|photo credit: Flickr.com courtesy of Jonathan McIntosh|
My first session was a collaborative conversation in which we contributed to a Google Doc, shared best practices,and threw out questions and challenges to crowd source solutions for. It was a great opportunity to learn with other educators from a round the globe. My second session was an unexpected opportunity to sit at the feet of the amazing @garnet_hilman to hear about #sbg. It was such a fabulous session because we had THE guru in the room. I was extremely grateful to her for being willing to share her knowledge, the lessons she has learned from implementation, and to have a good conversation with others interested in finding ways to implement Standards Based Grading on their campuses.
So went my Saturday before school started. I did not have much time to bask in the glow of EdCamp Home 2.0 energy, however, because I was off to #GAFEsummit Napa that week. This was my first Google summit and I was presenting as well as attending. This was a bit nerve-wracking for me as some real Google ninjas were there running sessions. My beginner session came and went and afterwards, I was chatting with @TheTechDog01 who sat in the front row for my workshop. He said to me "I always learn something every time I attend a workshop. It might be something new. It might be something I learned once and forgot about. It does't matter. I always learn."
Wow! Light bulb! I am not a Google certified teacher (yet...now on my list of things to do) but I do use Google. I have knowledge--and not just about implementing GAFE in a school. That knowledge needs to be shared. That is what we expect our teachers to do every day. That is what we encourage our students to do. Thus, this is what we need to model as Lead Learners.
Collaborating with others, learning something new, and then turning around and sharing out is what being a life-long learner is all about. I enjoyed these back-to-back experiences very much. It was a great way to kick-start the semester and also a wonderful reminder of the importance of giving back as much as you take.
There will be more EdCamps and more conferences. There will also be countless informal learning opportunities. Every one of them will be another chance to learn and share. I am looking forward to 2014 as a chance to grow as both a learner and a leader. I hope that you will take the time to both learn and share with your #PLN. You just never know what you will learn or what you will inspire in someone else.