Sunday, September 29, 2013

Edcamp Des Moines

Yesterday, I spent the day at Edcamp Des Moines, and a very awesome day it was.  I have been to Edcamp twice before, both times at Edcamp Omaha.  It is always a day packed with learning and inspiration.  Edcamps take place all over the country.  If you have never attended an Edcamp, I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity.

The day begins with people gathering in a central location.  There are no pre-arranged sessions, the topics are decided at the beginning of the day.  People who are interested in presenting or just talking about a topic sign up in a time slot.  As the schedule fills up, people consider which sessions they would like to participate in.

Most sessions that I have attended may begin with the "presenter" sharing information, but they quickly open up to the participants sharing and contributing their own ideas and knowledge.  This is a kind of respect for all participants that I would like to see present in school district PD.  You always end up learning as much from the other people in the session as you do from the presenter.  That's what makes Edcamp so powerful.

Twitter Handles for just some of the educators who showed up on this Saturday in September.

Edcamp is not just about technology, though I always get great ideas about new websites and apps from these sessions.  This year I attended sessions on

  • How are you incorporating your passions into your classroom?
  • Engaging all students, even the ones who don't know they want to be engaged.
  • Less Us, More Them;  Student Engagement
  • How Are You Pirating?  (based on the book Teach Like a Pirate)

You can see there was a definite theme in the sessions I chose.  I am really interested in bringing more creativity into my classroom, and even though I tend to be a very autocratic teacher, I am working toward making it more student centered.

So this is what teachers do on a Saturday.  Here is a link to the Edcamp Wiki:   Check out an Edcamp near you!

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