Today we are pleased to announce that Edcamp Founding Board Member Hadley Ferguson has been named Executive Director. The current Board – Kevin Jarrett, Kristen Swanson, and Mary Beth Hertz – have charged Hadley with overseeing many new initiatives that will enhance the growth of the Edcamp movement. Hadley expects to be focusing on support for Edcamps nationally, fundraising, and collecting data on the impact of the movement.
Hadley is leaving her position at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she has taught Middle School history since the fall of 2001. In 2011, the Library of Congress announced that Hadley had been selected as a member of the Teaching with Primary Sources Mentor Advisory Group, serving with 19 other master educators to assist the Library in supporting teachers in their use of digitized primary sources through a Teachers Network. In 2013, the National Association of Independent Schools named her a “Teacher of the Future.” An accomplished writer, she has published articles for the International Society for Technology in Education’s Leading and Learning and co-authored a book with me, Unleashing Student Superpowers: Practical Teaching Strategies for 21st Century Students.
Hadley was instrumental during the founding of the Edcamp Foundation, an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to supporting and nurturing the growth of participant-directed professional development for K-12 educators nationwide. The Foundation was created in response to the demand that followed the original Edcamp Philly, an event made possible by Hadley and ten other visionary Philadelphia area educators who came together to provide teachers with a more informal and organic means of improving their professional practice. Rather than following the model of traditional professional development featuring lecture-based instruction, Edcamp Philly offered a schedule of sessions – discussions, not presentations – suggested and led by the participants at the event. Inspired by Open Space Technology and the principles of connected & participatory professional learning, including user-driven events that preceded it like EduCon, EduBloggerCon, Barcamp, and even TeachMeet, Edcamp Philly brought educators together to talk about student learning, classroom pedagogy, curricula, innovative educational technologies, and more.
Since that first event in Philadelphia, there have been hundreds of Edcamps worldwide organized by passionate educators who believe in the movement. More recently, growth in Edcamps internationally has been dramatically accelerated by generous support from members of the Foundation Partnership Program, who have answered hundreds of questions from educators around the world from people committed to bringing an Edcamp to their area. It has been an incredible five years! We want to take this opportunity to thank the worldwide Edcamp community for helping to empower teachers as they take ownership of their professional learning. We look forward to this exciting new chapter with Hadley on board as Executive Director!