What: I attended EdCamp DSM this fall and attended three workshops
So What: I attended my first workshop on how to look at your classroom set-up. It was titled: Got Desks? Let’s Talk Room Design. We went around to two different 3rd grade classrooms. Both non-traditionally set-up. That meaning that there were lowered tables, rugs, couches, comfy chairs, and bookcases random scattered. No more rows of perfect desks and chairs. Letting students sit comfortably so that they will pay more attention. If you don’t like sitting in those hard chairs that long why would they? Also, being in these non-traditional set-ups allows for students to have their own learning communities.
The second workshop I attended was titled, MakerSpaces. We talked about different tech tools that are being used in schools, whether that is in the library or after school or even used by the main teacher. Tools such as 3D printers, Makey Makey items, squishy circuits, and shiroballs. These were things I had never experienced when I was in school and didn’t know existed. There was discussion and videos sharing people’s experiences with these tools.
The third workshop I attended was Rocks v. Sucks. Topic ideas were given and the people in the room move about to the side of the room that matches what they believe. The options were Rocks, Sucks, and Muggel (in between). Topics varied from no tech in schools to dress codes in schools. Each group of people got their own turn to stand their ground then after there got to be a quick timed discussion.
Now What: Now that I know that EdCamp’s exist I really want to keep going. It is a great chance to network with other teachers and learn things other than from reading online. After the workshops that I attended I think that I will be more willing to have my general music classroom set-up different than kids in rows. Also, I think that letting students use technology to increase their creativity would be a nice thing for every school district to start. The topics from Rocks v. Sucks got me thinking, and now I am trying to figure out where most of my ideas came from and if they are well backed up. Overall, a great day and I think that every teacher should attend their local EdCamp!