My Problems with Ed Camps and Teach Meets

The main problem I have with Ed Camps and Teach Meets is that I enjoy them too much!

It is wonderful to be able to connect with great global educators via Twitter, Facebook, Webinars, Elluminate sessions and/or Skype.  The exchange of opinions, ideas, lessons, activities and thoughts are great. In addition, you do, in many cases, start forming friendships with many of the members of your PLN.

The ultimate to me is actually meeting members of your PLN face to face when traveling or attending meetings, conferences, Ed Camps or Teach Meets.

I would love to be able to attend all these events but it can be quite costly.  As I am sure is the case for everyone transportation costs (especially with gas prices rising), lodging and food can get expensive when attending these events.  Since I travel on my own dime (and we all know what a teacher’s salary or pension is like) I have to pick and choose the conferences I can attend in person.  I try to choose those nearest to where I live or places I want to see either for the first time or to revisit.  To get my wonderful and understanding wife to agree to these adventures I have to hold the carrot of visits to quilt shops and interesting places out in front of her. Now, she has been to quilt shops in 16 states (34 more to go!).

Once I have narrowed down my selection of Ed Camps I can attend, another problem I experience is choosing which sessions to attend!  In many cases I really want to be a part of all of them.  This really hit home last July at #ntcamp when I missed Steve Anderson’s @web20classroom’s Smackdown session.  I had promised another member of my PLN to go to her session (which was wonderful).  I then decided to make it a point to tell those planning Ed Camps or Teach Meets to have the Smackdown either at lunch time or at a joint session.  I feel the Smackdown is the best way to introduce the wonderful web tools that are available.  Every Smackdown I have attended I have inevitably heard the comment, “Wow!  I can use that in my classroom!”

I am so honored when members of my PLN want to take pictures of me or say nice things about meeting me.  I even get a little upset when I cannot attend conferences, Ed Camps, or Teach Meets, especially when my PLN members ask if I am going to be there.  Hey, who wouldn’t want to be at ISTE or any of the other Ed Camps or Teach Meets that are held?

I urge everyone to attend a local Ed Camp or Teach Meet.  It is such a wonderful way to meet and greet your PLN friends.  Please bring some of your colleagues with you.  In this way you can each go to a different session held at the same time and then compare notes. My wife and I do that on our trips home.

I can only hope each one of you ends up having the same problems with Ed Camps that I do.

14 thoughts on “My Problems with Ed Camps and Teach Meets

  1. Agreed! I wish I had more time and money to go to other EdCamps. I want to connect with more teachers and get more great ideas, and I love the f2f meetings.

    The blog post title tricked me, btw. Argh.

  2. You fooled me with the title too! I was wondering how you could be so active tweeting back and forth with those of us in attendance and yet dislike the edcamp model. 🙂

    Can’t wait to meet you in real life one of these days… and you might be excited to know you’ve only got 34, not 44, more states to hit 🙂

    • Thanks for the math error Ryan. After winning the math medal in sixth grade my math skills diminished.

      The title goes along with my next presentation I will give: Expect the Unexpected.

      Would enjoy meeting you some day.

  3. Brilliant posting! Was SO tempted by EdCampPhilly but as you said…it gets expensive! I gotta be honest, though…EduCon was a truly amazing experience and I can’t wait for ISTE!
    The Daring Librarian

    • Thanks Gwyneth. I should have moved to Philadelphia so I could have been at educon, #edcampPhilly and ISTE. I will be there for #ntcamp.

      So looking forward to one day meeting you.

  4. Jerry,

    Great post! You couldn’t be more accurate about noting the difficulty in the ability to attend all of the sessions you want. That is the toughest part. The great thing about EdCamp is knowing that you are able to getup and switch sessions if it isn’t what you thought it would be. And, absolutely, I wish I would’ve taken a colleague along.

    I look forward to your future posts!

    • Glad you had a fantastic time at #edcampPhilly. I sure wish I could be in Philly for all these great educational gatherings (educon, ISTE).

      Look forward to meeting you.

  5. Agreed. I just went to my first educamp last weekend in Wellington, New Zealand. I learnt some interesting tech tools etc but the really exciting part was just meeting and getting to know my twitter colleagues.

    • Jess Going to New Zealand is a dream that my wife and I have.

      Meeting, connecting and collaborating with passionate educators is wonderful.

  6. Pingback: Things We Learned, But Did Not Teach: Takeaways from EdCampPhilly « coal cracker classroom

    • I thoroughly enjoyed your post. I am especially happy that you made connections with some of the great educators I met last year at #ntcamp. Andy was the organizer and I loved getting to know Shelley, Dan, Meeno and Ann. Each of the unconferences that I have participated in has been wonderful.

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