What I Learned from Bar Camp at #OrlandoTech Week
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Teacher of the Year 2015 – 2016
Venetia Elementary School
Duval County Public Schools
Participating in my first #OrlandoTech Week was
a fun, exciting, awesome and overwhelming experience,
even though I have been involved in technology for
quite a few years there is always an excitement
meeting people with diverse skills related to
technology that are not in the education field.
The beauty is that what I learn I can share with
my students in Duval County Public Schools and
with my students in my Educational Technology
and Social Media class at Edward Waters College.
Being engaged with industry leaders, creators, developers
and programmers allowed me to learn that there are
many diverse areas in the expanding fields of technology
and tech integration.
The faces of the people in fields of web development,
programming, coding and other fields have changed
from representing a single culture to one of
beautiful and dynamic cultural diversity and gender
Although more needs to be done, this will only
happen when boys and girls of color, culture and
diversity continue to earn degrees and certificates
in the diverse fields of technology. The passion must
come from parents to create the vision that their
children of color, culture and diversity can be successful
in all areas of STEM – Science Technology Engineering
Mathematics (Medicine), not only participate, but
contribute as well.
Teachers must never exclude students from learning
about STEM, STEAM, STREAM, CSTEAM and STEM2,
they should make learning fun and most importantly
relevant as to “WHY” they need to be involved.
Technology is no longer a field that you jump into
because you like it, there are specific fields of work
and very specific skill-sets to manage and employ
specific applications to perform specific functions
or a purpose.
Education is vital because of the intricate and integrated
applications where programs, Apps and tools are integrated
onto platforms that help to solve problems.
Bar Camps, WordCamps, EdCamps are great professional
development resources and unparalleled networking
opportunities. The exposure to people, products and
services helps me to improve my teaching and how to
integrate and incorporate into dynamic lessons for students
in elementary education and higher education. The resources
to inspire, encourage and motivate students to envision
that their life journeys can move into fields that are
diverse as the technology that is being developed and
integrated into everyday life.
Speaking at Bar Camp lifted my confidence level because
the focus is on “content” to inspire and motivate your
peers. Peers that don’t look like you, but are excited
just as you are to learn from you. Peers that do not
see your color, they do not worry about your culture,
but want to gain an understanding of how to improve their
abilities, skills and thinking. Taking themselves to a
higher level because of your contribution and passion
for what you know.
I’m always fascinated and excited to share what I have
learned and continue to learn not just as an educator
but as a speaker, community activist and user of
diverse technologies that can be applied to education,
ministry, mentoring youth, teens and young adults.
The words, “be part of something bigger than you are,”
has new meaning when you attend a Bar Camp, WordCamp,
EdCamp, Florida Blogging Conference, Blogging While
Brown Conference, and the growing online learning
opportunities through twitter like #EduMatch, #EduColor
These 25 items are what I learned from Bar Camp
during #OrlandoTech Week in Orlando, Florida.
1. Diversity is important in technology careers. The
increase of diverse backgrounds, cultural upbringing,
and even gender provides fresh ideas to solve new
and continuing issues that we face in the world.
2. Timing is still important, you must be at the
right place at the right time to make a difference.
Show up and show out.
3. Never doubt your ability to inspire others no matter
what your educational background is, you always can
4. Never doubt the power to collaboration. Embrace
opportunities to work with others in difference fields.
5. Always respect the knowledge, creativity and
innovation of developers, programmers and designers.
6. If your in the field of technology it is important
to learn the language so you can communicate
effectively and speak with knowledge.
7. Network your ass off when the opportunity presents
itself. Being successful means getting involved, getting
active and sharing your Brand.
8. Volunteer your knowledge to the youth so you can
encourage another generation.
9. Respect your competition because they make you
10. Get to conferences, workshops, seminars early.
The early bird gets the worm and new job or contract.
11. Everyone has SWAG, you just have to discover it
and apply it.
12. Always have business cards at the ready and make
sure they represent your Brand.
13. Develop your elevator speech, a 30 second speech
can change your world and someone else.
14. Attend as many conferences, workshops, and seminars
as possible. The more you know the more you grow, the
more you go the more people know your name and abilities.
The more you go and grow the more you can speak and
15. Plan to attend Bar Camps, EdCamps, WordCamps to
share and apply cross disciplinary information. Your
skill level should be as diverse as your ability to talk
the talk and walk the walk.
16. Get there early for the best T-shirts, coffee and
snacks and volunteer to help setup.
17. Learn something new, you always have a new resource
that may help you expand your Brand and resources.
18.Take the opportunity to speak and share your knowledge
as a speaker. You can create a stir in 30 to 50 seconds
by sharing the right knowledge at the right time.
19. Understand if your an introvert or extrovert so you can
use those to your advantage.
20. Create and post content at least once a week and
diversify with your Brand. SEO will build your web
presence the more you post on diverse platforms.
21. Keep your CV – curriculum vitae and resume current.
22. Use Instagram, Rebel mouse, and Tumblr to tell your
story when you can. If your African American integrate
being a BLERD and NERD when you can.
23. Never underestimate the power of the # hashtag. Use
it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to connect with
other Brands that share similar interests.
24. Never under estimate or under value women and
people of color and culture in technology. Nobody likes
a bully, racist, bigot or idiot.
25. Be kind, be courteous, be humble, be authentic.
Inspire children, youth, teens, young adults and
even the elderly, they all can contribute. There are
growing children businesses, where children and
youth have dynamic ideas to be entrepreneurs.
To build a Brand based on being authentic and
not afraid to dream big, work hard and expand
into new territories.
Francita V Williams – https://youtu.be/_qZ2mhgYRgg