What’s so special about an Edcamp?
I attended EdcampLO last Saturday, along with about 50 other educators. While I was there, I noted a few things that were special, and are not often seen at traditional conferences. A few examples:
- There is an energy in the room moments before an Edcamp begins. It’s early on a Saturday, and there’s a buzz in the room about the ideas and upcoming collaboration.
- The absence of a keynote allows the energy in the room to transfer immediately to sessions based on the interests of those in attendance.
- Some sessions and topics are proposed because a participant is looking for an answer, not because “they are an expert.”
- After the first session on Saturday, a group came into the hallway and asked for some space they could use because “they weren’t done with their conversation.”
- Almost everyone participates. While someone facilitates and gets the conversation rolling, the absence of formal presentations generates more active engagement.
- Many stay until the end of the day and the last session of the day sometimes “plays overtime.” That doesn’t happen very often.
EdcampLO was a reminder of what Professional Development can, and should, be. Attend these events, and bring a friend. Put ideas into practice and share what you learned (and where you learned it). Building a critical mass will move these evnts from Saturday to Thursday.