Maybe you've heard of EdCamps and maybe you haven't yet. One thing is for sure, EdCamps are an up and coming professional development experience for educators that are sweeping the world.
This past Saturday, I had the lucky opportunity to attend EdCamp Milwaukee (EdCampMKE) and my experience was unforgettable.
So what is an EdCamp?
- EdCamps are usually held on Saturdays during the school year. During the summer, it's all over the place.
- They are FREE! (But they usually limit the number of participants so be sure to get a ticket.)
- EdCamps are considered an "unconference" because you don't know the schedule of "classes" until that morning.
- To set the "class" schedule, EdCamp organizers call on participants to offer to "host" a session on a topic of their interest. There are no "sages on the stage" or lecturing allowed. It is truly collaborative.
- Session topics can seriously be about anything educational. On Saturday, there were sessions that ranged from standards based grading to instituting a 1:1 program to how to organize your classroom for optimal learning. To see our schedule topics click here. There is surely something for everyone!
- When the session begins, anyone interested in that topic meets in the designated room and conversations begin. One person may serve as leader, but usually it's just everyone contributing ideas and insights.
- If you don't like the topic or it's no longer meeting your needs, you can just leave the session and find a different one. No one is offended or hurt.
Here are some of my pictures from my day at EdCamp:
Here I am with my friend Heather, who I brought along for the day.
Technology is everywhere!
Getting ready to fill the board with sessions.
When someone wants to offer a session, the write it on a post-it, briefly share their idea with the crowd, then it gets put up on this grid.
(Thankfully, someone was sitting right there to put this all into an online document so we could read it.)
Here's Heather pitching our session on Teacherpreneurs. It was a hit!! About 25 people attended.
We took a break to go outside at lunch. It was a beautiful day.
If you'd like to see the Twitter feed from the day, you can check out #EdCampMKE.
Even though I gave up a Saturday to sit inside for EdCamp, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I met so many wonderful educators, learned so much, and grew as a teacher in ways I had not expected!
What about you? Have you tried out an EdCamp yet? If not, don't wait! Find one near you today.