At noon today, I was waiting in near breathless anticipation for #edcampHOME to begin. That’s not hyperbole: I love learner-directed professional development. Like a kid on Christmas Eve, I couldn’t sleep last night. I was literally jumping up and down with excitement this morning.
What is #edcampHOME?
I’m not going to try to explain what edcamp is as a movement in this post. Lots of others have done it more eloquently and knowledgeably that I could. See Kristen Swanson‘s blog, for instance. Or this post by David Thierault. And I’m not going to explain how edcampHOME functions as compared to a traditional, in-person edcamp. See the FAQs here.
But I absolutely will blow your mind by linking you to all of the learner-directed, tech-facilitated conversations that were happening this morning. And I’ll wrap up with a suggestion that you help organize your own edcamp…
In Session 1, I chose to collaborate with others who support the work happening in the classroom — professional developers, educational leaders, technology specialists, consultants, etc. — and most of our time was spent discussing how to get reluctant teacher-learners on board for tech-based facilitation of learning. I made Hangout notes, which we all added resources to in real-time, which you can also see.
But that was my conversation. There were 12 simultaneous conversations taking place, resulting in another 328 minutes of conversation discussion. Interested in using the edcamp model with students? People talked about that here. Wanna be a GAFE ninja like Kelly Kermode (who doesn’t?): check out that conversation. Curious about best practices when grading, deploying Chromebooks, using Evernote or augmented reality in the classroom, or what edu-phrases we wish were banned? Those topics were all discussed too. Connected classrooms paid no attention to the Prussian paradigm, which tells us – in part – that it’s time for learning to end and something else to start: they discussed for more than an hour! And all of it is archived, so you now have access to a total of 6 hours of learner-generated, tech-enabled, remotely-created professional development.
And don’t forget about Session 2. There are 14 more sessions with working links to videos, including the one I participated in totaling 395 minutes of conversation. All said, my #edcampHOMIES and I generated more than 12 hours of high-quality professional development on this snowy Saturday afternoon.
A Call to Action: Organize Your Own Edcamp!
Each edcamp ends with a slam, wherein we share what we’ve learned. It’s an exit pass, basically. And as a member of the Edcamp Foundation’s Public Relation’s Committee, chaired by the amazing Shannon Montague, we’re a group of 8 educators committed to fulfilling the #50StatesCampaign this year. Recognizing a momentous moment when it emerges, I took the opportunity to call out my #edcampHOMIES who are ready to take charge of learning in their communities and organize an edcamp. (See it at about 2:36:30 in the organizer GHO and slam.) And I’m extending the same invitation to you.
There are currently 11 states that are edcamp-less. It breaks my heart to know that educators in AK, DE, ID, MS, NV, NM, SD,
TN, UT, WV, and WY are still receiving “sit-n-git” PD via seemingly endless PowerPoint read-alouds.
It doesn’t have to be this way. But, as Ghandi reminds us, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” If you can plan a birthday party, you can plan an edcamp.
So, plan an edcamp already! It won’t plan itself. Help to bring learner-directed professional development to your community by helping to organize an edcamp in 2014. To indicate an interest, give us some demographic information and let us know what’s challenging you on this form: