I heard about Podcamp Western Mass. Several years ago when I started using Twitter. I had followed a few people with ties to Western Ma. Realizing that by doing so I became much more intune with what was going on in my community. I attended a few WesternMa Tweetups . At first I was very nervous. As a middle school teacher I constantly teach my students not to meet people they talk to online. This seemed to be a bit hypocritical of me to then go and meet all my Twitter friends. I tend to share my technology adventures with my students and refuse to be anything but 100% honest with them. (If you loose a middle schoolers trust they will chew you up and spit you out.) I turned out to be a good teachable moment.
The tweetups were great I was able to put faces to names and meet more people and increase my #westernma following. I was also able to collaborate with others and really learn more about technology which in turn made me a better educator. What was best was I was able to make some new friendships with people I would ordinarily never meet.
That of course led to the Podcamp Western MA 4. Every year in the past has been on the day of my kids swim Championships. Finally this year they did not conflict. To off I went to my first Podcamp. I was actually quite anxious. Thankfully when I arrived my twitter friend @mmpartee met greeted me and his son who is my student said hello and from that point my anxiety went away.
- I received my first interactive shirt.
- My cool swag bag.
- I followed @BusinewsChannel answered a question correct and won a filtered water bottle.
- Went to a presentation by @ThomasJFox on Social Media Putting it all Together
- Learned about Pinterest from @LesleyLambert
- Pod casting was discussed by David Pakman .
- Monitoring your Online Reputation was very helpful by @massmarketing
- Improved my Google+ skills from @AlSantaniello
Now because it was an Unconference some of the rules of etiquette are reversed.
- It is ok to be on your phone, ipad, laptop or other devices.
- Tweeting, Texting, Facebooking and other social networking tools are strongly encouraged to be used during the presentations.
- It is OK to switch to another presentation when you want.
- Discussions, questions, and sharing are welcomed in each presentation.
Because of the openness of the presentations I learned about
So I have been trying to digest all of the amazing things that I learned and trying to figure out where it will best help me in my personal and professional life. Its important to make sure that what you learn is not just a "time suck" as stated at Podcamp. I need to now spend my time figuring how to make the best out of what I learned. That should take me about 365 days until next years Podcamp.