Today I attended my first “unconference” Ed Camp Chicago. Modeled on other participant led conferences, this was created by those in attendance, all topics were determined by suggestion and supported by the choices of us in where we went during each session. We opened the day with everyone in the auditorium proposing topics for sessions. With the board full, we broke out into our first choices. I went to a session on Getting the Most Out of your Library. Prior to attending this session, I had only met some of those in this room via Twitter and it was great to meet them in person. The topic was on the future of libraries, but our discussion went wherever the attendees ideas took it. This was true of every session I attended.
At the end of the day, we had a Smackdown- essentially, those interested got together to share tools and websites that we each use. It was a great way to collect ideas and @stumpteacher collected all ideas into this Google Doc. The picture accompanying this post is one I took during the Smackdown. It was a great way to wrap up this conference as each person just jumped in with whatever they thought others might be able to use. For me, a really great part of today was the opportunity to meet some of the people I’ve only known via Twitter and the conversations we had today. We talked about so many important things and I think I learned something from every person I met. I owe a huge thank you to all the organizers of the event and Lenovo for sponsoring everything.Even though the next one may be some time off, I am excited that the conversations will continue.
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