My First #TabCamp
Today I went to my first ever unconference. Organized by NJAET, TabCamp was held in Allentown, NJ which made it convenient for me considering I am not a morning person, especially on a Saturday. The focus of course was tablets (pretty much iPads) in education. So what’s a TabCamp like? In addition to this blog, I created an Animoto of My 1st TabCamp to share the event.
When I arrived, I was relieved to see a colleague from the high school there and went to sit at her table. It begins with people volunteering to teach topics they are familiar with. There were times and rooms posted on a wall and people put paper with their topic title up in the grid there. Then, it was transferred to a GoogleDoc so people could have the schedule with them easily. While the sessions were getting established, the group of us at my table were talking about apps we had tried out and ones we enjoyed.
After an introduction to the event, I was off to my first session. We had been told we could “vote with our feet” and leave a session if it wasn’t for us. I couldn’t picture myself leaving mid-presentation, but I did. Why? I was torn between two sessions for the first time slot and I started at “Apps for Science.” However, the presenter said he was not really a biology person that most of what he shared would be physics or chemistry. As a middle school agricultural science teacher, I knew it was time to try the other session. Off to “What happens when Hollywood meets Education” with Jeff Bradbury of TeacherCast Here there was a brief share by participants of how they were using iPads and then time to “play” with iMovie. I wish we had had more time in that one.
On to the next workshop. For this one, I chose “QR Codes in the Classroom.” Lauriene Tschang was the presenter and had a SlideRocket presentation ready to be shared with us as we participated in this journey. I learned a very easy way to generate QR codes and made one for the app list that was developing from TabCamp.
With the nice day, the schedule was rearranged so we had just a half day of sessions. So lunch was next. I joined the table with my high school colleague again to see what she was up to. She was getting some Nearpod training from Dan Gallagher. Before door prizes were awarded (I wasn’t a winner) there was a Smackdown. Here’s what happens – you have 2 minutes to share an overview of an app you like. I was hesitant at first, but decided to get up and share Timer+ and NatureTap. It was my geeky Otter Strap that stirred some interest. After a few more shares, it got quiet again so I shared Haiku Deck as well.
What else did I do while there?
- Network with some of my Tweeps
- Take notes on Evernote so I could remember ideas
- Tweet about the #TabCamp experience
- Add pictures to the TabCamp Group on Flikr
What might I do if I were to go to a TabCamp (or an EdCamp) again?
- Sign up to present
- Bring my dongle (In the first session I was in, the presenter did not have one but someone else there did. If I end up presenting, I want a way to connect to the projector)
- Generate a QR code sticker to my website for my name badge (Yup, I’m that nerdy)
- Have a little bit of a presentation together and ready to go in case I decide to present
What do I need to figure out how to do?
- Convince my district that we should have an EdCamp style PD event at one of our mandatory PD days!