Even if it meant showing up at the Georgia World Congress Center after getting less
than three hours of sleep (which is exactly what happened), there was no way I
was going to miss HackEd14. The chance to
hack my learning — to adapt, listen, grow and share by connecting face to face
with my PLN — was way too important to miss.
unconferences. They are one of the best forms of professional and personal
development because they are organic, based on the learners’ needs and wants,
and built in the moment by the people who attend. No agendas. No hierarchy. Just
genuine sharing and connecting, all in the name of learning together, improving
and paying it forward — adding more kindling to our education fires to keep our
passion for learning and teaching burning bright and strong.
With two past edcamp/unconference experiences under my belt (edcampSC and edcampELON
), I was curious to see how HackEd would compare. It did not
disappoint. If you didn't get to attend, here is what you missed:
HackEd attendees brainstormed with paper and crayons. I was intrigued: What
would my colleagues want to learn and share about? We began by brainstorming
topics on big chart paper with crayons. It didn’t take long to see that the
theme for our day would be connected to meaningful learning experiences. Every
session offered something that I would be able to use for my own learning, but
also transfer and use to empower others. And that’s what the learning and
sharing processes, to me, are all about: engagement, transference and
Deciding which groups to join wasn’t easy, but thanks to the "two-feet"
unconference norm, if I wasn’t getting what I needed in one place, I could let
my two feet to take me to another spot. There’s nothing like being able to own
Design thinking, project-based learning, PLNs, SLNs
(student learning networks), the Common Core — the ideas, knowledge and
experiences we shared in our learning spaces were powerful. Just take a look at
A definite highlight of my day was our midday smackdown. The wisdom of the
crowd was — and is — remarkable.
Check out my Pinterest board of all the new things I learned.
As the day drew to a close, I asked Barbara Bray, a creative learning
strategist and co-founder of Personalize Learning, LLC, and Audrey Watters, a
HackEd co-founder and blogger, to share their HackEd14 takeaways with me. Hear
them share their thinking via Voxer by clicking on their names.
To take the challenge put forth by Moss Pike during the design
thinking session: Turn a problem into an opportunity and talk to others
about it at ISTE to get ideas and form new questions that connect to my
To continue to reflect upon and honor
of PLN connectedness and how it
ignites us and our learning.
To honor all tools, even if I don’t use them
The point is to get — and stay — connected and to support
and empower others as they take steps to do the same.
When we connect, we converse. And it’s all about the
Ashley Hurley is a professional development specialist for secondary
literacy, a member of the Achieve EQuIP Peer Review Panel and co-creator of #cmsk12chat. Connect with her
on Twitter via @ashleyhhurley.