Professional Learning: The EdCamp Way
I had wondered about EdCamps for sometime before I finally decided to experience one for myself. It was a second semester goal of mine in 2014 when I perused the complete EdCamp calendar to see Savannah, Georgia was an option in February. When I arrived for the un-conference I was determined to sit back and observe. In hindsight, I was more interested in identifying and replicating the best practices demonstrated in professional learning than participating myself, at first...
However, as I watched participants posting items of discussion I found I was waiting for someone to put up what I thought should be discussed. It seemed such a natural fit with the other topics, I was sure someone would see that and post it. I finally realized that even thought this was my first EdCamp, I could offer that as a topic for a session. So I took a risk and presented on something I was passionate about at the time, Twitter. I did not have anything prepared on the topic, so I just took 5 minutes and jotted down notes in Evernote. I added items from the group discussion and at the end of our session I tweeted the notes out using the conference hashtag for others to read.
I also had the good fortune to meet @tracybrisson Tracy Brisson and have followed her faithful on social media and have learned at great deal about how to professionally present myself. Tracy led a session which helped me focus on developing more content for my blog. Almost a year later I am more professionally fulfilled because of her advice.
I even had the enthusiasm to participate in the App Smackdown at the end of EdCamp.
So, did I identify and replicate best practices demonstrated in professional learning?
I think so. I have attended EdCamp Atlanta #EDCampATL September 2014 and just hosted an in-district #ElemEdCamp this month. It doesn't take a titled leader to take away best practices for professional learning; it just takes us to take charge of our own professional learning. And I would recommendEdCamp Savannah #EdCampSav as a great place to start this February 7th!
Penny Christensen is an eLearning Specialist since 2009. She works with all levels of Hall County School’s educational technology. In her 18 years of educational service she has taught middle grades concentrating on science, science, and content literacy in Florida, Michigan, and Georgia. Learn more about Penny at HotLunchTray.com or connect with her via @pen63 on Twitter.