Why Everyone Should Attend an Edcamp

This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Edcamp North Shore at Lynnfield High School.

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Source: Edcamp North Shore’s website

If you’ve never been to an edcamp, first of all, why?! They’re amazing, and I can’t recommend them enough. But second of all, here’s what it is: an edcamp is formatted in the style of an “unconference” in which participants make the schedule that day and all in attendance are encouraged to participate as experts in the field. For anyone who hasn’t attended an edcamp, this format may seem scary, but I can assure you, the atmosphere at edcamps is nothing but encouraging and welcoming.

Something that I love about edcamps (and there’s a lot) is that moving between topics during a session is encouraged, so if you feel like you’ve gone to a topic that either doesn’t really meet your needs or you’ve gotten as much as you feel you needed from, you can head to another topic. This was particularly useful for me because there were some sessions during which several topics that were interesting to me were happening, so I was able to move in and out of the topics as needed in order to get as much out of the day as possible. In addition, for this particular edcamp, there were Google Docs created for each session and topic, so now I can go back and read through the notes for each session (ones I attended and ones I didn’t) in order to use all the incredible resource suggestions from the teacher-attendees.

A few topics that I found particularly useful were: movement in the class, students as teachers, and going gradeless. But even the conversations that happened during breakfast and lunch were invaluable. If you’re interested in reading more about the things I learned, check out my Twitter feed and/or #edcampnorthshore.

I can’t recommend edcamps enough, so the next time you see one being offered in your area, register, invite friends, make new friends, share your experiences, and learn from others!

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