The MAGIC of Educamp

Date: 15 May 2012

Educampdunners attendee Anne Kenneally shares her thoughts about the Dunedin Educamp which took place at St Clair School in early May. EducampNZ is a user-generated ‘unconference’ focused on e-learning and education. Having previously attended Educamps, Anne was keen to reconnect with other previous attendees and is passionate about sharing her experience with others. Educamp Christchurch will take place at Burnside High School on 23 June.

The MAGIC had begun on Friday night with the addition of a pre-unconference dinner this year. Attendees gathered, shared, networked, and really anticipated the Educamp experience.

Saturday, 5 May 2012 dawned, the day of the second Educampdunners.  At St Clair School, Dunedin 29 educators from primary, secondary and library gathered from around Otago, Southland, Canterbury and Tauranga to connect, reconnect, converse, collaborate, inspire, and grow.

Hot on the heels of new learning at Ignition, those gathered started the day with ‘World Café’, discussing ‘why are we here?’, ‘what are our current successes?’, and ‘what are our current challenges?’ This was followed with a breakout into various groups including BYOD, mobile learning, iPads, apps, Twitter, and many more.

An on-site shared lunch—a new addition to the Educampdunners experience—ensured there was no real break in the day, but rather conversations and ideas continued to flow.

Lunch digested, attendees shared the pure MAGIC of speed-geeking: reflecting on, clarifying and sharing our tangible takeaways. Straight after the speed-geeking session, Dunedin Educampers connected with fellow educators at Educamp Tai Tokerau, ensuring the serendipity of the two concurrent Educamps at extreme ends of New Zealand did not pass without a sharing. Google docs were also shared between the two groups, to extend the sharing and learning. For one of the Educampers in attendance in Dunedin, this was especially poignant for Anne, as her first ever Educamp experience was Educamptaitokerau on 2 July 2011.

The MAGIC of the day continued with two further discussion sessions, before Educampers ventured forth with recharged batteries and an energised passion that accompanies a day spent with passionate educators.

What then, is the pure MAGIC of Educamp?

Undoubtedly it is the people: he tangata, he tangata, he tangata! Twenty-nine educators gathered from around New Zealand, across sectors, to share, network, learn, challenge and inspire. The MAGIC lies in the ‘wisdom in the room’ philosophy, with the conversations led, facilitated and inspired by passionate educators. The MAGIC lies in the ‘rule of two feet’: if you find yourself in a session that is not ‘right’ for you move onto a session that is a better fit. The MAGIC lies in the inspiration of spending time with like-minded educators, the passion and power of sharing.

The MAGIC now lies in the anticipation of Educampchch in Christchurch on the 23 June!