Saturday Thoughts — EDCAMPLA

As you know — I truly enjoy being in the presence of my “ed-tech” friends — and so I was very much looking forward to EDCAMPLA — very much.

I drove over to Brent Coley’s house in the early early morning — so we could carpool down to Hollywood.  One unexpected bonus was the sky at Brent’s house was so so clear that I could see the big dipper and other stars.

As we drove, we talked — Brent is one of my most favorite people to talk with — we share a love for teaching, we share a love for God…..and pretty much can wander through any topic….so we had a great time on the way to EDCAMPLA!

The campus for EDCAMPLA was spectacular.   I have to admit that I am not really someone who notices architecture — but this school, you do.  Whoever the architecture was TRULY built the campus to highlight the surroundings – and all the rooms & seating arrangements were just wonderful.   Well done!!! — please click here to see more about this campus!

The morning began with seeing old friends — and meeting new ones as well.  Several people came over to tell me that they are involved in my projects — smiles — and I met Tim Bedley, who I had interviewed on my show, but had never met F2F.

(The hash tag for the conference was #edcampla — and here is a archive of all the tweets:  )

Then we moved to sessions — and I chose the EVERNOTE class.  It was in the library — and the first 5 minutes was just a moment of awe for everyone as they looked at the set up – AND THE VIEW — and then we got down to learning.  For me, I learned a lot — but that is because I spoke up and asked a lot of questions.   I think, next time, we should have broken this class up to newbies and experts….because I think those who wanted to go beyond the basics…were frustrated.  But for me….I learned A LOT!!!  and will be playing with evernote much more now.  BIGGEST TAKEAWAY — the camera in evernote seems better than the camera on the iphone.  Silly, and probably not accurate, but to me, I see a difference.

My next session was the APP class led by Jo Fox and the hashtag was #appdifferently — lots and lots of apps were flying by.  But the one that got the MOST attention was Remind101 — — I had a couple of questions about the app, so I tweeted out to remind101 and this was their response —


So I think I will try using Remind 101 for one of my next projects.  This was my BIGGEST TAKEAWAY!

The next class was the most unique — and probably the most memorable session I have ever (and really mean EVER) have attended.   I am not sure of the exact title – but I call it “What Teachers Don’t Say Out Loud” — and basically it was a group of teachers and administrations sharing some stories, some funny excerpts, some poignant thoughts, and just basic truths that we sometimes never blurt out loud.  We began with “I gave a worksheet to my students to keep them busy” – wandered through “I am a librarian and don’t like novels” – “I struggle with wanting to be the best teacher on campus” — “My students thought I was unapproachable” – etc.   Each story had more than that just these initial thoughts — and I won’t go much more into this in respect of anonymity  (smiles).  I was NOT as surprised at the comments as how surprised I was that we found an instant safety in our room.  Sure, we do this all the time at lunch/dinners at conferences with those we know….but this group pretty much had an instant camaraderie– thanks to the moderation of Stephen Davis!!

We then moved to lunch —

and then on to the last session of the day — which I teamed up with Brent Coley & Tim Bedley — and then pulled in Dennis Grice as well.  We shared about QR codes — and Dennis shared how to put audio into QR codes!!   You can read more about this here:  — and Tim shared how he has put a QR code of information on his phone and when people ask for his info, they can scan his phone.   (That was my biggest takeaway!)

We ended the day with Tool Slam — which to be honest — is NOT my favorite thing — but Dennis had brought sifteos — — and I admit that I wandered into my own world of exploration for the next 30 minutes as I played and played and played!!

Doorprizes, wrap up — and the day was pretty much done.   We moved over to a “tavern” for a bit but then Brent and I headed home — again solving ALL the world’s problems as we drove.  (smiles)

One of the biggest highlights of the day was when Tim Bedley came over to meet Dennis Grice and it turns out that Tim’s wife and Dennis went to the same high school.  Sometimes I feel I am playing 6 degrees from Jen Wagner – grins!

One of the other highlights was the campus — TRULY a remarkable structure.  I should have take MANY more pictures.

What I could have done differently
I am a loner….and I sink into a comfort zone with those I am comfortable with — and really NEED to step away and meet more people.  Yet again, I spent too much time with those I know.

Final thoughts though — it was an EXCEPTIONAL DAY — smooth running from the get-go.  Big applause to the EDAMPLA team — they truly know how to organize an edcamp so that it looks totally unstructured!  And the decision to let people fill their own swag bags was GREAT!!!

And now I look forward to Edcamp2014!!


  1. Brent Coley says:

    I too had a great time carpooling and solving the world’s problems on our way to and from EdCampLA. 🙂

  2. Great Blog post. You put some cool info in here. The type of info where I was like “doh! I should have put that in MY blog post.” There was something about Stephen Davis’ personality and approach that put an immediate safety cone over the entire room in the “Teacher Confessions” segment.

    I love these recap blog posts. It’s such a great resource to share with my co-workers when they ask me about EdCamps.

  3. Camille says:

    Jen, Wow! Sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing!!! Are you going to the CUE conference in Palm Springs in March? I will be there and would love to give you a hug! If not a virtual hug for all your wonderful projects will have to do.

  4. Thanks for sharing about EdCampLA. You always share great information. I wish I could have been at EdCampLA. At the last minute, I had to change my plans. Sounds like I missed a great event. I know it would be that way. I enjoyed reading about adding audio to QR codes by Dennis Grice. It’s something I’ve been working on for my Kinder class. Sorry I missed seeing you! That would have been even greater!

  5. Chad Lehman says:

    Great reflection. I’m hoping to get to EdCamp Madison in late February.

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