Chromecamp is less than a week away! You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers!

Q and A yellow
Hello Chromecampers!

About 350 400 (!) people have registered so far to attend this awesome, free event, the first unconference in Southern New Jersey focusing on the Google ecosystem! We’ve gotten lots of questions and thought a message like this would be the best way to answer them. So, let’s get busy…

  • Q: Is this event really FREE? A: Yep! Thanks to support from our generous SPONSORS, and the Linwood School District for hosting us at Belhaven Middle School, the event is not only FREE, but we can also offer FREE breakfast (your basic coffee/muffins/bagels/fruit etc.), FREE lunch (pizza!), PRIZES, and a FREE after-party BBQ for the first 50 people. Nutty, ain’t it?!?!
  • Q: When is it? A: Wednesday, August 5th.
  • Q: What time does Chromecamp start? A: Registration begins at 8:30 am (if you arrive before then, be prepared to be asked to help with a setup task, like putting out breakfast, hanging up signs, etc.!)
  • Q: Where is it? A: Belhaven Middle School, 51 Belhaven Avenue, Linwood, NJ (link to map)
  • Q: Do I need to bring a Chromebook, Chrome device, or laptop with a Chrome browser? A: If you have one, that’d be great, PLEASE BRING IT WITH YOU! There will be a VERY limited supply of loaner Chrome devices (primarily Chromebooks) available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The focus of the event is the Google ecosystem … technically, as an example, you COULD bring an iPad as your sole device, and you’d be welcome to attend any session … but depending on the app or browser you use, you might not have the same experience as everyone else, be able to do the same activities, etc. That would be … most unfortunate.
  • Q: May students attend? A: YES! As long as they are accompanied at all times by an adult. THIS IS NOT A DROP-OFF EVENT! Our previous unconference, Padcamp, always had a significant student presence every year. C’mon, people – students are WHY WE’RE DOING ALL THIS. Wed actually love students to LEAD SOME SESSIONS! Yeah, you read that right. Students have plenty to teach us!
  • Q: What sessions will there be? What will we learn / do / explore? May I see a list of presenters? A: There is no pre-set agenda, no list of presenters or pre-arranged topics. That’s the beauty and power of an unconference! The participants determine the agenda the morning of the event. If you’ve never experienced an unconference (and in particular, an Edcamp) … you’re in for a real treat. For more on this topic, please read: What’s an Edcamp and why should I attend? You’ll be glad you did.
  • Q: Do I have to stay the whole day? Can I come early and leave late? Or come late and leave early? A: No, Yes, and Yes! This event is about YOU, YOUR schedule, YOUR learning. Breeze in when you want to, breeze out when you need to. We will talk about the “Rule of Two Feet,” which basically means you’re in control of your schedule for the day. There, isn’t that liberating?
  • Q: Is there free parking? A: Yes, plenty right around the school and the surrounding area. Please do be courteous and avoid blocking residential driveways or parking on grassy areas (like near the bike path.) There is a giant parking lot at Mainland Regional High School just one block away if you need it.
  • Q: How many sessions will there be? A: we are using the “three session” Edcamp model, meaning, we’ll have two one-hour sessions before lunch, then we’ll have lunch, then one more one-hour session after that. We’ll end with a gathering to hand out prizes, then it’s time for the after-party BBQ (first 50 participants)
  • Q: Registration begins at 8:30 but the first session doesn’t start until 10am? What’s that about? A: The morning time is for your light breakfast, chatting with colleagues and new friends, and for building the list of sessions (a.k.a. the Session Board). Which leads me to the next question…
  • Q: Do I have to present something? A: No! But we would LOVE IT if you DID want to lead a discussion (unconference sessions are NOT presentations – sage on the stage style lectures – they are participative, casual, informal sharings of knowledge among peers. We like to say that if you are prepared to and comfortable with the idea of leading a conversation at a lunch with friends about a topic, you’re prepared to lead a session at an Edcamp! Yes, it’s that easy…
  • Q: Will there be WiFi? A: Ohhhhhhhh yesssssss….
  • Q: What’s the hashtag for the event? A: #chromecampSNJ would be great but #chromecamp works also, and don’t forget #edcamp too!
  • Q: what about the weather? A: Our event is RAIN OR SHINE!
  • Q: Do I have to register in advance and/or bring my ticket? A: It would be nice if you did but it’s not required. WALK-INS ARE WELCOME!
  • Q: I can’t make it – do I need to cancel my ticket. A: No, it’s cool. Really. Don’t sweat it!

