#EdcampOU, what a way to spend a Saturday
After a few months of planning, the day has finally arrived for EdcampOU, an “unconference” in Oakland University’s student section. My goal for today was to make sure that everything was set, then take some time to learn and grow, I wasn’t disappointed. An amazing cross section of educators were there, administrators, teachers, ancillary staff, and college students who will be serve in the classrooms of tomorrow participated. While there was plenty I learned last Saturday about different technology tools and structures that are being put into place in schools, the biggest takeaway for me was philosophical.
For too long, professional development has been expensive, top down, and isolated. Events like edcamps are examples that there really is a better way when it comes to learning for educators. When these events are planned by teachers for teachers, are flexible, inexpensive, and when students don’t have school, strong learning happens and does not take away from our overall mission of educating kids.
Strong educators want to improve and know where they need to grow. What they need is the time and opportunity to network and find the resources they are seeking. Sometimes, the best work an administrator can do is create the time and space, then get out of the way.
As I moved around the Oakland Center last Saturday morning, I saw real dialog happening about classroom practice, school structures, and instructional technology. Some sessions began with one topic, then flowed into others. The energy was positive, the smiles were genuine, and I believe that participants walked away with real, practical tools they can put into practice. I also think some networks were built which will continue the conversation and keep the learning growing.