October 1 — EdCamp San Diego — So Happy I Decided to Go!

It’s been a while since I have enjoyed an edcamp as much as I did today.  To be honest, it has been a while since I was not “involved in hosting” an edcamp so that I was able to enjoy the edcamp.

So today, that was the opportunity. I had no responsibilities at all….so I was able to just enjoy.

I did have a “session idea” that I wanted to throw out there, but it was 100% something I needed help with – so I knew that I would welcome, start the conversation, and then sit back and learn.

Which is exactly what happened.

I arrived at EdCamp San Diego to see Adina and then Jo-Ann and then Ryan and then Kevin – all with hugs and hellos.

Within moments I had met someone new and then journeyed down the hallway to grab some water and some fruit (okay, and some banana bread) and then sat down at a table with 4 more people – all new to edcamps – but not new to EdTech.

Two were google innovators, 1 was an IT who just rolled out 1:1 for (I think he said 180 campuses) and another highly involved educator.

One of the teachers also was involved in sketch note and WOW, I wished I had taken pictures of here sketchbook – but I was able to grab Jo-Ann (another sketchbook-er) to say “LOOK AT THIS.”   Oh, and the teacher is a pen/paper sketchbook artist on graph paper books.   No app involved. It was IMPRESSIVE!

And as I was eating, someone tapped me on the back — and it was Vicky S…..super surprised to see her!

After the welcome, I wandered into the 1st session – which was my suggestion – “Reaching the Reluctant Campus” and learned learned learned. So many ideas were shared – but it mostly narrowed down to
a) meet each teacher where they are,
b) catch them with a time saving idea, and
c) get parents involved so that they also encourage the teacher.
Not new ideas but IMPORTANT REMINDERS!!   I left with a bit of a lift to my step and ready to encourage my own teachers ASAP.

After the 1st session, I wandered into the Maker Space and played with cardboard – but to be honest, I watched someone sketch out and build a cardboard chair, I saw a cardboard laptop holder, and I chatted with new friends and Elizabeth G.   (so great to catch up with her)

Onward to lunch and a nice conversation with 6 or 7 other educators.   One teacher in that room, when finding out my name, started sharing praises of Projects By Jen – which was unexpectedly nice.

From there, I went to Google Forms – and my mind was blown.
a.   You can click on the grid lines above 1 or to the left of A – drag down or drag over – to lock the rows – so you can scroll & still see headers!
b. In New google forms (I still gravitate to old) you can see responses and INDIVIDUAL responses (so that you can read their comments easier than in a spreadsheet.
c. There is an add-on called ROW CAL <?> that allows you to gather info from 1 form & disperses it over several sheets due to filter. (This will help with O.R.E.O. by grade results)
d. Conditional Formatting – not new to me – but the fact you can find it UNDER the bucket (as well as under FORMAT) was new to me.
This class became many conversations overlapping so I know I lost a lot of ideas.
But I did work with a new Jen and we created a homework collection form for her.
We created a simple form – first question was Homework (with a text answer option) and then she had student names listed with grid choices of Done, Incomplete, Absent, and one more heading.
She then could open the form herself, type in the homework title for the 1st question and then click the right grid choice for each student.   And she will use this MONDAY.

The final session started on Google Expeditions.   Though the wifi was a bit sketchy – we saw how it works and WOW, you don’t need to use google cardboard to use this.
LINK: https://www.google.com/edu/expeditions/#about

Love the add in of questions for teacher to start conversations about what they see.
LOVE that you don’t need to have cardboard to do this. (We do have 8 but not enough for 1:1 – but we do have 1:1 ipads)
Cannot wait to show this to a teacher next week. – already have one booked for Friday morning!   J

We then wandered into Google Geo – which I thought was google earth (been there, done that) but found out I am VERY BEHIND in google earth options.
So first – Google Tourbuilder – I have been doing this in google earth – but don’t need to any longer — Tour Builder is better!!

Then on to Google Earth Engine – time lapse of ANY LOCATION since 1984

And that is when My Mind said “NO MORE” – I am overwhelmed with ideas!  My brain went “poof”!

It was such a day of learning!
And I cannot wait to get to work on Monday!

Oh, and also, at about 20 minutes into the beginning of the day, I met @TeachingTechNix — (Cynthia)
who I am hoping will be a mentor to me and help me be a much better coach to the teachers on my campus. She works at private Christian school too.

And I won a door prize and got to choose what I wanted, so I took a copy of Jen Robert’s book and got her to autograph it for me – since she was sitting right in front of me!

THANK YOU so much to the EDCAMP San Diego team! Wonderful day!!!


PS — I am sure I forgot something, so look for an addendum soon!


  1. Jo-Ann Fox says:

    I’m so glad I got to see you today. Remember back in 2013 when I met you at Edcamp LA? Bill Selak told me you were there and took me over to meet you. You have inspired so many teachers to make a global impact and your positivity is incredible. Can’t wait to see you again!

    • Jennifer says:

      I think it has to have been before 2013 — I am thinking at least 2011.
      We have enjoyed several edcamps and a few coffee cues……much more than just 3 years worth?
      At least — it seems to me we have been friends much more than just 2013!
      And thank you for you kind words!

  2. Jen Zacharias says:

    Thank you, Jen, for helping me with my Google Form!! Looking forward to collaborating again at the next event! Love your recap. Yep! Mind blown! @jenyrose22

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