Saturday, 18 April 2015

Ever Tried an Edcamp? #edcampham

A few great friends and colleagues of mine (@mrsturcotte and @mst) invited me to joint them to come to my first ever edcamp in Hamilton. I have always wanted to attend an event like this and I have been looking forward to it for some time.

If you have never been to an edcamp, sometimes referred to as an unconference, the premiss is that attendees both generate and participate in sessions on the day of the event. There are no presentations, no presenters, just people who are open and willing to learn from and with others.

It is quite amazing to witness rooms of educators sharing ideas, questions, challenges and ideas. The complete schedule of the day and shared notes taken by attendees are available in this Google doc:   Not being shy, I found myself jumping into discussions and being challenged to consider my opinions (both outwardly and internally). It was refreshing to be questioned, disagreed with and thanked for good discussion. 

Although an edcamp may not suit every learning style, I highly recommend that you try one out. Where else can you find a group of people discussing the challenges of inquiry in a school courtyard on a Saturday morning?

Picture courtesy of  @Dunlop_Sue:
The highlight of the day for me was meeting a high school student 
who, having seen reference to the edcamp on Twitter, asked the organizers if she could attend. Her polite assertiveness was inspiring to me (and I do not think that I was alone). She was courteous and complementary about our efforts to be there - to make education different - and to continue to grow towards a system that would work better. Student voice is so important - and she really made the day more meaningful with her honesty. 

Don't be surprised it there is an edcamp in Niagara within the next year - I've definitely caught the edcamp bug!