Fw: unConferencing – how to prepare to attend an unconference

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Are you wondering what an “unconference” is?

Or, what you can expect from the day?

Maybe you think you might like to lead a session – but aren’t sure how to approach it (after all, it’s not a “regular” conference).

FEAR NOT! Those answers, and more can be found in this wonderful article:

unConferencing – how to prepare to attend an unconference

There are SOME details that won’t apply – one, for example, is that Edcamps don’t usually use wikis for planning – but the article is, overall, one of the very best we’ve seen on the topic!

Enjoy! And, thank you, Kaliya Hamlin from Unconference.net, for this wonderful piece!

FREE Breakfast and Lunch at Padcamp *AGAIN* thanks to MRA International!

We are THRILLED to announce that thanks to the incredible generosity of our sponsor MRA International, PadCamp attendees will ONCE AGAIN enjoy not only FREE BREAKFAST (we’re re-working the menu, more info soon) but also FREE LUNCH! (the best pizza in Galloway!)

MRA is “an Elite HP Business Partner and provide hardware, software, service and support across the board to all Public Sector, K-12 and Higher Ed locations in NJ and NY. We work very closely with HP and leverage their expertise to provide the best solution and value to our customers, no matter how big or small the company.”

Thank you, MRA, for supporting our event TWO THREE FOUR YEARS IN A ROW!!!

Fw: Apps That Rise to the Top: Tested and Approved By Teachers

At Padcamp, we celebrate learning enhanced by tablet devices. Apps are central to that process. So, “the best apps” are constantly being shared, discussed and explored. This collection, shared by Padcamp co-organizer Mike Sweeder, is one of the most comprehensive we’ve found and should be a good starting point for anyone interested using tablets (specifically in this case, Apple products) in school. Thanks for sharing, Mike!

Apps That Rise to the Top: Tested and Approved By Teachers

Thank You!

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What a day! About 250 teachers came from as far away as West Virginia for our third ever Padcamp. Hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves and learned a lot. We had a blast putting it on!

Yes, we made the local paper!

See you next year!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Padcamp Organizing Team

Welcome to PadCamp 2013!

Today’s the day! Thank you for being a part of this adventure. We start officially at 8:30, will enjoy breakfast and conversation while we build the session schedule through 9:45, then we’ll have a few introductory words. Our first session will be at 10:00 am. It’s going to be an incredible day of sharing and learning! Here are some quick links:

>> THE SCHEDULE <<

>> POST-EVENT SURVEY <<

Have a great unconference, everyone!

So, you’re coming to Padcamp! What should you expect?

PadCamp Autocollage

Yep, you’re all registered, your travel plans are confirmed, your iPad or other device is charged, and you are rarin’ to go at Padcamp tomorrow.

Some of you are likely wondering what to expect … what EXACTLY will the day be like?

Let’s start at the beginning.

When you arrive at Galloway Township Middle School (click here for detailed directions), expect the doors to open around 8am. We (the organizing team) will be scurrying around getting things ready but the Registration Table should be set up and ready for you to check in. If you have a printed ticket, bring it, but if you don’t, that’s okay, too. (We’ll check you in either way.)

Once you’ve checked in, you’ll find your way to the gorgeous GTMS Cafetorium, where you’ll be able to get a cup of coffee and a light bite to eat while you chat excitedly with some fellow Padcampers about the day ahead.

PadCamp 2011

You will power up your electronic device, sign onto the free wifi, and start planning your day. But how? There is no schedule or list of sessions! (Here comes the cool part…)

PadCamp 2011

We get to BUILD IT. Together! Here’s how it works:

People are sitting around with some colleagues, talking about an app or something they’re interested in or passionate about…

PadCamp 2011

Next thing you know, someone gets inspired, walks up to the session board and fills out a schedule card with something they want to talk about (NOT GIVE A PRESENTATION ON):

PadCamp 2011

… and BOOM! It’s ON! Away we go!

PadCamp 2011

Over the next hour or so, the process repeats itself, and next thing you know, the session board is nearly full:

PadCamp 2011

It’s all loaded into a Google Doc that everyone can see on their devices. Curious about last year’s sessions? Click here to see what people were talking about. (We will have a new one for this year.)

We’ll have a few opening remarks to start the day, then at around 10:00 am, people head off to wherever they want to go.

PadCamp 2011

LOOK CAREFULLY AT THE PHOTO ABOVE. Does it resemble any “conference” you’ve ever been to? Probably not. What DOES it look like? A group of passionate, knowledgeable colleagues sharing ideas and information. THAT IS WHAT PADCAMP IS ALL ABOUT!

Participants check the schedule throughout the day, moving to sessions that interest them – breaking for lunch (FREE PIZZA!) in the cafeteria and then heading back out for two more sessions before the end of day wildly popular app “SMACKDOWN:”

PadCamp 2011

Basically, it’s OPEN MIKE TIME where participants come up and share an app or website they find interesting or helpful. The challenge is YOU ONLY HAVE TWO MINUTES! It’s easy and fun and everyone gets involved – even kids!

The day ends as we give away our cool raffle prizes, including an iPad Mini from EdTechTeacher and a Kindle Fire from the EIRC – and MORE!

Finally, we say our goodbyes, and everyone goes home happy.

Still, you may be wondering…

WHAT IF I HAVE NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT? WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO LEAD A SESSION?

No problem! Someone has to be in the audience!

I AM TOTALLY NEW TO IPADS/TABLETS. WHAT IF I HAVE NOTHING TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE CONVERSATION?

Don’t be silly. EVERYONE has something to add to the conversation, even if it’s a question or plea for help. You CAN just listen too. It’s okay! Really!

I AM HAVE EXPERTISE ABOUT [X TOPIC], CAN I BRING THE PRESENTATION I RECENTLY GAVE AT [X CONFERENCE] AND DO IT AGAIN?

We would LOVE you to share your KNOWLEDGE but please LEAVE THE POWERPOINT AT HOME! Padcamp is an informal learning experience. We’ve found that formal presentations tend to make the sessions passive and “one-way.” We’re much more interested in your facilitating a conversation!

I HEARD THERE WERE AWESOME SESSIONS LAST YEAR ABOUT TOP IPAD APPS. WILL THERE BE A SIMILAR SESSION AT THIS PADCAMP TOO?

As far as we know, Padcamp co-organizer and iPad educator extraordinaire Betty Napoli WILL be leading a session (or two!) on this subject, and yes, this will be more of a presentation, but in this case, it’s totally okay! We are also interested in having AS MANY OF THESE KINDS OF SESSIONS AS WE CAN, led by anyone willing, especially featuring apps for particular subject areas.

WHAT IF I DON’T SEE A SESSION ABOUT A PARTICULAR TOPIC I AM INTERESTED IN?

Propose a session! Seriously! You don’t have to be an expert to lead a session – you just need to have an interest and something to contribute to the conversation. Why? Because the people who ATTEND your  session will have something to contribute too! You will be AMAZED at the conversation and what you ALL will learn.

Ok! That’s all for now. See you tomorrow!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Padcamp Organizing Team