Melinda[a] Miller:  Elementary Principal K-4

Willard, Mo

Why:  Formal versus Informal PD

Example of Notes from one session:  Podcast, VideoCast, Etc.

Another Session:

Find my doctopous steps:

One more:

How to Use Twitter:  Via  @LauraGilchrist4

Notes from Appy Hour:

Free Website builder:

How do I take Rocks and Sucks back to my school?  Take a topic that we are discussing in your school:  Daily 5:  Throw out the topic and asks what rocks about the topic and what sucks about the topic.  Have the teachers go to one side of the room to share their stance to the group.  

One of the schools at EdCamp took it back and implemented one month later.  Key:  Calculate the number of people that are going to be there to allow for a certain number of sessions and group size.  

Feedback:  Took Rocks and Sucks back to school.  During a professional learning day:  Conduct Rocks and Sucks.  Lots of teacher buy in and collaboration.  No one moved at the end of the day.  Excitement!  Struggles:  Finding people to share.  Getting closer to the conference model.  Teachers presentations.  It helps to build a teacher up prior to the presentation.  Make it safe for the presenter.  Give a feedback card afterwards.  

Idea:  Appy hour once a month:  Bribe teachers with food and drinks to show up.  Conversations rotate around various topics.  Teachers share out how they are using it in the classroom.  

Plant lots of seeds:  Encourage, motivate, would you be willing to write your name down in the first box so that someone else will write their name down in the first box.  

Send out a google survey for possible topics and streamline so that you can find a teacher who is knowledgeable and have them present.

Try to pick broad conversations for the first hour so that people can loosen up.  Do you need formal PD for what an informal PD looks like?  Offer popular sessions more than one time.  

First time session:  Hang One big sheet:  What do you want to learn today?  Make sessions around the big rocks.  Give normes:  ok to be on your phone, to leave a session, to use your computer.  App attack to close the session.  

Idea:  Sandwich the staff members to a safe part of the session:    Highlight speakers first, staff members in the middle, highlight speakers last

Both the teachers and presenter need to be ok with the flow of the session.  Start with one topic, but don’t be afraid if the topic shifts too much.  

Have video comments from teachers who have been to an edcamp before:  explaining the normes.  Use this video to promo your school or conference prior to the event.  

We need teachers not to be afraid to step their foot in and test the waters.

Make sure that the purpose of the edcamp is clearly communicated with all levels.  They need a clear understanding of the normes:


Leaving sessions

computer use

collaborative conversations

flexible visits

idea sharing

brief session listing

not taking things personally

Make sure that your key players are on board and have a clear understanding of the purpose: Admin, building leadership team, etc.  Know the culture of your building.  If you say what sucks:  Some people may never see anything that rocks.  How can you give them an opportunity to see the world through a new set of lenses?

Balance:  Blend instructional practices and technology concepts.  You can’t teach people technology, you can teach them new learning opportunities!  

Bring EdCamp to your parents:  let your parents drive the conversations.  Too often, we lead the conversations and the parents are asked to be good listeners.  Let’s turn the tables and let them lead!  :)


  • Welcome table with sign in area
  • Sign up sheet for sessions (Make it accessible as it will draw a BIG crowd)  Take pictures of the finished sessions and tweet them out with a specific hash tag so everyone can access sessions from their phone.  Post the sessions outside of the rooms so people can decide upon a session as they drive by.  :)
  • Facilitators and people to answer questions (hey-ya club:  Hey-ya can you help me find this good to wear a different color EdCamp shirt for helpers)
  • Name Tags and Markers
  • Door Prize tickets, pens and a station to sign in for door prizes
  • Relaxing area for conversation
  • Charging Station (Everyone needs a charge)
  • Creativity Room (EdCampKC had butcher paper hung up with chalk, markers and pastels available for people to decorate the mural...brilliant idea!)  
  • Ask someone’s mom to make cookies (Make sure that they are a good cook like the fabulous mom of @kylePace)
  • Provide a coffee bar before the meeting starts
  • Welcome everyone in a central area (auditorium) and provide agenda, normes and goals for the day (Learn at your own pace and make new connections for your PLN)
  • Create a platform for everyone to share their pics (twitter #, instagram, flickr or other medium) Helps to create a collaborative photo album of EVERYONE’s experience (Great idea @LauraGilchrist4)
  • Give lots of time for lunch
  • Group picture after lunch with one crazy pose :)
  • Make sure the location has wi-fi (makes Appy Hour much more enjoyable)
  • Have an APPY Hour or APP Attack session where people get up and share their favorite apps.  Great Website here: 
  • Did I mention Door Prizes????  Necessity!!!  :0)
  • Pre-Ed Camp dinner- meet and greet- totally changed the environment to one of safety and fun!
  • Lots of updates prior to the Ed Camp including emails with accommodation possibilities, times, location, parking, attire, wifi information, explanation of EdCamp and more
  • HAVE FUN!  It’s all about self-paced learning, dive into the educational buffet and come out with more than you ever anticipated!  

A big thanks to @KylePace and @LauraGilchrist4 for hosting and ROCKING out EDCampKC!!!

Some more links regarding EdCamps:

[a]Presenter for our session!  She did great!