Another dot in the blogosphere?

Reflecting on #EducampSG

Posted on: December 4, 2011

While I have been to unconferences before, Friday’s Educamp Singapore was the first time I attended a locally hosted one. Here are some haphazard observations and impressions.

The beauty of an unconference is that it is simple: Find a place, get people to sign up online, then get them to organize themselves when they show up. The reality is that you still need a small group of people to coordinate but you work off the energy of the participants rather than just your own.

I rehashed a few pictures from my TED talk and showed a video that we used for a virtual conference to illustrate a strategy for using QR codes.

The buzz I felt was close to the one I had at TEDxYouthSingapore. It was wonderful to learn that there are passionate educators all over the place, all trying and struggling in their own niches, and all wanting share and learn.

While it was great to connect with these like-minded folks, I particularly enjoyed meeting a few of my tweeps in person. It was also nice to make a few new ones.

But I kept thinking about how few of us there were. We had two break out rooms, each with a capacity of 40. While the break out venues were filled, especially for the earlier sessions, there were relatively few when you consider the number of educators in schools and IHLs.

@sivasothi pointed out at the end that there could be even more educators present (his reflection). Furthermore, while we we all learners, there was just one person we could call a student in our midst.

So I agree that we can work on increasing our numbers. But I’d be more concerned about another aspect: Not enough people sharing. Getting the numbers in is not enough if people who attend don’t want to speak up or share.

Maybe my experience at other unconferences spoilt me for choice. I felt that too few stepped up to share. Sure, there was quite a lot going on on the last 45-minute quick fire round of presentations, but more could have stepped up for the main slots.

I’ll have more thoughts on sharing and the cost of not sharing in a separate reflection…

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