What is Ed Camp? AWESOME!

Have you heard of the newest movement in Professional Development? It’s called Ed Camp and it all started here in Philly.

What is Ed Camp? The following two video shorts explain it very well. Scroll below the videos to see pictures and my reflections about my first Ed Camp experience as well as additional Ed Camp resources.

If you have the chance to participate in an Ed Camp, do!

You will not be disappointed.



My Ed Camp Philly 2012 Experience!

This was my first Ed Camp. It was so much fun listening to and talking with other educators. No matter what the field or grade band, we all shared one thing: a passion for learning. Here’s how the day went:

1. Arrival. Ed Camp is not open to walk-ins. All attendees had pre-registered. This year’s camp was held in the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

2. Once checked in we immediately walked into the planning room where educators suggested topics of discussion and planned their day. There was plenty of chatter and excitement about the day and it’s possibilities.

Edcamp Philly 2012-8029

In addition to the break out sessions, there was the opportunity to spend time in deep discussion on a particular topic. This is called the Inquiry Room. The topic of discussion for the Inquiry Room was determined by suggestion and then vote. Teachers wrote their ideas on flip chart and voted by placing dots next to the topic they would like to explore in depth. The Inquiry Room topic of choice: Blended Learning. All of this activity, sharing and snacks took about an hour.
Edcamp Philly 2012-8046

3.  The next activity was a quick opening assembly where the expections of the day were explained.
Edcamp Philly 2012-8089

 Ed Camp “housekeeping”:

  1. What to expect
  2. “Rule of two feet”
  3. The Inquiry Room
  4. “Leave no trace”
  5. Security sign-in (required)
  6. Visit edcampphilly.org
  7. Lunch & after-party details

4. The schedule revealed (let the Twitter chat begin! #edcampphilly):
Edcamp Philly 2012-7995

5. Two morning session time blocks. I’ll post some pictures of what it looked like.
Edcamp Philly 2012-8145
Students participated in a presentation about physics, gaming and social networking.
Edcamp Philly 2012-8153
There was time for networking and professional sharing.
Edcamp Philly 2012-7888

6. Lunch: An hour of meeting, eating and sharing

7. The afternoon sessions-two more sessions of learning and sharing. What’s great about Ed Camp is that everyone participates and shares in every session.
Edcamp Philly 2012-8178
Edcamp Philly 2012-8185
Edcamp Philly 2012-8222

8. The Smackdown. The end of the day was a celebration and sharing. A smackdown is where people wanting to share have two minutes to do so. It’s fast and furious and fun! I’ll post some pictures from the experience.

The line-up:
Edcamp Philly 2012-8450
The sharing (more sharing of important Ed Camp resources below pictures):
Edcamp Philly 2012-8481
Edcamp Philly 2012-8496
Edcamp Philly 2012-8501
Edcamp Philly 2012-8508
Edcamp Philly 2012-8537
Edcamp Philly 2012-8531

The incredible Ed Camp Philly organizers:
Edcamp Foundation Planning Meeting

Ed Camp resources:
Ed Camp Philly Ed Camp started in Philly. It is a result of gifted educators–and they met online!

Ed Camp Foundation Ed Camp has gone global in just two short years. I know why-it’s an amazing Professional Development experience.

Ed Camp Wiki Thinking you might like to host an Ed Camp? See this wiki for the how-to’s!

Ed Camp @ TEDxPhiladelphiaED-Kristen Swanson

Thanks, Kevin Jarrett, for sharing your photos!

 

Advertisements

What I did this summer: Focused

I unplugged. Really. I didn’t go online except to check my email once a week all summer long. It has been so refreshing. So what did I do with my time?

I trained for a half marathon, expanded my gardens, enjoyed time with friends and family and I read. I read for pleasure and I read for professional growth. For the first time in my career, I did not write curriculum over the summer. The reason? I read Mike Schmoker’s book Focus. Mike has some clear thoughts on this topic and that thinking influenced how I spent my time.

A summary: Instead of piling on one new reform fad after another, here is a book that boils down solutions for improved schools to the most powerful, simple actions and structures that ensure you prepare all students for college, careers, and citizenship. Best-selling ASCD author Mike Schmoker explains why and how to take a “first-things-first” approach to school improvement and focus laser-like on only three essentials:

  • Coherent curriculum (what we teach).
  • Sound lessons (how we teach).
  • Purposeful reading and writing (authentic literacy).

In making his case, Schmoker delves deep into the significance of the three essentials so you get a complete understanding of what they mean to your daily practice.

This book has been a game changer for me. Upon my return to school, I learned our new Director of Curriculum will be basing our back-to-school inservice on this book. I can’t wait to participate in this discussion!

I am haunted by a red T-shirt…

“What I learned in school today: How to sleep with my eyes open.”

Over the President’s Day weekend I traveled to New England for a little R&R. I was on my way home, southbound on the Northway, when I saw it.

A group of teenage boys returning from a weekend of skiing were walking out of the timber-framed rest stop as I was walking in. They all were wearing crocks and ski pants. They all had longish hair that had been color altered. They had the skier “look.”

What I can’t get out of my mind is a red T-shirt sported by one of the boys. It read (in large white lettering) “What I learned in school today: How to sleep with my eyes open.”

Ever since this chance encounter with the T-shirt boy I have been thinking about his message. When I walk through the halls of my school and see students in classrooms, sitting in rows starring forward I wonder; are they sleeping? Postures vary. Some lean forward with chin in palms. Others lean back hands in hoodie pocket (texting?). Both groups share the same stare…

Are your students sleeping?