EdCampGlobal is a virtual form of EdCamp. EdCamp is a type of “un-conference” that is organized by volunteers. It serves educators who seek free professional development in a collaborative spirit that allows them to pick and choose what to consume. It allows educators to share their own questions, skills, knowledge, interests with others.
EdCamp normally takes place in person at sites all over the world. The EdCamp Foundation is a central organization that offers assistance and support. EdCampGlobal takes the EdCamp philosophy and “uploads” it into online spaces. It’s available to anyone who registers online. Once registered, participants can choose from multiple offerings.
Registrants can also offer to host sessions online. Looking at my calendar, I saw that I would be facilitating an interactive booth at a MakerFaire in Rutland, Vermont on July 30. So I offered to broadcast live from my booth using Periscope. Most educators have never been to a MakerFaire. It seemed like a way to open up the experience to those who had not yet experienced it in real life.
At the appointed time, I began the broadcast which I later uploaded to YouTube. On Periscope, viewers can participate virtually by commenting and asking questions that are posted in text on the screen. Those texts are not visible on the recording that is saved to the camera roll, so they are not visible on the YouTube version. It sometimes seems strange to hear the broadcaster speaking replies to viewers when you cannot see the actual comments.
I happened to be going through a slight lull in traffic to my booth, which was a welcome break for me. The broadcast, for that reason, was not as informational. What it did allow for, however, was an opportunity to walk around the MakerFaire and show what else was going on. It also allowed me to explain what the viewers were seeing.
The same MakerFaire in the previous year (2015) was the first time I had used Periscope to broadcast an event. Here’s that recording:
I was incredibly busy that day and able to enlist help from the people who came to the booth to make JitterBugs and ScribbleBots. I especially liked how participants were able to get feedback from the viewers. I hope to Periscope from the next MakerFaire if I get a chance.
Champlain MiniMakerFaire is at Shelburne Farms on September 24-25, 2016.
Have you been to a MakerFaire?
Have you been to an EdCamp or any other kind of Un-Conference?