Monday, September 21, 2015


Over the weekend, I attended my first Edcamp in Charlotte, NC.  I loved it, as I knew I would.  The "unconference" model allows tremendous flexibility and autonomy over one's professional learning.  The "open source" approach requires all participants to be involved in the development of the content as topics are selected and shared.
It's hard for me to imagine a learner who would not benefit from this type of event. When I experience an ineffective professional development, my usual complaints are that the information presented did not match my current needs as a learner, and/or that the presenter did not take into account my needs as a learner.  These potential problems are eliminated by the Edcamp structure. All participants have the opportunity to suggest and vote on content, so learners have a high likelihood of having a conversation available that meets a perceived need.  Learners are expected to actively participate in each session by sharing their ideas and resources, but are also expected to leave sessions for other choices if the conversation is not meeting their needs.  Participants also take collaborative notes, which are then available for everyone to benefit from learning they did not get to experience firsthand.
By the end of the event Saturday, I had learned about:
-three apps I plan to share with teachers (Green Screen, Chatterpix, and Book Creator),
-an online course I may take and recommend for some teachers seeking strategies for students demonstrating persistent and problematic behaviors,
-an organization for supporting gifted learners, and
-lots of other tips and tricks.
Additionally, I added a few people to my professional network and ate a great BBQ lunch.  Other than the BBQ, I expect that every participant in an Edcamp reaps the same type of benefits.  If you haven't attended one, I urge you to find one.  (Local friends, here's one for you.) If you're not near one, find out how to create one. I'm looking forward to my next Edcamp!

Rules for Edcamp success

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