If You Can Google the Question, it Sucks – The Afterglow: #bit14 & #edcampswo

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If You Can Google the Question, it Sucks - The Afterglow: #bit14 & #edcampswo
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What a week. With the exception of a few hours on Friday, I haven’t been home since Tuesday morning. Don’t get me wrong, that isn’t a complaint. My head is spinning though with excitement and inspiration.

#bit14 was awesome, like always. Rumours had the total audience at around 1550 teachers from all over the country. I met Verena Roberts from Calgary (@verenanz) with her partner in crime Terri Reid (@ter_reid). They came a great distance and it was pretty cool to meet f2f after all these years. I remember discussing twiducate with Verena back in 2009 via twitter.

I won’t elaborate too much on what happened in sessions because odds are you went if you are reading this.

I felt there was a theme this year of coding, genius hour and maker space. I bet that made Peter Skillen (@peterskillen) happy. BTW – Pink Floyd to start your session was bang on!

My biggest takeaway from #bit14 this year was the connections I made. It was the one on one conversations with people who agreed, challenged and justified my own thoughts. There is tremedous value in talking to someone in person and not just behind a screen. We are all about the technology in education lately and perhaps we lose sight.

It was a long three days, not in the sense that we were tired, just that the learning never stopped. Late night dinners with folks had us continuing the discussions and debates into the wee hours of the night.

Friday’s headliner was George Couros (@gcouros). He nailed his keynote and had people laughing, crying, thinking and sharing. Good thing, we would have cancelled him for edcampSWO! (jk)

Niagara wasn’t enough for us this year. We intentionally scheduled @edcampSWO immediately afterwards on November 8th. A brave move, but it paid off. We scooped Mr. Couros to join us and bring his message back to those locally who couldn’t make #bit14 in Niagara.

Even my principal, Chris Moore (@icprin) has decided to start a blog. I will hold him to it, emotional or not.

I wasn’t sure what to expect on Saturday as half of the organizers were running on little sleep from Niagara.

In reality, we made history for education in southern Ontario.

#edcampswo had 300 participants from six school boards, three countries and included teacher candidates, teachers, VPs, Ps, SOs and ECE’s! Not to gloat or anything but we trended the hastag #edcampswo to THIRD PLACE in Canada and ahead of #satchat in North America! A big feat for 300 people (especially when they weren’t all on twitter, yet!).

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I was honoured, and a little intimidated to have George listen to me speak.

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Thanks to the #bit14 committee. You nailed it like usual. Thanks to the #edcampSWO committee who blew the minds of current Faculty students. James, you are a legend.

A special thanks goes out to the Wideens. Our vehicle broke down after #edcampSWO – as if the powers beyond didn’t want the learning to stop. Yes, the learning continued well into last night with discussions around apps, TLLP, TLC, ideas, resources, and even a few laughs. Steph and I owe the Wideens a night’s rent and gas money to get some vehicle parts. We are finallly home now – 1:46 PM on Sunday – the day after #edcampswo – and I think my dog missed me.

This week I reconnected with old friends, made new ones Buffalo and strengthened relationships with those close to me.

If you tweeted yesterday, you’re here somewhere:

Capture

Get ready kiddos, Mr. A is back with a vengeance tomorrow!

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2 Responses for this post

  1. Michelle Cordy
    Michelle Cordy
    | |

    I agree, there was a wonderful light shining on experiential learning through 3D printing, make, programming, and inquiry. I am deeply impressed with the way you are connecting math to programming with Scratch.

    It was great to see you at the event. Congratulations on rushing home to lead and take part in SWOEdCamp.

    Great to see you. Keep up the amazing work!

    Reply
  2. Doug Peterson
    Doug Peterson
    | |

    Hi Brian – you were right on with the numbers for the Bring IT, Together Conference. It was the biggest in years and packed with some of the best Canadian minds in education. Everywhere I turned, there was a wonderful conversation with people I’ve admired from Twitter-afar. It was busy – I think you and I talked for 15 seconds and we didn’t get a chance to connect with Sphero. That’s too bad; I’m sure that it would make your head spin with mathematical and programming possibilities.

    I’m sorry that I couldn’t join you in Tecumseh – Saturday was a day of clearing up loose ends.

    I trust that you had a successful day and, once again, I missed out on an opportunity to say hi to @mrsaspinall. Some day, we’ll have to get that right.

    Reply

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