Announcing Edcamp Tokyo 2017!

Educators in Tokyo will gather at K. International School Tokyo on April 8, 2017.

Register here: Edcamp Tokyo 2017 registration (8 Apr)

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JIES access and other details

The organizing team is thrilled to welcome you to Edcamp Tokyo 2015 in Harajuku. The event starts at 9:00am and we ask that participants arrive punctually in order to participate in the collaborative organization process. It’s also helpful to have one or two session ideas in mind ahead of time so that we have something to ‘play with’ right away.

Please find important details about the day below.

Access to JIES

Jingumae International Exchange School shares a campus with Jingumae Elementary School. We are located behind Omotesando Hills. Please visit the school website access page for directions, maps, and parking instructions. The JIES entrance is on the Southeast of the campus.

Lunch and snacks

The school is happy to provide coffee, tea, and light snacks for the day. Edcamp Tokyo participants should bring their own lunches or plan to eat out. There are dozens of restaurants, cafes, and convenience stores in the immediate area. Those who plan to bring a lunch are welcome to use the refrigerator and microwave.

Internet access

Access to the school WIFI will be provided. Organization and collaborative note taking will take place via Google Apps on our planning document and public Google Drive folder.

Questions & comments

If you have questions, please post them to the Edcamp Tokyo Google+ Community or on Twitter with the #EdcampTokyo hashtag. Someone else may have the same question, or a better answer than the organizers! Can’t wait to play together on Saturday! Please also leave ideas and comments on the Edcamp Tokyo Idea Wall padlet.

Now let’s play!!

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Edcamp Tokyo 2015 Harajuku

It’s been my honor to help organize Edcamp Tokyo for the second time. This year, the event will be hosted by Jingumae International Exchange School in Harajuku on Saturday 28 February 2015.

Play to learn; learn to play.

We decided on a theme of ‘play’ this year, which I hope will set a tone of curiosity and openness. As with every Edcamp, the key to success is self determination among the participants. Through a democratic process, sessions are proposed, voted on, and organized into classrooms and other meeting spaces.
The schedule is never set in stone. Edcampers are encouraged to continue engaging conversations, break out into splinter groups, or change sessions if their interests or needs are not being met.
We only ask that sharing and collaboration remain a top priority via Google Docs and our Edcamp Tokyo 2015 Home Document.
I look forward to seeing how the day evolves and invite anyone to participate, even if you can’t be there in person!

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Reflecting on Edcamp Tokyo

Beginning with an errant tweet and concluding with an impressive Demo Slam, helping to organize and then participating in Japan’s first Edcamp, Edcamp Tokyo, was a truly remarkable experience.

Incredible Team

Special appreciation belongs to Kim Cofino, Clint Hamada, and Yokohama International School for hosting us so well. Their attention to detail and world class facilities left nothing to be desired. The fluency of collaboration demonstrated by the entire organization team including Greg Feezell, Glenda Baker, Sarah Sutter, and Rab Paterson was simply astounding.
The result was an organization and planning process that was as enjoyable as it was effective.

Making Connections

The strongest connection I made at Edcamp was in the sharing of ideas between diverse learning communities. It was the first time I gained a sense for the approaches to learning and teaching being practiced at other schools and in a variety age ranges and developmental stages.
Discussing the Maker Movement with secondary educators was a revelation for me, as I gained insight into how my efforts at the elementary level can build the fundamental scientific, mathematical, collaborative, and innovative thinking skills that learners will expand and develop in the future.
Making Thinking Visible, a relatively new line of inquiry for me, turned out to be an in-depth discussion of the conceptual connections between learning in various disciplines and how explicitly taught and practiced ‘thinking routines’ can provide continuity between skills, topics, and ideas.
I was happy to share my experiences developing the Independent Inquiry project with a group of educators in the 20% Time in Education session. I hope that they will find the resources shared to be useful as they cultivate self-directed, interest-driven learning.

In the Creativity, Design, and Innovation session, there was a palpable desire for change. We all shared a passion for learning and hope for the future that was an inspirational way to end the day.The notes from the sessions are all linked to the Collaborative Organization Document (aka the schedule), a resource which I hope can help to maintain the connections we have made.

