This weekend I traveled to The Mandell School in Manhattan to attend Edcamp NYC. If you're not familiar with Edcamps, they are "unconferences" where educators show up and share their expertise volunteering to lead sessions the day of the event by writing their names down on a board.
I was immediately impressed by the facilities and overall feel of the Mandell School. The classroom design was terrific and it was clearly a great environment for education. They had rooftop gardens, and terrific visuals created by students with bright, positive classrooms- a space that made inspiration quite a bit easier to get to. I joined the group of educators for breakfast and started my day with a session on designing makerspaces with Jeremy Sambuca of the Hewitt School. He shared some great insights on the process of creating a makerspace along with some really valuable lessons he learned for better and for worse.
I also stopped into Lisa Nielsen's session on effective ways to share with social media and Twitter. Lisa had some great tips about using Twitter statistics and deconstructed what a killer tweet looked like for an educator. In the second session I joined some of my creative art colleagues for a session on Art Driven Curriculum led by Mandell School teachers Tiffany Della Vedova and James Long who shared some curriculum examples they use and opened up the discussion to the group. There were some great lessons shared that begin with art and merge into other subjects such as social art projects inspired by the work of Allora & Calzadilla and the Shadow People Project.
I then joined a session on blogging and branding led by Starr Sackstein, Tony Sinanis, and Ross Cooper that was a wonderfully intimate conversation rather than a formal workshop. I've talked to Starr about the regular blogging she does at other Edcamps and she always has great insights and didn't disappoint. Tony shared some of his methodology on blogging and branding and Ross shared a great quote which I tweeted above: "Your digital footprint is your new resume"."Your digital footprint is your new resume" Love @mssackstein @TonySinanis & @RossCoops31's relaxed #edcampNYC talk! pic.twitter.com/sFC2NdeY38— Tim Needles (@timneedles) January 9, 2016
After EdcampNYC I attended the after party at the Dazzling Discoveries Makerspace a few blocks away and I experimented designing with their DazzLinks shown in the photo above. I also had a chance to do some 3D printing using Tinkercad and their Makerbots and printed one of our class architectural designs from last month's 3D #k12artchallenge.
EdcampNYC was a great experience overall. It was a day full of learning, sharing, and connecting and well worth the drive in on a Saturday morning!