Yesterday’s EdCamp “unconference” left me with a notebook full of ideas and a brain that needs to marinate awhile to determine which bits of info/tools will be a good match for my classes. In the meantime, let me share one of the coolest things about the day – the event’s structure.
There was no agenda, no guest speakers, and no workshop leaders. It was a completely teacher-driven event.
After a cup of coffee and a bit of small talk, teachers were invited to write topics they wanted to learn about and post them on the white board. Everyone then came to the board and put two checkmarks next to session ideas they found appealing.
Teachers attended whatever sessions they wanted. If you didn’t like the session you were in or it didn’t apply to your needs, you simply got up and went to a different workshop. No judgment. No problem. In fact, two elementary folks in my first session skedaddled right away when they realized everyone else at the table was going to talk secondary.
Now, imagine if district-mandated professional development was built with a choose-your-own-adventure model. Perhaps teachers would be more open to the information because they chose the session they wanted to attend. Too often, we’re forced to sit through hours-long Death by Powerpoint Speakers who talk at us instead of work with us to create the solutions we need. More blog posts will come in the next few weeks as I try and test ideas from yesterday. For now, though, I think I need to send this EdCamp model to my principal.
Teach on, everyone!