This coming Saturday 200 teachers from across Utah will join together at Neil Armstrong Academy for Edcamp Utah, a free professional development event. Now, this is nothing new for teachers to sacrifice their time to improve their skills and learn new ideas for the classroom – the difference with an edcamp is that the teachers will be leading the conference themselves! Edcamps are user-led conferences where participants decide on the topics, then a conference is built using everyone's ideas. It is the ultimate grassroots style of learning!
Last year we held the first Edcamp Utah and over 120 participants spent the day learning from one another. To be honest, none of really knew what to expect. I mean, a conference where there are no session topics or presenters that are pre-arranged? That's unheard of. There were only two things we knew for sure: 1. Teachers are always looking for ways to improve. 2. Creating a supportive community of teachers is a great way to learn. Everything else was left to the "let's see what happens" mantra.
In the end, things couldn't have gone better. Teachers were able to attend sessions that mattered to them. Friendships were formed. PLN's were developed. Two of my favorite comments about the event were:
"Edcamp is what professional development should be about. Teachers coming together to discuss individual challenges and interests, while sharing resources or possible solutions based on real needs, interests, and experiences. Participating in Edcamp Utah was one of the most authentic professional development experiences I have had in years." Jeremy Smith
"I have been hungering for a collaborative experience like this. Edcamp Utah met my expectations and beyond." Sharon Moore
Now we're back for Edcamp Utah 2015. If you've already signed up – we'll see you there. If you aren't able to attend – follow #edcamput on Twitter.
Thanks to our generous sponsors: