Great Lakes THATCamp 2012

Twitter GLThatCampIt’s no great secret that many of us here at ProfHacker are huge fans of the THATCamp series of unconferences; we’ve written quite a lot about these gatherings—and there’s really no reason to change that pattern, is there?

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend this year’s Great Lakes THATCamp, which was held on the campus of Western University in London, Ontario. Over 80 campers attended.

Like many THATCamps, this one had workshops (or “bootcamps”) as well as regular sessions. These were held on Friday, and gave early arrivals the opportunity to learn by doing. The only downside I found was having to choose among concurrent sessions; there’s no way, unfortunately, to do everything. I was able to participate in “Introduction to Arduino and Physical Computing,” “Introduction to TEI for Hypertext and Digital Archives,” and the “Drupal Site Building Sprint,” each of which introduced me to something new. For me, that newness was the whole point. I’d heard enough about each of these topics to know I was interested, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to get my hands dirty and play a bit. I now know a little bit more than I did going in, and I have a better sense of where to find some guidance–and what to look for–if I decide to delve more deeply into any of these areas.

Saturday the rest of the campers arrived, and we had a full day of interesting and challenging discussions, ranging from “Everything that’s wrong with DH” to “Gender and technical spaces” and “Making our communities fun” (the site has a full listing of sessions). Once again, the hard thing was to choose among concurrent sessions–though, as is customary at THATCamps, campers were entirely free to move from one session to another, if they wanted to try to catch at least parts of discussions that were scheduled against each other.

If you were at the Great Lakes THATCamp, feel free to comment on your experience below. If you’ve got questions about THATCamps in general, or experiences of other THATCamps you’d like to share, let us know that in the comments, too!

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