Beginning with an errant tweet
and concluding with an impressive Demo Slam
, helping to organize and then participating in Japan's first Edcamp, Edcamp Tokyo
, was a truly remarkable experience.
The result was an organization and planning process that was as enjoyable as it was effective.
The strongest connection I made at Edcamp was in the sharing of ideas between diverse learning communities. It was the first time I gained a sense for the approaches to learning and teaching being practiced at other schools and in a variety age ranges and developmental stages.
Discussing the Maker Movement
with secondary educators was a revelation for me, as I gained insight into how my efforts at the elementary level can build the fundamental scientific, mathematical, collaborative, and innovative thinking skills that learners will expand and develop in the future.
Making Thinking Visible
, a relatively new line of inquiry for me, turned out to be an in-depth discussion of the conceptual connections between learning in various disciplines and how explicitly taught and practiced 'thinking routines' can provide continuity between skills, topics, and ideas.
I was happy to share my experiences developing the Independent Inquiry
project with a group of educators in the 20% Time in Education
session. I hope that they will find the resources shared to be useful as they cultivate self-directed, interest-driven learning.
In the Creativity, Design, and Innovation
session, there was a palpable desire for change. We all shared a passion for learning and hope for the future that was an inspirational way to end the day.
The notes from the sessions are all linked to the Collaborative Organization Document
(aka the schedule), a resource which I hope can help to maintain the connections we have made.
How Edcamp Tokyo helped to build a community of learners in Tokyo and across Japan remains to be seen. There haven't been any tweets using the #EdcampTokyo
hashtags on Twitter for awhile, nor is there much activity on the Edcamp Tokyo Google+ Community
In all likelihood, participants returned to their busy lives and classrooms with new perspectives and tools, but not necessarily time to reflect and share publicly. Given the intensity of engagement throughout the day, I'm confident that we are all applying our new understandings in creative and meaningful ways.
Personally, I feel that what we did was ultimately in the service of learning. Every idea shared was a generous gift and I'm happy to express sincere gratitude to all of the participants in Japan's first Edcamp.