‘Unconference’ an unconventional learning opportunity

edcamp logoWith the beginning of a new school year, educators are thinking about strategies to make it a success for the students. Many are looking for ways to connect with like-minded people to discuss issues, challenges and opportunities, and to learn together.

If you’re starting to map out informal opportunities for learning, keep in mind that on September 27 a new and exciting opportunity is coming to Barrie. It is called Edcamp—a free, non-board based informal ‘unconference’ that is open for anyone invested in education.

What is Edcamp?

Edcamp is a revolutionary new way of engaging education stakeholders in key learning opportunities in a very ‘unconference’ style. It is called an unconference because the topics are not predetermined and there are no experts speakers per se. YOU are the experts. We all come together to learn together.

Edcamp is not an event put on by the school board, nor is it an event just for teachers This includes, parents, EA’s, teachers, ‘edtrepreneurs’, administrators and even students!

It’s essential that all stakeholders in education have opportunities to connect with other invested learners to discuss important issues in education and see what we can learn from one another.

Once you arrive at an Edcamp:

  1. Participants engage in brainstorming educational topics of interest.
  2. Your areas of interest are collected and organized onto a whiteboard by facilitators into areas of discussion.
  3. The topics are assigned to specific rooms, where you have the opportunity to engage in discussion, dialogue, sharing and learning with everyone else in the room.

For instance, maybe a group of educators wants to talk about gamification and minecraft in the classroom. Another group may want to talk about strategies to integrate iPads. Perhaps another group comes together to discuss effective ways of using technology to communicate with parents. Topics could also include classroom management strategies, guided reading practices, growth mindsets, special needs, library and information studies, Google Apps for Education or green screen uses.

Whatever your role is in education, an Edcamp ‘unconference’ is a great way to engage in learning, connecting and informal professional development customized to your own needs. The essence of the unconference is that there is no ‘sage on the stage’, but rather a place where everyone engages and has an equal voice to share and learn from each other.

Edcamp takes place at Eastview Secondary School. Check it out at http://edcampbarrie.blogspot.ca.

I hope to see you there!

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