Being well-planned has a certain value in our lives! Whether we're parents running a household, educators managing a classroom, or business people running a small or large organization, good planning is seen as a key to success.
Well, with the EdCamp model that has emerged in Canada over the past several years, part of the planning is to...well...not plan. Now, don't get me wrong; the amount of organizational detail that must be addressed to successfully launch an EdCamp is tremendous. Just ask your EdCamp905 team.
But there are elements of the day that need to be left to the participants.
And the agenda is one of them. While the times and locations of EdCamp conversations are pre-determined, the content of those sessions are left "blank" until the guests arrive. It is at that point that the fun begins.
When you come to EdCamp905, you'll be invited to write down the questions and topics that you would like to discuss, post them on the Discussion Wall and, once all of the ideas have been posted, vote on the ones that most resonate with you.
At that point, the EdCamp905 kicks into high gear and sets about arranging the agenda for the day, assigning room number and session times. And then the conversations begin.
To be sure, it's a process that is infused with a great deal of trust, a whole lot of enthusiasm and, most likely, a little bit of caffeine. But that's part of the energy of EdCamp. And that's part of the reason you won't want to miss EdCamp905!
Only a couple more weeks to go, so if you haven't reserved your place, be sure to do it today!
And stay tuned for more ideas on how to get the most out of your EdCamp905 experience.
As educators, our professional development is usually based on someone else's formulation of the question and, more often than not, their own answer to that question. The question may resonate with us, and we may even agree with the answers provided, but it is still someone else's question.
Questions are powerful things and the questions that we ask reveal a great deal about what is important to us, what we care about and what we're willing to stand for.
EdCamp905 is an opportunity for you to articulate what is on your mind when it comes to education. It's an opportunity for you to think about the authentic challenges you are facing, the successes that you are having and the space that exists between the schools you dream about and the schools that you and your students experience.
It's a powerful space, full of potential and possibility. It's a space that is energized through the questions that we ask.
So, in the days leading up to EdCamp905, you're invited to look around the school-related world that you live in everyday. Notice those moments of engagement, if not joy on the part of you and your students. Notice the moments of tension and disconnect. Notice the moments where you don't feel anything.
And then ask yourself, "What is happening here?", because in that process of "noticing deeply" are the seeds of a really powerful question. And it's that question (and ones just like it) that you're invited to bring along with you to EdCamp905.
What's in a question? Hmmm...can't wait to find out!
More to come...
So what would encourage close to 150 people to leave their homes on a Saturday morning in May to attend an event that promised no notable keynote speakers, no recognizable workshop offerings and no promise of publisher prize bags? How could a simple website, a few tweets or, in some cases, the prodding of another colleague get so many to commit to something which, admittedly, seems to be a little vague and undefined.
Yet, since 2011, that's exactly what's been happening right across Canada, in communities both large and small! And it's what is about to happen again in Mississauga on May 14, 2016.
As a participant, an organizer and a supporter of the EdCamp movement I think that both the appeal and the success of EdCamp comes down to one thing—the ability to have the conversations that participants really want to have.
At its most fundamental level, the EdCamp concept and format gives voice to the passion and energy that exists at the grassroots of this profession. It speaks to the need and the desire to engage teachers, administrators, parents and community members in the types of conversations into which we're not traditonally invited. It's about stepping away from the agendae that have been set for us by others to create a place for alternative ideas and alternative questions.
Back in 2011, after the first Canadian EdCamp was organized in Vancouver, many people assumed that the movement would be a flash in the pan, fizzling out after a year or two. But, it's a movement that continues to be energized and enacted at the grassroots level and, if the continued proliferation of EdCamps is any indication, it's a movement that will continue to resonate, representing an alternative way of talking about education and citizenship within this place we call school!
So, welcome to EdCamp905 and stay tuned to this space for more information on the format for the day, how you can help prepare the agenda for the day as well as ways that you can plug into the energy before and after the event.
This is EdCamp905 and you're now officially part of it!