Building Community

How Edcamp Tokyo helped to build a community of learners in Tokyo and across Japan remains to be seen. There haven’t been any tweets using the #EdcampTokyo or #Edcamp東京 hashtags on Twitter for awhile, nor is there much activity on the Edcamp Tokyo Google+ Community.
In all likelihood, participants returned to their busy lives and classrooms with new perspectives and tools, but not necessarily time to reflect and share publicly. Given the intensity of engagement throughout the day, I’m confident that we are all applying our new understandings in creative and meaningful ways.
Personally, I feel that what we did was ultimately in the service of learning. Every idea shared was a generous gift and I’m happy to express sincere gratitude to all of the participants in Japan’s first Edcamp.

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Logistics & Arrival Details for Saturday

Here are a few logistical details to help make sure our day goes smoothly:

Getting to YIS
Directions to YIS are here. Please note that you will need to use the playground gate entrance to the school. When you come up from Motomachi-Chukagai station, continue across the cross-walk in front of YIS and go straight down the hill. You will see the playground gate on your left. This is the only door that will be open on Saturday morning because it’s the closest to the cafeteria (where we will start the day).

Our day starts at 9am in the Cafeteria and finishes at 4pm in the Cafeteria.

We will have the playground open for parking on Saturday at a first-come-first-served basis. There is space for around 15 cars. If the lot is full, there is paid parking around the corner.

Please make sure to bring a device with you that can access Google Drive documents. We’ll be using a Google Doc to organize the sessions, so you’ll need to be able to check that document from anywhere on campus. Guest wifi details will be provided on Saturday morning.

We are all set for lunch! Thank you for all your lunch orders! If you have not yet ordered lunch and would like to have a delicious meal (Turkish flatbread with chicken, beef or falafel) provided by Zest, please bring JPY1,500 with you Saturday. If you haven’t ordered lunch yet, but plan to buy on Saturday, please let me know which option you’d like (chicken, beef or falafel) so Zest can prepare enough meals. We’ll collect payment as you arrive on Saturday morning.

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Gearing up for Edcamp Tokyo

In the Spring of last year, I tweeted my interest in having an Edcamp in Tokyo:


There wasn’t much interest, although in retrospect I suppose it would have been helpful to use the actual #Edcamp hashtag. I set up a page on the Edcamp Wiki and laid in wait… Several months later, a tweet piqued my interest once again:

As Greg would later observe, it snowballed from there. Several Tokyo and Yokohama teacher-leaders joined the organizational team. We set up an Edcamp Tokyo website, held a Google Hangout with Edcamp Foundation Board Member, Kristen Swanson, settled on a location, Yokohama International School, and a date, March 15.

Countdown to Edcamp Tokyo

With only four weeks to go, there are currently more than fifty dedicated educators registered and conversations percolating on our Edcamp Tokyo Connectivity page, Edcamp Tokyo Google+ Community, Edcamp Tokyo Idea Wall, and of course around the #EdcampTokyo and #Edcamp東京 hashtags on Twitter!

This is the first chance for educators in Japan to assemble for self-directed, collaborative professional development. Even those outside of Japan might be interested in our activities, especially as they pertain to inquiry-learning, multilingual and third-culture education, technology, and whatever inspiration may strike!

I can’t wait to see you there, in person or virtually.

from Symphony of Ideas

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Are you ready?

Here are five things you can do to get ready for Edcamp Tokyo:

1. Register now.

This is the most important. More than 40 enthusiastic educators have already registered. Register today!

2. Take a survey.

The Edcamp Tokyo pre-survey is tool for sharing information and finding out about other participants. Responses are posted here.

3. Stop and think.

What do you plan to discuss at Edcamp? What are your hopes for the day? What interests and experiences do you have that you might want to share?

A few moments of introspection might be a great way to prepare for Edcamp.

4. Be social.

Tweet using the hashtag 

Join us at the Edcamp Tokyo Google+ Community!

5. Share an idea.

The Edcamp Tokyo Idea Wall is a place to leave messages, questions, and suggestions for sessions.

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