It is time to start thinking about spring, warmer weather and the next edcampCleveland event!  This year’s edcampCleveland with be May 17, 2014 at Independence High School. A big thanks to Carrie Ciofani, Director of Technology and superintendent Stephen Marlow for agreeing to host edcampCLE14.

Maybe you are new to the edcamp idea, or maybe you have some preconceived notions about what it takes to attend an edcamp event.  In either case, rest assured that the only requirement to attend edcampCLE14 is a passion for teaching.  edcamp is not a technology conference, it is a place for educators to gather and discuss our craft. Methodology, philosophy, technology, best practices, and any acronym you can image are fair game for edcampCLE14 sessions.  All you need to bring is yourself and maybe an idea for a conversation you would like to have with other educators.

There are no “conference sessions” at edcamp events.  People generate ideas in the morning and then you choose where you want to visit.  YOU ARE allowed to leave a session and join another session.  YOU ARE allowed to talk and collaborate during sessions too!  Direct lecture and front-of-the-room presentations are not only discouraged, they are not allowed.  edcampCLE14 will have people facilitating conversations, guiding discussions and helping connect the dots, but not presenting.  We hope this year’s event can build from the last two successful edcampCleveland events.  Check below for some helpful links


Want to volunteer? CLICK HERE

Thanks for a Great Day

Thank you to everyone who helped make EdCamp Cleveland 2013 such a fantastic experience for everyone who attended.

PLEASE take a few minutes to COMPLETE THIS SURVEY. Let us know what worked for you, what needs improvement, and how we can make future events more useful for you.

CEU certificates will be emailed to all attendees within the next few days.

If you have photos, reflections, videos, or resources to share, please USE THE #EDCAMPCLE hash tag. That way, we’ll find it and be able to help collect it.

If you have notes or resources from the sessions you attended, UPDATE THE SCHEDULE with links to them. Anyone can edit the document, so just highlight the session title and make a link to your resources. Thanks for sharing.

Finally, LEAVE A COMMENT on this post and share your reflections (or links to them) from the closing session.

Thank you for making this such a wonderful experience.

One last thing: if you want to lead the charge for EdCamp Cleveland 2014, let me know. We need someone in that role for next year.

EdCamp is Here!

Welcome to EdCamp Cleveland 2013! I’d like to say we have a lot of fantastic, engaging professional development activities planned, but we don’t really have anything planned. You’re bringing the conference. You’re deciding the topics for today.

Here’s how it’ll work. Plan to arrive at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School around 8:00 AM. We’ll spend the first half hour enjoying some breakfast treats, meeting and greeting people, and (most importantly) setting the agenda for the day.

If you have a session that you would like to facilitate, go ahead and add it to the schedule. Or, if you’d prefer to go low-tech, fill out one of the sticky notes indicating what you’d like to learn and/or what you’d like to share. Our team of experts will take it from there. Overhead, you can watch the schedule being built in real time as sessions are added.

At 8:30, we’ll have a very brief introductory session. Then, we’ll head off to the first session at 9:00. Three sessions will take place before lunch, and two will follow lunch. At the end of the day, we’ll wrap everything up with a little reflection on the experience. I promised the custodians everyone would be out of the building by 4:00, so you’ll still have 4-5 hours to get out and enjoy the sunshine.

Throughout the day, you can share your experiences using the #edcampCLE hash tag. We’ll also have a live Twitter stream in the main lobby.

Giveaways? Did I mention the giveaways? Through the generous support of our sponsors, we have nearly $7,000 worth of stuff to give away. We’ll be doing that throughout the day. Some of you will walk away with software licenses, online service subscriptions, books, Browns tickets, and Chromebooks.

Enjoy the day. We’re glad you’re here.

Sponsor Spotlight: GradeCam

gradecamTake a photo of a student’s quiz. That’s all you have to do. The GradeCam software takes care of the rest. Comparing the student’s answers to a key you’ve already photographed, it grades the quiz, reports the results back to the student, and records the grade in your gradebook.

You can use just about any webcam or document connected to your computer. There’s also mobile capability if you’d rather use your cell phone or tablet.

Anyone can sign up for a free account, but you’re limited to 10 questions per quiz, and there’s no gradebook integration. Teacher-level and school-wide accounts are also available, allowing you to share assignments and correlate assessments with common core standards.

GradeCam supported EdCamp Cleveland by donating three teacher accounts and one school account to be given away. We are grateful for their support.

Sponsor Spotlight: ABCya!

When my daughter comes home from 2nd grade, the first thing she wants to do is hop on the computer.  Far be it from me, an Instructional Technologist, to tell her no.

She gets on the computer and immediately heads to ABCya.com.

This site offers K-5 learners wonderful FREE educational apps and interactive games covering many subject areas, including spelling, grammar, typing, and reading fluency.  It is colorful, engaging, and easy to navigate. When the teachers at school promote it, students have no problems finding their way around on their own at home.  It really is a win – win!

I find it hard to say no to my daughter, unless she asks for a puppy, but in this case I can only say YES!

ABCya has supported EdCamp Cleveland through a monetary donation of $250 used to offset the costs of the conference. We are grateful for their continued support.

Sponsor Spotlight: Inspiration Software

Inspiration Software has been making mind-mapping and concept mapping tools for twenty-five years. Their tools have helped millions of students learn to visually organize ideas, represent knowledge, and identify and classify relationships among ideas.

logo[1]Their flagship product, Inspiration, is now available in a variety of of formats, including web-based and mobile versions. Kidspiration takes the essential functions of the Inspiration product and presents it in an intuitive, simplified format targeted to younger learners. Classroom editions allow teachers to easily manage student accounts.

Use Inspiration for visual mapping, outlining, writing and making presentations. Brainstorm ideas, structure your thoughts and visually communicate concepts to strengthen understanding with the Diagram and Map Views. To take notes, organize information, and structure writing for plans, papers and reports, use the integrated Outline View to focus on main and supporting ideas and to clarify thinking in written form. With Inspiration’s Presentation Manager, transform your diagrams, mind maps and outlines into polished presentations that communicate ideas clearly and demonstrate understanding and knowledge.

You can use the software to create webs, idea maps, mind maps, concept maps, graphic organizers, process flows, and other diagrams for thinking, organizing and writing. Use these proven visual thinking and learning techniques to brainstorm ideas, explore and explain relationships, and integrate new knowledge with what you already know. Inspiration encourages deeper, more critical thinking and that improves creativity, comprehension and retention.

Inspiration Software supported EdCamp Cleveland by providing three copies of Inspiration desktop software and three licenses for the Inspiration Maps iPad app to be given away. We are grateful for their support.