Day 44 (of 184) my first edcamp
This past weekend I went to my first edcamp: edcampok in Kelowna. It was great to see such a great cross section of educators representing all of the school districts in the okanagan.
Even more valuable was the removal of ‘labels’ – where everybody’s voice was equal. Unless you knew them, you could’ve tell the teacher candidates from the teachers on call from the teachers from the principal/vice principals from the senior administrators from the university professors (and I’m probably missing a couple in that mix).
The edcamp format allowed for a rapid, concentrated discussion period with people sharing what they were doing, talking about what that hoped to do, an best of all ‘owning the topic’ and asking good questions.
I can see tremendous value in the ‘unconference’ vibe that was best embodied by the freeflowing nature when you walked in, signed up and put up topics on a board and then ‘voted’ with post-its to indicate topics of interest.
Extra bonus was a mini keynote by assessment guru Tom Schimmer while the coordinating committee set topics for discussion.
Then it came down to ‘voting with feet’ – not if any discussion group was good or bad (there weren’t formal presentations going on) but mainly of topics took twists and turns and went somewhere the attendee didn’t want it too. Or of the twitter back channel in another session got particularly juicy!
The range of discussion topics, from assessment to geniushour to self regulation and many more led to 9 very intriguing sessions – and only being able to go to three left me wanting more.
A day well spent with some amazing new connections made and many new professional relationships expanding!