ED CAMP GRAFTON 2017 a reflection by taryn carpenter

Ed Camp is a collaborative approach to gathering educators to allow for continued growth both professionally and personally in enhancing their teaching skills. Teamwork and brainstorming are some of the best practices in getting to that great idea-what better way to do it than at an Ed Camp. Welcome to the reflection on Ed Camp Grafton 2017!

At Ed Camp Grafton I attended two workshops including Project Based Learning Strategies and a Google Keep session.

With Project Based Learning, it was more of a group discussion on how each of us educators has been utilizing project based learning approaches in our curriculum. It was a great way to hear what others are doing in their classroom throughout Massachusetts.

With Google Keep, I was originally familiar with the tool but had not been aware of all the capabilities and enhancements. I really liked being able to attend this session that solely focused on this tool and how we can incorporate into our classroom. It is a great way to keep yourself organized personally as well as with your students. I never thought of the student aspect of this tool so it was eye opening to be able to see this perspective of things.

Putting our brains to work during this Ed Camp Session!

We were asked to present one topic at Ed Camp. My group was selected to share the Extraordinaires Game which directly correlates to our design thinking concept we have been studying throughout the semester. The game reflects on a fictional character approach to implementing the design thinking process. It is a simple way for the students to go through the process starting with empathy all the way through to prototyping and launching their results. I believe when the student is able to relate to the subject matter (such as superheroes) it gives them a better initial understanding as it is a subject they can be passionate about while applying the process.

Playing this game in class went beyond my expectations. I implemented in my Entrepreneurship class which really coincides with design thinking in creating a business. I thought this was a great idea (recommended by my department head) to give it a whirl. I don't think I have seen a more engaging group of students-to have them walk into class and get right to work left me speechless. They were excited about the activity and you could tell by the end result. The lesson taught me as an educator that it is okay to test the boundaries of an assignment, you may not be sure of how something may turn out. It is through trial and error that you see what works. I am so happy I took the leap of faith in trying this activity as it opens the door to further discussions for my classes as well as this Lesson Design Planning Class at FSU.

Tweet time @ Ed Camp Grafton 2017

Tweeting out during our Ed Camp Day!

There are several takeaways from EdCamp Grafton. You can always learn best through collaborating with others as I mentioned earlier. I really liked this approach to attending workshops and gaining professional development. I had never attended an Ed Camp in which I was also presenting. The overall experience was beneficial and refreshing in participating in such an environment.

There were several take aways to attending such an event. I had attended one previously at our own school for professional development and liked the idea that you can pick the workshops that you would like to learn further about. I feel it is a creative approach to learning a subject matter, and they are content areas that we can take back directly to our classrooms. There is not much more you can ask for in terms of having short term access to additional resources to apply to lesson planning.

Always a great question-how can we take what we learned in this one day and incorporate into our following Monday? Loaded question! #motivationmonday

It was great to refresh at this event. While being able to learn some tips and tricks, you can also reflect amongst your peers to see what their takeaways are as well. My take back to implement on Monday was the focus on project based learning. I wanted to be able to improve my lessons in a way (overall) in order to step up my game in this area. While my own department has been making this connection throughout the school year, it was a good refresh on thinking about how to take that lesson planning to the next level. An immediate take away for a Monday was to relax, test the waters, and have fun with the kids. As we connected as a class after it always gets you thinking as to what you can improve, what may have worked, what didn't work, and where can you adjust. Those are the things I think about in improving my Monday.

Looking at leading with technology in my own school-I chuckle at this question. I am blessed to be able to be a part of a GREAT department in which I have the support starting with my department head, the one and only Mary Marotta. She is always suggesting new and innovative ideas for me to take back to the classroom. By taking this class in addition to the initial Google Classroom for Educators session, I have learned a tremendous amount of material to be able to implement into my own classroom.

Coming from the Business World, I didn't know much about Google applications in general besides Google Sheets to track our sales forecast (prior to teaching). Incorporating the design thinking element, I feel I can take this back to all my classrooms, especially at the start of next school year with some icebreakers and growing the design thinking concept. I love being able to push the envelope, see what works and with that see what doesn't work. As we continue this concept of design thinking I feel our department (technology and business) live and breath it everyday. I also love the collaborative approach to our department as we continually work together through different tools and ideas in continuing our learning and development as educators.

Overall Ed Camp Grafton was a great experience, I look forward to attending another session to see where the possibilities can take us as educators as well as learners.

Created By
Taryn Carpenter


Created with images by Johan Larsson - "Dropbox" • Comfreak - "light bulb current light" • qimono - "water drop droplet" • Zaqqy J. - "Monday Blue" • kaboompics - "laptop office work"

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