Monday, November 11, 2013

EdCamp ATX in Review

With over 300 registrants, EdCamp ATX was a great success, bringing the unconference PD craze to Austin, Texas. This was the first true unconference in the Austin, Texas area surprisingly.

It was full of many instructional technology and tech director folks and some teachers. However, I would still love to see more teachers coming to these events. In fact, we had a student SWAT team in the unconference because they valued the learning and wanted to bring back ideas to their teachers. That is true learning and that is what we should want from our students.

The unconference style is built upon the concept of no agenda. Learning is driven by demand. Isn't this how learning should be? Should teachers and admin dictate what learning should be or should it be student driven? Likewise, should professional development be driven by what staff developers think is needed or what educators think is needed?

I believe it is our place to guide those in their learning journey, but if we want learners to be passionate and driven to learn, it needs to come from them. They need to supply the topics and we need to narrow them down and call upon those who do it best to lead them.

On Saturday, I watched as educators supplied the topics and others - who may never have presented before - led sessions. The line between teacher and student was blended and true learning occurred. 

How can this model be taken to the classroom? Everyone had a role in the learning process and everyone walked away with new connections and experiences. Edcuation and Educational Technology were also blended together in a way that promoted best practices.

If you want to join the edcamp movement, check this out. Way to go, EdCamp ATX! (@edcampatx & #edcampatx)

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