Ok, I admit that I haven't been to as many EdCamps as some of my friends and colleagues. But that hasn't been because of lack of desire. As my children have continued to grow (who knew they would do that?), weekend time has become a hot commodity around the Hurley household and so I've been forced to watch some EdCamps from the sidelines.
But there is a very simple reason I continue to support, attend and get excited whenever I hear about a new iteration of the unConference concept: EdCamps honour the wisdom that is in the room.
For most of our career we work in relative isolation—in our own classrooms, with our own students and, to a certain extent, in our own way. Despite our talk about the power of collaboration through PLC's, Social Media and the like, the heart of the profession is still beating in a type of private world that Larry Cuban and others refer to as a black box.
EdCamps provide the space for each of us to crack the lid on that black box and, through conversations—many of them unexpected—pull out a few things to share.
EdCamps allow participants to set the agenda, ask the questions, decide the conversations that they are going to have and begin to understand more deeply that they have professional knowledge and wisdom. And when you add to the EdCamp mix parents, community members, and students, the knowledge base expands in a way that you're not going to experience at traditional PD sessions.
EdCamps are not designed to replace traditional forms of professional learning or development. They are taking their place, however, as one of the rising stars in that rich constellation of ways that we continue to learn.
Looking forward to meeting you at EdCamp905! Looking forward to learning from you and sharing in this small but powerful part of the journey!