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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Ever been to an Edcamp? No? Find one and go, they're free!

Ever been to an Edcamp? No? Find one and go, they're free!

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Hi everyone,

Had the pleasure of spending Saturday with almost 300 passionate educators at what is known as Edcamp New Jersey. There were many new teachers in attendance and all raved about the experience.

Surely you must be wondering - what's an Edcamp? Edcamps are free, user-driven (i.e., "Do It Yourself") PD events that attract the most interesting, fun and inquisitive educators anywhere for a memorable day of conversation about professional practice, technology tools, and anything else education related.

This blog post has great info:

http://davidwees.com/content/what-edcamp

There have also been EXCELLENT articles shared here on Edutopia about Edcamps but rather than bury this post with links I'll just refer to one more - the list of upcoming Edcamps:

http://edcamp.wikispaces.com/

Several of us active here on Edutopia are active in the Edcamp movement and help plan these events all the time. Me, Mary Beth Hertz, Kristen Swanson, Dan Callahan, Lisa Dabbs, there are more I'm surely forgetting ... bottom line ... for a new teacher trying to find their way, Edcamps can be extremely powerful!

Full disclosure: I, Mary Beth, Kristen and Dan are all members of the Edcamp Foundation (edcamp.org), a non-profit we and others created to promote this concept for educators everywhere!

-kj-

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Kristen Swanson's picture
Kristen Swanson
Teacher, Leader, Edcamper, Learner
Blogger

Edcamp is about sharing and honing your own personal passions. It's self directed learning for educators and I'm so excited by the ways that its changing how people think about learning.

Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

I've been to Edcamp, and have run a similar conference, Podcamp, dealing with digital media creation. The best thing is how engaged everyone is, and how the sessions always speak to matters important to the presenters- their enthusiasm is contagious!

I'm trying to get more people in our district to engage and go to Edcamps, mostly because once they see how terrific peer to peer sharing can be across districts, the same old painful PD will rapidly become a thing of the past.

Even as a parent, I've found tons of informative and fascinating sessions- I'd encourage parents to go as well :)

Jason Markey's picture
Jason Markey
Principal, East Leyden High School

Having helped to organize two Edcamps in Chicago (hosting them both at East Leyden) I can say first hand that they be a great catalyst for learning. I say catalyst because although there is a lot of learning that happens that day, I think the true impact is in how the experience can change your mindset on professional growth as an educator. I for one began to take more control over my own professional growth realizing that it's up to me to assess and seek out my own learning. Also the realization that often the best learning is through conversation, both formally and informally, with our peers and practitioners and not just from conferences or top down professional development.

Edcamp = Thumbs up!
Jason

Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Hi Jason-
Your comment got me thinking. How could we design an Edcamp event either for kids or for teachers and kids, where one day was devoted to having conversations about school, process, perspectives, etc. what would be the outcome from that sort of oearning in the culture of school ?

Jason Markey's picture
Jason Markey
Principal, East Leyden High School

Love the thought! I have thought about something similar for a long time and in fact we are doing something that is not an edcamp model, but is student led and interest driven. Here is a blog post I wrote about the initial idea, more to come...
http://jmarkeyap.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-new-psae-days.html

Jason

[quote]Hi Jason-

Your comment got me thinking. How could we design an Edcamp event either for kids or for teachers and kids, where one day was devoted to having conversations about school, process, perspectives, etc. what would be the outcome from that sort of oearning in the culture of school ?[/quote]

Laura Thomas's picture
Laura Thomas
Director, Antioch University New England Center for School Renewal, Author of Facilitating Authentic Learning, Director of the Antioch Critical Skills Program
Facilitator

We've been Edcamp fans for years at Antioch. Nothing like a good conversation to get the educational inspiration flowing!

Lisa Dabbs's picture
Lisa Dabbs
Educational Consultant. Author. Speaker. Blogger.
Blogger
Facilitator

#edcampLA is coming up in a month! As one of the organizers, I can't wait for this fun event!

http://www.edcampla.org/

It's going to be epic!

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