Unconferences Are The Best!
What is an Unconference or EdCamp?
Apparently, Unconferences are used in business, not just education.
I found a great article from Forbes to give newbies a better idea of what it looks like and where the idea came from.
Article: How Unconferences Unleash Innovative Ideas, August 18, 2014
Contributor: Rebecca O. Bagley
"At an unconference, no topics have been predetermined, no keynote speakers have been invited, no panels have been arranged. Instead, the event lives and dies by the participation of its attendees. They decide what topics will be discussed and they convene the individual breakout sessions. In other words, an unconference has no agenda until the participants create it."
“So much of life and work is overly structured that it doesn’t give us, or our ideas, the room to run and grow freely,” says entrepreneur Joshua Kauffman, who has facilitated these unconferences around the world. “By contrast, the unstructured, high-energy environment of the unconference amplifies ideas.”
EdCamps use the same idea, but are focused around educational topics. The Edcamp website and video below explains more about them.
As it says on their site, "Edcamps are free, participant-driven, un-conferences that empower educators to maximize professional learning experiences and peer networks."
Bonus: Free lunch & door prizes from the event sponsors!
EdCampPalmetto - South Carolina - April 28,2018
Ideas from EdCamp Palmetto - Charleston
I just wanted to share some of my learning with you to show how valuable a free day of PD can be!
Lego Movie Maker and Digital Designer are FREE Resources for educators.
Jesse S. Bobo Elementary Is a model school in Spartanburg, SC. I can't wait to have the opportunity to see them in action some time this fall. Check out their website to see some amazing pictures and get some great ideas for your school.
Our presenter, Alicia, Told us about using the Story Starter kit or Community kit for Social Studies along with so many other ideas for Elementary. On the Lego Education website, you can search by grade level from pre-school to middle school. Honestly, I think it's amazing for all grade levels!
Since students can't keep their lego creations together due to storage space and needing them for other classes, I thought it would great to have each student create a Google Slides deck for their creation evidence. They could snap pictures, add their thinking process, and even share with others with a QR code.
Another great thing she showed us was the Lego Lesson Plan using thier 4 C’s, which is a little different from the 4 C's of technology integration. Lego's 4 C's Lesson planning include: Connect, Construct, Communicate, Continue
One of my favorite visual pieces was a Pixel Art - Lego Wall! Do a Google search for that or "Lego Hacks" and you'll be lost in cyberspace for hours!
Hour of Code is one resource that I have used and has tons of resources.
I was not aware of PBS Design Squad or Engineering in Elementary. Check out the links and have fun exploring!
Click the button below if you'd like to see what the schedule looked like or explore the resources from the April 28th EdCamp. The documents attached to each session are actually notes from the previous session, but they are still have a lot of great information!
Why should you go?
Read the tweets below and take it from other educators like you. It's a worthwhile experience and did I mention... IT'S FREE! What do you have to loose? Grab a teacher friend, grab a coffee to-go and get ready for some inspiration!
Really like the idea of EdCamps being a blend between professional conferences and informal meetings or round-tables to get everyone's voice in the room. We've done local, smaller PD conferences in my district with surrounding districts and have had great success bringing teachers together to better their craft. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences from your participation, I think BreakoutEDU is a great tool with a lot of uses in education.
5/31/2018 02:18:40 pm
Thanks for the nice post. I really like Edcamps. We hosted one last summer as part of our summer PD, and unfortunately several of the sessions turned into gripe sessions. This year, we're hosting another one and we've invited teachers from outside the district. We are hoping that will help keep the conversations more positive and beneficial.
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I'm an Innovative Learning Coordinator in Berkeley County South Carolina and a Google Certified Trainer.