Why EdCamp? Last year, I managed to sign myself up for an experience I wasn't sure I was ready for. I had been promised by colleagues that were attending that this would be a great way to connect with fellow colleagues in neighbouring districts and abroad. Also, I had been told that this was a great way to feel connected to new and old dialogue about a range of topics, and I would not be obligated to prepare anything in advance, but could moderate or help lead a session-should I wish to.
Enter EdCamp36- an Edcamp dedicated to a range of topics, and I although an extrovert, I was taken back at the amount of talent and years of professional service many brought with them. But it didn't stop there.
There were high school students, parents, trustees, student teachers and teacher candidates that were all interested in participating in the very essence of what we as Teachers are striving for everyday: authentic and organic discussions around how to best serve our students and how to make a place for all stakeholders.
I felt, that this had become a natural evolutionary piece to the Professional Learning many of us teachers seek.
I am a huge advocate for professional learning and I often find myself applying much of what I learn teaching, into professional development sessions for local staff and regionally. The Edcamp, gave me a chance to choose which hat I wanted to wear for the day: the listener, the blogger, the social media tweeter, discussion participant. That is the beauty of the Edcamp model, no one is expecting you to pull out a bunch of links, resources or even the topic- much of this ends up presenting itself organically as a discussion begins, and the group, whether it be a parent, trustee, student or teacher- may provide and share their experiences, their tensions or simply listen to what fellow stakeholders in Education are working towards. This is considered a non-hierarchical
UN-conference, where attendees share their experiences in Education and no one is here to listen to just one person speak. I love this!
After the whirlwind of Christmas, I was exhausted before I had even left for our school break. Many colleagues found themselves returning in January still sick with colds, or still reeling from the overwhelming obligations of the holidays - so I will admit that when I was reminded about the upcoming Delta Edcamp on my first Saturday back into the school year, I needed an extra coffee to get the wheels turning.
Turns out, the experience renewed, again, my belief in this amazing experience! Between my participation in Surrey, I had begun many dialogues with colleagues via Twitter and meeting up again in Delta, was something I was looking forward to. The buzz of the attendance was rampant over my twitter feed, I knew I would be in for a day of learning, laughing and meeting new and veteran faces.
What is an Ed-Camp?
- Attendees can register right up to the day of. Walk right in, or in Catherine Ousselin's (@CatherineKU72) case, drive up from Bellingham on the day of and meet me face to face! I'm still in awe! (She's a part of my French Twitterati- a twitter colleague of whom I have huge admiration for her contributions and inspiring pedagogy).
- There is always Coffee and Tea available, to keep you going! And prizes at lunch!
- You may choose any session to attend, and don't feel rude: use the two feet rule. Should you not feel that the session you originally chose to attend suits you, you can politely leave and walk down the hallway to see and greet another group. ( I do this often, so that I can take in as much of the conversations and topics as possible!)
- Each session is one hour. period. no time run over.
- Many volunteers for the event include amazing high school students from the hosting school. They are the grease in the wheels of this event- they make things run smoothly, provide great hosting etiquette, directions, information and many display their own work throughout the event. Kudos to our kids!
- You are under no obligation to go to any of the rooms that are hosting topics, you may have reconnected with a member of your PLN, connected anew or wish to continue a conversation regarding a previous topic. A common room, such as the Library or Cafeteria, is usually provided for this space. It's also a great place to re-join groups after a session to see what everyone got up to during their hour(s).
- This is for YOU by YOU. You take away as much or as little as you would like from your sessions- although I can guarantee that you will most likely be taking a lot away from your sessions and will feel empowered to share your own experience or continue dialogues way past after the event is finished.
- Topics range from implementing Geniushour, building community in your classroom, shifting into the new curriculum, assessment, making learning visible to technology in the classroom and e-porfolios- but that's not all…
The Edcamp model is the new frontier in reshaping what it means to collaboratively share in Professional Learning.
A ginormous THANK YOU to #edcampdelta staff for putting on an amazing event, again!
Join me again, on April 12th. As RE Mountain Secondary School in Langley, BC hosts the next EdCamp.
I will greet you all-high fives and all.
Bring your ideas, your tensions, your innovations.
Bring your parents, invite trustees, board members and fellow colleagues to come continue the discussions that we should be openly having about how to navigate our way into the next best year of Education!
Registration for EdCamp35 can be found here.
Follow us on Twitter @edcamp35 and follow hashtags #edcamp35 and #think35
New to Twitter? Come join me in February at Langley Secondary School for Langley's Professional Development day! I will be there hosting a session on "Twitter for New Tweeps". Come and join the fun on February 21st!
Registration can be found here.
Not going to be in British Columbia anytime soon but want to follow EdCamps going on around the world via Social Media? Find a continually updated list here.
• www.edcamp35.com • www.thinklangley.com •www.edcamp.wikispaces.com