An article I read on Edutopia motivated me to take the first step into something I’d been considering for a year now. That is organizing an edcamp at my school in the Elmbrook School District. This blog post is basically an attempt to ask others in my district (or anyone else in my area) if they would be interested in being a part of this effort in some way shape or form.
First off, if you are not sure what an edcamp is it is a free one day conference. It is organized and run by educators for educators. I say educators but they’re usually open to any stakeholder who wants to register. There is no set agenda before the day of simply a schedule divided into hour blocks for sessions to take place. At the start of the day, attendees pitch ideas for sessions which create the agenda for the day. The idea is there are a number of sessions going on at any one time and participants are free to move to a session of their choice without any sort of pre registration. In the simplest of terms, it has been often called and “unConference”.
If you’d like to find out more Edutopia did a great series on Edcamps, basically everything you need to know.
I’ve been attending edcamps across the area for the past 4 years. I’ve grown from them in terms of pedagogy and PLN connection so much, I would not be the same teacher without them. My favorite was edcampMKE and 2015 was its last year leaving a void in my PD. I’m hoping to try to start one for our area.
My hope is to try to organize this event to be put on in 2017 on a Saturday at Brookfield Central High School. This timing may change one we actually start planning, but I think I’d be nice to have the lead time to do it right.
I imagine there are a many levels of involvement if you wanted to help organize. From major organizers who would be involved in the planning and carrying out of the event down to people who would be willing to just volunteer on the day to help with set-up or check-in attendees on the day. Even committing to attend the event as a participant would be great.
In terms of major strands of organization, I got in touch with the organizers of edcamp MKE and they highlighted the the main areas they focused on. These roles could be combined as well.
- Organization - overall plan of attack
- Communication - website and promotion
- Food - finding sponsors to supply food for breakfast (usually pastries) and lunch
- Location - securing facility, rooms, equipment
- Sponsorship/Raffle - getting businesses to help with funding and provide prizes for end of the day raffle
It would be my dream to get educators interested in helping from across the district (or outside the district if you want in).
We have so many in our district with a wide range of skills and connections that could help make this event a success. You do not have to have any prior experience with an edcamp to play a role in our event. I hope to put together an email list of those interested and once school gets rolling, you can decide if this is something you’d be interested in becoming a part of. The commitment is as much as you want it to be. Or, just show up when we announce the date to get the edcamp experience (you'll get personal learning points).
If you are interested in learning more about being a part of the process or have questions/ideas, please let me know by commenting to this post or emailing me at email@example.com
I started crafting a website but of course, there is nothing there yet. It’s only accessible for users within the Elmbrook Schools domain until we get something more complete set up.