Guest Post via @wmjackson: What I Learned at WordCampUSA in Philadelphia 2016

What I Learned at WordCampUSA in Philadelphia 2016
by William Jackson, M.Ed
Instructor: Edward Waters College
Jacksonville, Florida #MyQuestToTeach
Accompanied by
Joshua Rodriguez, junior Biology major
Jon Gregory, junior Elementary Education

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Attending WordCampUSA Philly was a great
opportunity to join over 1800 bloggers, developers,
programmers, users and even educators.
Joining together to learn, share, and collaborate
on a platform that allows for dynamic content to
be posted in diverse digital environments.

Attending with my students Joshua Rodriguez
a junior studying Biology and Johnathan Gregory
a junior studying elementary education, both students attending Edward Waters College. Provided an opportunity
to apply what they are learning in the classroom in
real world situations.
These situations are not just educational, but involves
business, commerce and entrepreneurial opportunities.

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Edward Waters College an HBCU building leaders in
diverse disciplines is working to build content creators and innovators. In order for this to be successful students
must be exposed to industry leaders, developers and
programmers and marketers.
Conferences like WordCamp allow for exposure. It encourages interaction and engagement. If students are
not involved they lose the chance to be inspired and
encouraged to think beyond their current community and
even economic level.

Learning from conferences is Dope and Lit, more students
of color and culture need to have the opportunity to
join in on the discussions to learn and contribute. To move
beyond consumers to change into developers.

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HBCU – Historic Black Colleges and Universities
should continue to prioritize learning on a foundation
level to liberate the thinking of the application and
integration of technology to produce not just consume.
Students of color and culture should not follow the words
of those who want to limit the abilities of them, because
students of color and culture and African students are smart creatives, dynamic innovators and embrace entrepreneurialism that opens doors to build people and nations.  My students and I will take back to our schools, our communities, and our peers’ new knowledge to share, to inspire, to ignite the fires of discovery that
change the way children, youth, teens and even young
adults see themselves.
“Children don’t care what you know, so long as they know
that you care,” is a quote the Jon Gregory shared with me
from attending EdCamp NASBE, it applies here as well.
We must share, encourage, engage, inspire, influence,
ignite and kindle the joy of learning so students will be
life-long learners to build a better tomorrow.

HBCU students should attend conferences, workshops,
seminars, meetups, EdCamps, WordCamps, Bar Camps,
and other technology events. If the mindset does not
change children of color and culture will find themselves
unemployable or under-employed in dead end careers and
jobs. This is economic and even political self-destruction,
the lack of education creates a lack of economic and
political power.

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