You may have heard of educational camps for students, but have you ever heard of education camps for educators?
Otherwise known as ‘Edcamps’, these teacher-driven professional learning events aim to revitalise educators’ mindsets and connect attendees with other educators from around the world.
Free for all to enter and open to educators of all levels and subjects, Edcamps encourage participants to facilitate sessions by sharing experiences and conversations, not planned presentations.
When did the Edcamp begin?
The first Edcamp began in Philadelphia, US, planned by a group of like-minded teachers who met to discuss computer science.
Like a ‘BarCamp’, which is a network of user-generated conferences about technology and the web, the teachers decided to go against the norm and create their own version.
There was no slideshow, no presenter and no set itinerary.
Instead, the camp was driven by the teachers themselves, who just wanted to share their experiences and thoughts about the latest happenings in the education sector.
From 2010 to present day, the Edcamp has evolved into an empowering movement for educators and now takes place in 40+ countries worldwide.
Re-energising teachers, headteachers, teaching assistants and more, these educational camps are a great way for professionals in the education industry to share innovative classroom techniques and stimulate personal development.
Educational camps that continue to educate
Highlighted by eSchool News, Edcamps continue to multiply on a national and international scale and sustain a strong culture of educational collaboration. Educators must select which Edcamp they deem suitable for their professional progression and deploy their self-initiative.
“Reliant on the law of two feet. Participants are encouraged to actively self-select the best content and sessions. Edcampers should leave sessions that do not meet their needs. This provides an effective way of ‘weeding out’ sessions that are not based on appropriate research or not delivered in an engaging format,” notes eSchool News.
By granting educators the freedom to pick and choose their sessions, they have a higher chance of strengthening the areas that need work, rather than sitting through discussions they deem irrelevant.
Do you want to start your own engaging Edcamp?
If you want to start an educational camp of your own and share your ideas with fellow educators in the field, the Edcamp organisation provides free and informative resources that can help:
- Edcamp Video: Empowering Educators Worldwide
- Edcamp Organiser Handbook
- Edcamp Organiser Checklist
- Edcamp Session Board Building Guide
- Organizer How-to Videos
- Edcamp Certificate of Completion
If you’re within the United States and you comply with the basic instructions of the Edcamp model, you can also sign up for an Edcamp-in-a-Box where you’ll receive session board building materials, sticky notes, sponsor contact information, nametags and more.
Even without these resources, you can transform your local learning community by bringing other educators together and sharing skills.
The rise of informal, learner-driven models such as Edcamp for #PD in recent years, demonstrates a growing desire among educators for a more personalized approach to their learning — much like what they offer to students in their own classrooms. https://t.co/XDCPOY2nPA #K12
— Education Dive: K12 (@EdDiveK12) August 28, 2019
Education isn’t always an easy sector to work in, and that’s why collaboration is key.