New Tech Camp Workshop – but no “canoe time”

I’m really looking forward to a new workshop tomorrow!  We’ve been calling it various things: Tech Camp – The Sequel, Advanced Tech Camp, Research 2.0 and so on. Whatever you call it, this workshop will give participants the chance to explore a wide range of web tools that will help them and their students take a new approach to research projects, one that involves collaborating and sharing. Share ideas on how to integrate these tools into your curriculum. Learn how to take advantage of tools that will help you and your students manage resources, organize information, collaborate with team members, connect with experts and create meaningful presentations.

Our School Library Learning 2.0 Tech Camps are one and two day immersions in technology tools and and  opportunities to explore ideas for integrating technology into the curriculum.  These sessions offer school librarians an opportunity to explore a variety of online tools & services that will help them work more efficiently, improve their library’s online presence and enhance student learning.

Canoes at Sagamore Great Camp

The “camp” in Tech Camp comes not from the unconference/barcamp tradition, but from actually going away to a “camp” of some sort. Elaine Baker at the Southern Adirondack Library System started this tradition in 2000 with continuing education trips to the Sagamore Great Camp in the Adirondacks. And she made sure every workshop included plenty of what we called “canoe time” – time away from the classroom to share ideas and connect with colleagues, whether in a canoe, hiking or hanging out in front of the fire.

Linda Fox, former director of the Capital Region BOCES School Library System and Dee Portzer, director of the Questar III School Library System,  picked up on this idea and took the tech camp idea to Rensselaerville Institute – making sure the concept of  “canoe time” was kept!  Since then, I’ve had the great pleasure of conducting Tech Camps for a number of other school library systems around NYS. Unfortunately, with tightening budgets, the “camp” part of tech camp is disappearing.  What’s been lost has been the “canoe time”,  that opportunity to get away from the our everyday commitments and build new collaborations and connections with our colleagues.