The 12 Days of Edcamp!

present-150291_640Give the gift of Edcamp using the #edcampgift hashtag over the next 10 days!

This December, get in the giving spirit with Edcamp. The Edcamp Foundation knows that each and every Edcamper is generous with their leading, learning, and sharing. So, have some fun this holiday season giving to other Edcampers around the globe! Whatever you celebrate, please join in the fun! It’s as simple as Tweeting, Instagraming, or Facebooking with the #edcampgift hashtag! Each day, we’ll be choosing one tweet. That tweeter will get to give a 100 dollar donation from Remind to the Edcamp event of their choice!

For more information, visit: https://www.smore.com/tkgnp

Welcome to Veteran Educator Hadley Ferguson, New Executive Director of The Edcamp Foundation!

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 Fergsuson, Executive Director, The Edcamp Foundation

Hadley Ferguson, Executive Director, The Edcamp Foundation

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 EduConEduBloggerCon, 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!

Kristen Swanson

The Wait is Almost Over!

1269850054The wait is almost over! You may have heard we had some BIG NEWS … well, it is about to be revealed!

Our announcement will happen tomorrow, Saturday November 22nd, towards the end of the fabulous Saturday morning Twitter conversation on #satchat , 7:30 – 8:30am EDT, LIVE from Edcamp New Jesey. Tune in for the whole hour for a great conversation about the power and impact of Edcamps. Share your experiences about how Edcamps changed what happens in your classroom. Then get a glimpse into our exciting future! The Foundation is working on new ways to support Edcamp organizers and the learning of the participants. We are very excited about what is in store for all of us!

Edcamps Take Stockholm by Storm

edcamp stockholm

Per introduces the Edcamp model to principals in Stockholm. Photo credit Helene Derkert.

In 2012, Sweden became one of the first countries beyond the United States to incorporate the Edcamp model into their professional development. Since then, the country has hosted dozens of Edcamp events for teachers and leaders.

As Swedish educators, including the visionary Per Falk, have been so supportive of Edcamps, the Edcamp Foundation is delighted to announce a formal partnership with the Department of Education at Stockholms stad.

This partnership will allow both groups to work together to empower educators. This collaboration will happen through conversations between organizers, resource sharing, and general goodwill. This year, Edcamp events will happen all over Stockholm under Per’s guidance.

Here’s to continuing the conversation!

Twitter: @perfal
Email: per.falk at stockholm.se

Why. We. Edcamp!

Edcamp Philly 2014

We Edcamp because…
-we are learners first, teachers second.
-we care about kids.
-we embrace a growth mindset, and we want to model this for our students.
-we know adults need social learning.
-we believe educators are the best change agents for schools.
-we are empowered.

We Edcamp because we are learners first, teachers second.
Remember the first time you saw a child “get it?” That “a-ha” moment is a prized possession for every teacher. You know, that moment when a student finds his/her passion, hooks on to an enlightening idea, or engages in a topic with such astute critical thinking that he/she becomes an expert.

For Edcamp organizers, this is the same way we feel when we meet teachers excited by an Edcamp for the first time. In 2010, the “a-ha” moment arrived when educators realized that, much like students, we can take ownership of our own professional learning. The Edcamp “a-ha” has been repeated over 550 times in dozens of countries.

We Edcamp because we care about kids.
The world is changing. Fast. Learning used to be isolated and linear. Today, however, modern technology has fashioned a learning environment with boundless access to information and people. In short, learning has become connected. The ways that we were taught (way back when) won’t cut it for our kids.

We care about kids and know learning has to change for them. Edcamps help us to discuss the shifts that are needed, experiment alongside other practitioners, and share stories of best practice.

We Edcamp because we embrace a growth mindset.
Learning is never finished. Edcamps allow us to find other like-minded educators to build lifelong learning communities. Edcamp helps educators feel that they are not alone in the journey of teaching. Through edcamps, we find educators igniting their passion, finding enlightening ideas, and engaging in topics as the experts they are. There’s always more to learn and more to improve.

We Edcamp because we know adults need social learning.
We learn better together. The strong bonds that form at an Edcamp continue through many different venues, both face-to-face and online. Twitter chats and blog posts all document the “long tail” learning sparked by Edcamp events. Often, Edcamp events are the beginning of both the friendship and the conversation. We consider our fellow Edcampers our friends.

We Edcamp because we believe educators are the best change agents for schools.
The growth of edcamp has been, in our opinions, astounding! But the expanding numbers aren’t necessarily something to cheer about. While it is amazing to see a network of educators interested in taking charge of their personal learning, the growth is also indicative of the need to “disrupt” the current system of professional development. Open registration for all provides for partnerships and collaboration that would not exist in singular district or school-based professional development. The blank schedule board allows for relevant topics and ideas to surface for the day’s conversation. The law of two feet gives educators the power to determine what meets their learning needs for the day. The current system of professional development still applaudes “sitting and getting.” Sitting and getting information and credits, all of which are determined by the standards of someone else. Teachers are clearly hungry for more, and as a result we should use edcamps as a vehicle for more. Educators must be change agents. Edcamps are a vehicle for that change. It’s intrinsic.

