Camp is no longer just for kids! In fact, edcamps are cropping up all over the world as educators embrace the reality that professional development can be fun and fulfilling. Thanks to Hadley Ferguson (@hadleyjf) and Edcamp Philly in 2010, more than 50,000 teachers in the last 5 years have attended edcamps all over the world (edcamp.org). So, a few colleagues and I decided to jump in the edcamp waters and we will be hosting our own: Edcamp Ashland.
The edcamp philosophy is simple (from Edcamp Resource for Organizers):
- non-commercial and conducted with a vendor-free presence
- hosted by any organization interested in furthering the edcamp mission
- made up of sessions that are determined on the day of the event by the participants
- events where anyone who attends can facilitate a session
- reliant on the “law of two feet” that encourages participants to find a session that meets their needs
For those who have never attended an edcamp, an introduction to edcamps is necessary…see video below:
So, why might someone go to an edcamp? Well, it is the greatest professional development experience I have ever had! It is incredible to watch teachers and administrators sharing their first hand knowledge about things in which you are deeply interested. It is also a very open atmosphere in which one can leave a session they might not find applicable…and no one bats an eye! There are opportunities to ask questions and share frustrations as a group. The whole notion of presenter and attendee is completely gone.
An edcamp is something best experienced first hand. It really is about making connections with other educators who feel as passionately about learning as you do. After all, edcamps usually take place on a Saturday…a coveted day for teachers. However, it is a Saturday that will not soon be forgotten. The people you meet, the collaborations and the direct effect you have over what is being presented really make the whole edcamp experience unique.
If you are the type of person who enjoys learning, likes free stuff, and has a Saturday free in April…come to Edcamp Ashland. Our website can be accessed here and you can follow us on Twitter @EdcampAshland. The basics for Edcamp Ashland: