#CampEd12

Leaving things so late has inevitably made things much more difficult. What can I add to these incredibly comprehensive #campEd12 blogposts? Please read them!
Chris Ratcliffe
Matt Pearson
Alex Bellars
Brynn Llewellyn
Dawn Hallybone
Bev Evans
John McLear
Tom Briggs
Emma Dawson
John Sayers
Elizabeth Ratcliffe
Jo Badge (Den-building)
Jo Badge (Science)
Bill Lord
Catherine Steel
Tony Parkin
(Have I missed yours out? Please let me know)

I suppose I had a slightly differing perspective of the event as one of the joint organisers alongside Bill Lord and Helen Daykin. As Bill has said, we built it in the hopes that they would come. And they did. The diversity of attendees was good, but not good enough (more on that later). The weather obliged (at least by staying dry). The content was superb. And the ‘coming-together’ surpassed all expectations.

So, if you’ve read the posts above, you’ll know what it was all about, you’ll know what happened so I’ll add my reflections rather than run over ground well-trod already.

Firstly, I have a thirst for learning (whether that is my own or that of other people) and to be immersed in the midst of rich learning is a joy that I experience in the classroom, at Teachmeets, at a conference and yes, even on a course. This kind of rich learning was evident in abundance at #campEd12 but it differed from my usual experience of learning in one important and unique way. Adults and youngsters were equal partners in the learning experience in a way that I have rarely (if ever) experienced – certainly not on that kind of scale. I think this is important. I like it when young people attend conferences, give presentations, showcase their work, present at Kidsmeets etc. But this was different again. #CampEd12 was a wonderful opportunity to learn with and from others (whether a babe in arms or an ‘old man’).
(This picture courtesy of Dawn Hallybone)

Having enjoyed this first hand with my own wife and children and being struck by the power and impact of this event on me personally and my family, my thoughts inevitably turned to those families that need this kind of experience most. Those families who, as John Sayers says “…don’t get much more beyond the end of their street let alone another county or country!” I say ‘families’ because for me, this is where we should be aiming. How we get there, I have no idea. To extend the event or provide a similar offering to those not in the ‘edtech’/Twitter community would require a wholly different (and more comprehensive) approach to the organisation than the one Bill, Helen and I took. It is however, something that I think we should all think about.

At conferences, courses and other events, I am a big fan of ‘the gaps in between’ as productive hubs for networking and learning. These are the coffee breaks, the opportunities at your table to talk with others. The chat over lunch. The hovering about before the start, finding out more about people. CampEd12 widened the ‘gaps in between’ and some good stuff happened in that space.

Finally, thank you all for coming. Thank you to all the people who led such wonderful sessions. Thank you for the warm thoughts and distant support of those unable to attend (this year). I dare not name you all for fear of missing someone out. However, cheers to you, Bill and you, Helen! We built it – they came.

There are many, many photographs. Some are here.