Ed Camps are HOT. Not in the buggy, sticky, un-air conditioned way of a Camp Tonawonda, but in the hip, trend-setting way of educators onto something really BIG…
Ed Camps are collaborative learning events for teachers and administrators who are interested in sharing and/or gaining expertise on specific topics. The topics are user-generated: Ed Campers submit subject areas for breakout sessions, and attend sessions based on what they want to learn.
Need advice on IEPs? Want to teach with Twitter? Using Google Glass and wish to share? Write your topic on the big Idea Board on the wall under a time slot and your breakout is born!
Ed Camp can accommodate exactly what educators want and need to know – it is fluid professional learning produced by teachers with in-depth classroom experience. It is experts teaching experts.
Ed Camps are typically held on a weekend, and teachers attend on their own, unpaid time.
“Teachers are here on Saturday,” said Stephanie Dulmage (@stephe1234) at the Ed Camp OU kickoff at Oakland University’s Pawley Hall on October 18. “Not because they have to, but because they’re passionate about learning. They’re passionate about connecting.”
Connection is an integral part of the Ed Camp experience.
John Bernia (@MrBernia) encouraged EdCampOU participants to reach out to each other in his opening welcome.
“Today is about you, about your learning. It is a collaborative, interdependent kind of day. The goal is to talk to other educators and walk away with ‘something’ you need. Share what you are doing. Walk away with something new. Show your colleagues and administrators what you learned. There’s POWER in Ed Camp!”
Ed Camps may appear to be casual group get-togethers, but typically a lot of planning goes into the unstructured professional development to ensure that learning can take place. Wi-Fi is important, as Ed Campers frequently share session take-aways on social media – particularly via Twitter. Links to Google docs are often provided, as the docs allow for collaborative record-keeping and access to the material long after camp is over.
Over 200 local educators attended the 3rd annual Ed Camp at Oakland University, and adequate meeting space, meals, sponsors, promotion, and registration had to be planned and orchestrated by the volunteer committee. An EdCampOU BLOG was created to handle information about the event.
Talented music teachers Michael Medvinsky (@mwmedvinsky) and Dakotah Cooper (@dakotahcooper) created an epic educator LipDub video, filmed live at EdCampOU, to help spread the innovation:
To view video CLICK on IMAGE or go to http://tinyurl.com/kmlm7hd
SMALLER Ed Camps can fill the need of a department’s professional development, and also create support, communication and camaraderie among colleagues. At Oakland Schools, a ‘Consultant Un-conference’ was recently held using Google docs and Twitter. The most talked about piece of the Un-conference, however, was NOT the tech – it was the ‘With Appreciation’ cards that the consultants were given to share positive, appreciative notes about a co-worker at the end of the forum…
As educators already know, person-to-person connection is the foundation of every great Ed Camp, Un-conference or classroom lesson – and a vital part of its successful transmission.
“Share new ideas, new developments in your thinking about topics, and relay this experience to friends and colleagues. The learning and networking experience does not have to stop after today. Learn. Process. Respond. Connect.” (EdCampOU program)
How To Ed Camp – The Complete Guide by SimpleK12
EXAMPLE of Using Google EdCamp PD – via EdCamp Philly
Connected Educators (Resources!)
3 Ways Connected Educators Transform Learning – Nicole Krueger/ISTE
Connected Professional Development Is Now an Imperative – Mike Fisher/TeachThought
On Twitter? Go to https://twitter.com/edcamp_ou and #EdCampOU or #EdCampOU14 to view posts from the Ed Camp at Oakland University
Blog Editor: Jean MacLeod, Communications/Oakland Schools
Oakland Schools • 2111 Pontiac Lake Road • Waterford, MI 48328-2736 • 248.209.2000