Wednesday, June 27, 2012

From MUSE: More on Unconferences and DIY PD

This post was also published on MUSE '13

From THE Journal.  So, guys, we should probably do this.


Stage Your Own EdCamp
The best way to learn how an EdCamp works is to attend one. Check for a list of upcoming EdCamps across the country.
In the meantime, here's a simple step-by-step how-to guide for planning and putting on your own EdCamp:
  1. Reach out to your Professional Learning Networks with a note that you'd like to host an EdCamp in your region. Even with its loose structure, hosting an EdCamp event is not a one-person job but, with a strong team of like-minded educators at the helm, your EdCamp will be a success.
  2. Find a location for your EdCamp--a school works great. The location should have a strong wireless network, a large room for the day's opening and closing events, and plenty of rooms for breakout sessions. Also, white boards and projectors are key.
  3. Even if you find a free space to hold your event, it's likely you'll need funding for things like insurance, web hosting, and breakfast for your attendees. Check in with to see if any funding can be directed toward your event, and for advice on how to reach out to sponsors.
  4. Once the location is locked down, find a date that works and spread the word! Set up a Twitter account for your EdCamp, create a Facebook page, and put together e-mails and fliers to advertise the event. You should also create a blog, website, or wiki for your EdCamp where attendees can register and get more information as the day approaches.
Now that you've successfully completed the planning stages for your first EdCamp, here's what to do the day of the event:
  1. Most EdCamps begin with breakfast. That's the time to encourage your attendees to write potential session topics on index cards and post them to the schedule board--a piece of poster board at the front of the room.
  2. Sessions can be practical or theoretical; they can cover technology or have nothing to do with technology at all. Encourage your attendees to share their talents and knowledge, and to speak up about topics they've always wanted to learn more about.
  3. Let the learning begin! Be sure to post the session schedule online (remember, you've already created a Facebook page, blog, website, and a wiki--continue to use them!) and keep it updated throughout the day. Encourage your attendees to live tweet their experiences using a hashtag dedicated to your event and to post updates to your EdCamp's wiki. Also, make sure all attendees know they can leave any session at any time, for any reason. In EdCamp it's called "Voting With Your Feet"--this day is about individual learning, and if someone feels like they're not getting what they need from a session, they're encouraged to move on.
  4. At the end of the day, bring everybody together for closing remarks, and thank them for making the day a success. Encourage attendees to write up reflections from their experiences throughout the day and post them to their personal blogs and to your EdCamp's website. Create an archive of the day's tweets, posts, and session notes for attendees to access after the event.

No comments:

Post a Comment