I am a huge fan of the EdCamp model for professional development. I was able to attend EdCamp Philly last year with three colleagues and it was an amazing experience. For those of you that don’t know, EdCamp is an unconference or open space style conference for educators. Unconference style conferences are unique because the content is driven by the participants. There are no pre-planned sessions.
I first heard about EdCamp Home from Markette Pierce, whom I know from Twitter. EdCamp Home is an online version of the conference, meaning all of the attendees would participate from home. It was held on January 4, 2014. Each attendee registered and was then invited to a private Google+ Community. The day before the conference, attendees generated topic ideas. There were two sessions. During each session multiple topics were being discussed in different Google Hangouts. There were a total of 47 different sessions at EdCamp Home. It seemed a little crazy, and it was. It was crazy awesome.
The first session I attended was the “EdTech Coaches Meetup.” We had fun connecting and sharing ideas about how we work with teachers. All the notes from that session can be found here (thanks to Markette for creating the document). Here are the videos from all of the different topics held during session 1: EdCamp Home Session 1.
The second session I attended was called “Helping Teachers Build a PLN.” (I am passionate about this topic and even presented on it at NYSCATE with colleague Amy Oliveri – here is a link to our presentation.) There were so many good practical ideas shared in this session. Here are the videos from all of the topics held during session 2: EdCamp Home Session 2.
Here are some links from EdCamp Home 2.0:
Snagit – an awesome Google Chrome extension and app for annotating any image you can take a picture of on your computer.
Atlas Learning – Too hard to explain but cool, click the link.
Lucid Press – Awesome templates that link to Google Docs, available in the Chrome Web Store.
Haiku Deck – A new innovative app and online presentation creation tool.
PLN Yourself – Great personal learning network resources.
For more ideas check out the EdCamp Home Slam!
Experiencing EdCamp Home 2.0 has given me some new ideas for delivery of professional development with the faculty at my school. I was part of the organizing committee that introduced the unconference style of professional development to our faculty for our Professional Day last Spring. It was a huge success. If the EdCamp Home 2.0 organizers can create a robust online environment for collaboration on such a large scale, why can’t I create something similar on a much smaller scale with the faculty at Allendale Columbia School? Why not create Google Hangout PD sessions for faculty? The sessions could be based on faculty interest. Expert guests could attend the hangouts to chat with our faculty in small groups. Would you as a teacher attend a scheduled PD Hangout in the evening? I can’t wait to give this a try.