Saturday marked the first time an EdCamp has taken place in Sacramento. It was also my first time to attend one – and now I’m eager for more EdCamp experiences. If you’ve every attended an Unconference (e.g., Steve Hargadon style), then you know the format: attendees gather at the beginning, suggest sessions – which are shared conversations, not formal presentations, and then delve into day, with the understanding that if a session doesn’t fit your needs, you’re encouraged to switch to another (“law of two feet”).
Oh, and EdCamps are FREE.
As simple as it seems to host one (e.g.,no need to send out call for proposals in advance or print programs), I’m pretty sure the EdCam Sac organizers Colin O’Connor, Peter Strawn, Trisha Sanchez, Cynthia Cost, and Danielle Lemke did some heavy lifting beforehand to make sure the day ran smoothly. Wireless worked, sites were not blocked, coffee and donuts were abundant. Bravo, Team EdCampSac!
I loved the opportunity to connect – and reconnect – with teachers within and outside of my district.
Kristen Swanson, a co-founder of the original EdCamp – and also an attendee at #edcampsac, offers a more in-depth look at the rationale and power of EdCamps in her recent Edutopia article Why EdCamp. Judging from the group discussion at the close of yesterday’s #edcampsac, I think all who attended would agree that with Kristen’s summary:
The Edcamp model provides educators with a sustainable model for learning, growing, connecting and sharing. Everyone’s expertise is honored, and specific, concrete strategies are exchanged. When professional development is created “for teachers by teachers,” everyone wins.”