On March 25th, we held our first ever EdCamp Elmbrook. I didn’t realize it then but was reminded that it was something I had initiated 8 months prior in July of 2016. That was a long time ago and it took a lot of work from a lot of different agents to make it happen.
The 1st Step
I’ll be happy to take credit for putting forward the idea of running and EdCamp in our district. But without the OK from my building principal Brett Gruetzmacher and our Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Dana Monogue, the idea would have stalled right there and then.
How Do We Put On An EdCamp?
As EdCamps continue to increase in their popularity as a form of professional development, more resources are available for educators to learn from others. The EdCamp Foundation has a wonderful website that helped guide our planning process.
A Great Team
Once I got the ok and began searching out planning resources, I sent out a call for help to staff in our district. I was surprised to see how many were willing to be a part of this endeavor. Our final team included staff from all levels of instruction and administration. Members of the team were very willing to take on tasks that suited their strengths and run with them.
With my building principal on board from day 1, we had a strong champion for allowing us to use our building space for our event. Our custodial staff did a wonderful job of transforming our cafeteria into a space to hold introductions, lunch, and closing. In addition, our building staff was welcoming and let us use their rooms to hold our sessions.
Tom Juran enlisted his imaging students to create signage for our event which made our space even easier to navigate.
The most difficult part of planning our event, which was quickly resolved, was finding funding for our event. The EdCamp Foundation provided an EdCamp in a Box which container $250 for our event which went to provide lots of supplies and refreshments for our day. A bunch of sponsors jumped on board to help us with prizes for our raffle. It was amazing to see how many in the educational community were willing to contribute to our cause with raffle prizes and great swag. Filling out the form on the EdCamp.org site brought even more sponsors to our cause. I really want to thank all of our sponsors.
But without the support of Dana Monogue and our district’s Teaching and Learning department, we would have had a lot of hungry campers. It seems like without a 501 (c) 3 form status. Something to work on for next year.
Eventbrite for Registration
I have registered for many educational events using Eventbrite, but have never been on the administration side of it. I was amazed at how easy it was to use. If was great to promote, allow people to register, check in on day of, and send our communications. I am amazed at how user friendly it is.
EdCamps are participant driven. So, people need to come and be willing to share and listen. Our pitch and plan session was a little messy as it was the first time we had ever done it. But, we learned at lot. We ended up with a great variety of sessions as you can see below. Attendees did a great job of populating the session notes as well, so take a peak.
But, EdCamp is really about sharing in conversation and making connections in a face to face environment.
I look forward to sharing some of the feedback from our participants and reflecting on that in my next post.