We Edcamp because we are empowered.
Edcamps empower educators to be both learners and experts. They encourage them to take control of their situation and improve their practice. They put kids and teachers first, not sponsors or credits or any other extrinsic reward.

Edcamps are about learning for learning’s sake. That’s the magic. Edcamp empowers.

October is right around the corner….

And that means it’s almost Connected Educator Month! (and candy corn!)

To help educators debrief and reflect on that learning, the Edcamp Foundation has teamed up with MIT Media Lab and the National Writing Project to offer the 2nd Annual #Edcamp Online.

The software, called “unhangouts,” leverages Google Hangouts but adds special functionality so that we can truly simulate the Edcamp experience in an online space.

Mark your calendars for October 25, 2014 from 12:30pmEDT-2:30pmEDT and REGISTER HERE!

See you online!

Join the #EdcampChallenge

Calling all Edcamp Organizers!

We want YOU to participate in the #EdcampChallenge !

This week, the Edcamp Foundation Partner Program had a great meeting. In the session, we wanted to put together a challenge that would allow Edcamp organizers from across the country support each other by sharing their best tips and tricks.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Think of your BEST TIP for organizing an Edcamp.

Step 2: Record a simple 1 minute video of yourself explaining the tip. (No fancy editing required!)

Step 3: Tweet that video to #EdcampChallenge and tag another Edcamp organizer in the tweet to pass along the fun!

Here’s the first one:

Join us in our quest to amass 100 organizer tips!
The TOP 5 TIPS will receive a copy of the new Edcamp book! Yay!

The Edcamp Model – A New Publication from the Edcamp Foundation

Calling all Edcampers!

The Edcamp Foundation has some very exciting news! The Edcamp Model is now available for pre-order for 10 dollars.

The books are expected to be shipped on August 19th, and we couldn’t be more excited about this vehicle for teaching others about the Edcamp model.

Here’s what you can expect from the text:

  • A practical “how-to” guide for organizing both regional Edcamps and Edcamps at your school
  • Some documentation on the impact that Edcamp has had on teacher and student learning
  • Research that can help convince a school leader to have an Edcamp
Every penny of profit will go to funding Edcamp events. 
So, not only do you get to own an awesome book, but you also get to make a huge impact on Edcampers worldwide. 
Yay!

Dear Mr. Duncan and Mr. Culatta, #edcampusa

Dear Mr. Duncan and Mr. Culatta,In a word: THANKS.

Thank you for welcoming me and 50 Edcampers from across the nation to your home.

Thank you for believing in teacher empowerment, digital leadership and the power of authentic conversation. We reached many beyond the room, and we were trending on Twitter.

Thank you for introducing me to your teachers in residence, especially Emily Davis. She is an amazing educator, and she truly puts teachers and kids at the forefront of every conversation.

As a result of the conversations I had today, I’ll be building solutions. Check back soon for more ways for educators to share their stories, strategies to change PD across the US, and the types of research that will help us measure the impact of technology on learning. I’m off and running now, to say the least.

But most of all, thanks for listening. In a world where politics and risks can be delicate, you took a risk on a volunteer group of educators that are trying to change the world.

That means a lot.

Sincerely,
Kristen

Teacher Voice at #EdcampUSA

Today was an exciting day for the Edcamp Foundation and for edcampers all over the US. At around 7:00 am, a small group of educators walked across C Street and entered the Department of Education for a day of sharing and learning at Edcamp US DOE. Schedule DOE

After 4 years and thousands of hours of free, participant-driven professional development across the globe, Edcamp entered the halls that drive education policy in the US. After building the schedule and chatting with new and old acquaintances, along with a surprise visit from Arne Duncan, we moved right into sessions. The topics ranged from policy discussions to discussions about teaching and learning in the classroom to discussions about Arne Edcamp DOEbeing digital leaders and connected educators. Members of the DOE were scattered throughout the sessions, listening and asking questions. Even through some tough policy conversations, there was no animosity and the tone of the conversation always remained civil and professional, and thanks to teacher ambassador and host, Emily Davis, and the positive and professional attendees and DOE members, conversations also stayed solutions-oriented and focused on action.

If anything comes of today’s gathering of great minds and ideas, I hope that the Department of Education sees the power of organic conversation among educators as well as the many faces of teacher leadership within individual school buildings, districts and beyond. I hope that more events like this happen at the DOE and that policy makers see value in bringing educators together to discuss education policies and larger issues in education here in the US. If anything, creating open lines of communication and pathways for matching policies with the needs in classrooms on the front lines of teaching and learning could be a powerful beginning to a new age in educational policy in our country.Edcamp Foundation DOE

It is inspiring to think that only 4 years ago, ten educators, many of whom had never met face to face before, convened at BarCamp Philly, were inspired to create Edcamp Philly, and ignited a movement that has grown exponentially every year and has reached as far as Hong Kong and Dubai.

 

We are so grateful to the Department of Education, Richard Culatta from the Department of Educational Technology, and, of course, our gracious host, Emily Davis, for a powerful day of conversation and a positive and solutions-centered atmosphere focused on teacher voice.