Edcamp Garden State

About a month ago (April 30th 2016) I attended Edcamp Garden State, which was a first for me. Now if you have read my blog, you would hopefully know that this wasn’t the first Edcamp I’ve ever attended. But this was, in fact, my first Edcamp which I co-organized.

Back in December of 2015, during the ‘10 days of Edcamp‘ I made a promise:

I wanted to be part of a planning team and take part in designing a day of learning. I joined Dan Whalen and the rest of his Collingswood crew in organizing Edcamp Garden State.

We used Slack to start conversations on what we needed to do, who was going to be responsible for what, keeping track of the swag we collected, etc. I volunteered to take care of the tech side of things, mainly the digital session board w/ Google Docs for each room, the fourth session Google Form to vote on the last topics of the day, and the exit survey which pushed out a participation certificate.

The session board is embedded below. Thank you goes out to Allan Johnson for assisting me with a Script he designed to create all the Google Docs for each room. Also, I have to send a shout out to Stacey Lindes for assisting me with the sign-ups on the board the morning of Edcamp GS.

As for the Google Forms, they were something I was quite familiar with creating. The fourth session Form was straight forward, a single checkbox question listing all of the previous topics from the board. It was set with data validation so ‘up to three’ choices could be submitted. I then used the Summary of Responses to see which topics people selected. Thankfully it worked out nicely with ten topics having the most votes (no ties). The exit survey, asked a variety of questions like:

  • How did you hear about EdcampGS?
  • How likely are you to attend another one?
  • Did you add a topic to the session board?
  • Would you add one next time?
  • What did you like most?
  • What would you change?

Then on the Google Sheet of responses I set up the autoCrat add-on to use the information collected from the Form (i.e. name, email, etc.) and populate a .pdf of the Google Doc below. This was then emailed out to the attendees after they submitted the Form. For the most part, this worked great, just a couple of times I had to go back in and make an adjustment for a mistyped email address.

The day went great! Other than some cold pizza (they delivered early), everyone left buzzing about what they shared/learned/discovered/conversed about. I’m already on board for planning the next one and we have some ideas on ways to improve/change it up. Will we see you at Edcamp Garden State 2017?

Have you ever organized a conference? Please respond in the comment section below.

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