Tuesday, August 5, 2014

HOW TO EDCAMP! Notes from a workshop by Kevin Jarrett

Kevin Jarrett (@kjarrett) spoke about how to run an edcamp at #edcampsteam.  He suggests if you run one for a district, you should do a 1/2 day one to people can adjust to that type of learning.  People are disengaged and don't want PD because it is not relevant and not differentiated and then you change this and enable them to do it and they think it is awesome.  Kevin says you need to be ok that some people are going to boot. Ad administrator you need to say we are trusting you professionally to do the right thing. When focus and promote.  The foundation often gives money ($250) to use to run it. https://docs.google.com/document/d/148stWNaJWyjOXQrxCdMFuuhSpx6EC4oeTK88W_FtUrE/edit

It isn't trademarked for an edcamp.  Edcamp rules, has to be open to all, at school unconference.  No keynotes, no paid presenters, no schedules in advance, no commercial (but weird cause can have sponsors).  The link of edcampsteam website about how to attend unconference that is excellent, unconference.net has a whole passage about how to plan an unconference.  Pre-communication is really helpful.  Two hardest things are the date and venue.  If admin in school, you have venue, all you need is date.  Facility is not insignificant.  Usually first thing that happens, is you build an organizing team.  Like minded people who want to help.  People who share a passion with you for it.  Venue is important geographically.  One in south Jersey in March.  Closer to central Jersey greater pull you have.  Whoever comes are the right people.  Whatever is discussed is the right conversation.  It is all about what happens for those who attend.  You can sign up to get tickets for it at tickleap. 50% of the people at least won't come.  If room holds 20 people 10 rooms, 200 people.  Rough numbers do the math like that to determine your capacity for the event.  If the target is 150, then you need enough rooms for that.  Then your requirements.  This is what an edcamp should be.  We run into problems when people do presentations about their widget and that is not ok.  You can vote with your feet or try to start a conversation.  The point is the conversation.  You will bring people into your session that know more than you do.  You can learn about stuff at an edcamp.  Hey I want to learn about twitter, fine put up a session about twitter.Good organizing team operates with as little ego as possible, I need raffle tickets, someone gets them,  I need breakfast, I will do it.  If people will be involved in your organizing team can be very small or very big.  EdcampNJ has 20 people on organizing team.  They have a photobooth!  A lot of the organizing can be done virtually. Google hangouts is a great way for this.  Where do we stand on venue?  Sponsors?  How do we move further?  In a hangout and main way to communicate google groups.  Email based, record of everything discussed.  Pretty much everyone has a google account.  If you are interested in setting up an edcamp, you register the name on twitter, register gmail address edcampsteam@gmail.com, etc.  Infrastructure, so when you start to build a website you have all in place.  Several months is probably reasonable.  If you are in dense area with a good network of people, it is all social media, you need time for that to ramp up.  If you are active on facebook, twitter, get word out in your schools.  Once admins catch on, get out of the way.  Free PD.  In order to get PD credits, the person has to have a conversation with their supervisor in advance.  I will be taking part in an activity and you can document what the learning has happened then certificate that says you went and the discussion.  Not CEU because needs to be more formal.  You need some kind of a website, you can go on edcamp wiki, you don't need to build website, as long as you have URL that edcamp gives you then you can be done.  IF you are handy at all with blogs, you can set up website with next to no effort website.  Some sort of online presence so people can see what is happening. He mentioned JEDCAMP as a kind of edcamp that was established (Go Seth!).  Meals and T shirts cost money.  I wish every edcamp had them, but you are still looking at $8-9 a t-shirt.  Just do the math.  First 50 get t-shirt is a way to do it.  After that, they are available for $5 each.  That's cool to recover some of the cost.  Best way to find sponsors is to raid edcamp websites.  Two color, black and white logo on back.  A lot of people like to design their own logos for their events.  Just a matter of someone who is creative in your group.  Ours is a STEAM hexagon.  So raid existing edcamp sites.  We have had a lot of success with local IT vendors for PADcamp.  Raises from financial perspective, for PADcamp don't have bank account.  I brought breakfast and make note of it and someone else makes note for how much they spent.  Not large sums of money.  Some vendors will want your tax ID number.  Not an easy solution around it other than have them donate a service, like have them buy a coffee.  They have all the accounting stuff they want and purpose makes them happy.  Check goes to cash.  They trust us and it has worked out fine.  Getting those sponsors, people who want to deal with corporation to corporation, have them pay for service (or shirts).  Good mix of national and local people.  Sometimes organizations will look at your edcamp as way to pitch their stuff which is sort of ok, hopefully there is some value to people for what they want to give away.  Start ups will call you, zaption is a good example of one.  Chris Fitzgerald runs it.  Let's you capture youtube videos and put questions in it for them and records kids interaction.  They are giving us a site license to give away.  Flowcabulary is another one and it is amazing.  They cost 1500, but will give you site license for it for free just for asking.  Dan is chief planner for event.  Dan says when a company will send you stickers and they have millions of dollars, you can push back and say we have costs.  We have turned them down to give 5 free APP codes because we are there advertising agency.  That doesn't cost company anything or much.  We prefer a cash donation if that is possible.  That is sometimes tricky with larger companies, but smaller companies will write you a personal check.  Last year we did lunch, but that is hundreds of dollars more, people might leave for lunch and not come back.  We pay 303 dollars for insurance here.  They ask will there be monster trucks, bounce house, ziplining, dj, alcohol, but realistically you could run it for $50.  No one is the official sponsor person, you are, if you did the work, it's you.  That is a notion too.  Everyone is official. Go forth and run great edcamps!