That’s all for now – see you next week!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Chromecamp Organizing Team

Smokin’ Good Chromecamp BBQ After-Party (by Glen Stewart)

smoking-bbqWhat better way to cap off a smokin’ good Chromecamp than to chow down on some mouth watering smoked barbeque? The Chromecamp organizers will hold the first of its kind barbeque cookout after an edcamp! Best of all, thanks to our generous sponsors, it’s all free for those attending. The pork, beef and chicken will be slow cooked on a real pit smoker using hardwood, and sauces will be handmade by Belhaven Middle School’s own famous cook, Paul. So, after learning all you can from presenters and networking with fellow edtech colleagues, reward yourself with a delicious meal. Seating is limited to the first 50 hungry Chromecampers on a first-come, first-served basis!

A Day to Remember! (by Kim Mattina)

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Chromecamp will be held on Wednesday, August 5th, 2015, and will be the first of its kind to be offered in Southern New Jersey. Chromecamp uses the edamp model, in which it is a FREE day of professional development based on K-12 All Things Google and Chrome! It is open to anyone who would like to attend and facilitate a conversation that you are passionate about!

The Chromecamp organizers are working hard to make sure, Wednesday,  August 5th, 2015, is a day to remember! We want you to have a great experience with other educators, administrators, parents, and students, enjoy conversations, collaborate and learn from each other, and maybe even acquire new connections for your PLN.

As with many edcamps, Chromecamp, will include prize giveaways!  I am happy to announce that our sponsors, Nureva, Troxell, iPevo, and Voicethread, have made generous donations to support our cause.

Troxell has donated, not 1 but 2 – Asus Chromebooks! Models are Asus C201PA-DS01 Chromebook and Asus C300MA-EDU2 Chromebook.

iPevo has donated 3 – Ziggi-HD High-Definition USB Document Cameras that can be used with a Chromebook.

Voicethread has donated 2 school licenses for one year that includes up to 350 premium accounts.

Not to mention, Chromecasts, Google Play gift cards, and other great prizes that will be offered to the attendees during the conference.

Please visit Chromecamp Ticketleap to reserve your FREE ticket and enjoy a day of learning!

This post was written by Kimberly Mattina.

What’s an Edcamp and why should I attend? (by Kevin Jarrett)

Yeah, we get that a lot.

Close_to_1,000_delegates_attended_the_International_Green_Building_Conference_2011

This is *NOT* an Edcamp! Image credit: Wikipedia

Have you ever been to a “Big Edtech Conference” with lots of impressive-sounding speakers and lofty session descriptions, only to find that the impressive-sounding speakers aren’t and the session themselves are way off … or worse … they are sales pitches for some product? Continue reading

So, I went Chromebook shopping … here’s what bought, and what I learned (by Kevin Jarrett)

Screenshot 2015-05-31 at 5.13.12 PM

Google Chromebook Comparison Chart

Recently, I decided to replace my aging Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook. The battery life wasn’t the greatest, it was heavier than most similar-sized but newer Chromebooks on the market, and I knew prices were low and dropping every day. So, why not?

Back when I got the Samsung three years ago, it was only the second Chromebook made, and it was the fastest available. Since then, things have changed – a LOT. The number of OEMs building Chromebooks have exploded. So have the internal differences – most notably processors, screen sizes and types – meaning the potential buyer has a lot more to consider and decipher. Continue reading

Thank you, sponsors!

Our event, while strictly non-commercial, would not be possible without GENEROUS support of a variety of local companies and organizations that serve schools and the K-12 education market. Please visit their websites and check out what they have to offer!

It’s official! Chromecamp: August 5th, 2015 | Belhaven Middle School | Linwood, NJ

Belhaven Middle School, Linwood, NJ

Mark your calendars! We have a date and a venue! Belhaven Middle School in Linwood, NJ has agreed to host our inaugural event on Wednesday, August 5, 2015! With this final detail decided, planning can begin in earnest – please watch this space for more information! You can also direct any questions to info@chromecamp.net. Thank you!

The Chromecamp Planning Team