EdCamps are about teacher leadership and sharing best practices. Cindy Dixon, the founder of the first ever EdCamp Savannah teaches English at Richmond Hills High School. She and I connected at EdCamp Atlanta last September. Cindy was able to arrange for conference facilities at St. Andrew's School where her husband works as the head football coach. St. Andrew's recently went 1:1 with iPads and some of their teachers plan to present at the conference. All schools are implementing tech initiatives and teachers benefit from sharing about the process.
EdCamps are considered unconferences. Edcamp Savannah is free to the attendees because it is supported by sponsors who donate prizes and snacks. The teachers who come are motivated to attend for several reasons:
1. They are curious about what's happening in other schools.
2. They enjoy socializing and sharing what they've been doing with other teachers.
3. They need to find ways to integrate technology in order to meet professional expectations and promote student achievement.
The bottom line is they care about teaching and want to become better at their craft.
There will be some administrators in attendance as well as some Tech Coordinators, but the majority will be teachers. They will determine the sessions, they will create the momentum. Those who attend will become part of a new network. Hopefully, they will want to help make EdCamp Savannah even bigger and better next year.
Please tell your teachers about this opportunity for teachers. Ask them to tap teachers most likely to seek ways to improve their skills, generate innovative learning opportunities for students and to become teacher leaders within their school. We need your help to get the word out to these teachers.
EdCamp Savannah is a way for teachers to vet a presentation, to get feedback, to gain support for employing best practices in the classroom. You may not be able to offer teachers anything in return for giving up half a Saturday to attend a conference so why not make it a challenge? Offer some form of recognition to those who take the time to come. You will be rewarding a love for learning and hard work. They will be making a statement about the importance of their profession.
What do we get out of this? Well, once you take part in an unconference you begin to feel empowered and enriched by the momentum you gain. Cindy and I want to bring this to the Savannah educator community because we are convinced that teachers can build capacity in one another. So, support teacher leadership by promoting EdCamp to your teachers.