EdCamp Gorge, an education ‘unconference,’ set for March 9

EdCamp Gorge, a free conference for teachers, administrators and anyone involved in education, comes to Wy’east Middle School March 9.

The structure of the conference will be informal, with attendees signing up to run sessions in the morning.

The conference will be free from corporate vendors and booths, with the focus being solely on conversations about education.

EdCamp Gorge is free, with all refreshments and other amenities provided solely through sponsorship.

Organizers are Adam Howell, a PE teacher at Wy’east Middle School, and Sean Williams, an instructional technologist at Northwest Regional ESD in Hillsboro.

“We want people to sign up as soon as possible,” Howell said. “People can also come on the day of, but we are really encouraging pre-registration.”

To register and gain more information visit bit.ly/EdCampGorge.

Attendees will come from all over the state and will range from classroom teachers to administrators to coaches. There will be time for attendees to gather informally to share ideas as well as a variety of sessions for them to attend, run by their colleagues and fellow educators.

This event is based on the barcamp model, also known as an unconference (http://barcamp.org). An unconference is:

n an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment; and

n a conversational event featuring discussions, demos and interactions between participants, rather than a group of people listening to a particular speaker.

After the inaugural edcamp event in May 2010, the edcamp movement has spread across the nation, and even worldwide, according to Howell.

With the possibility of up to 100 attendees, the organizers are looking for local businesses who may be interested in being featured in the conference literature. Those interested in being a sponsor can make donations and/or contact the organizers on the website at bit.ly/EdcampGorge.

The website explains what participants might expect:

“Arrive with an idea for a session that you would like to lead or with the anticipation of a full day of learning. A session might explore a technology tool, a discussion about best practices, or a collaborative presentation with multiple facilitators.

“During the first hour (8-9 a.m.) you will have time to meet other teachers over coffee. There will be an empty session board where you and all attendees can post session titles. Sessions begin at 9 a.m.

“Over the course of the day, you will have the opportunity to attend up to four sessions. The rule of the unconference is to “vote with your feet.”

“If a session doesn’t meet your needs, simply get up and move on to another room.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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