own home. And now because of ustream — you can attend those sessions as well. Plus More!
I know EdCamp OC is coming up, plus: EdCampOmaha (more edcamps Here) EduCon, OC CUE, CUE, FETC, WEMTA — just to name a few. All which hopefully will be sharing beyond the “in-house” participants!!
So join a camp this season–
and if nothing else — FOLLOW RULE #2. It will benefit EVERYONE!!!