Edcamp: Authentic Learning for Two High School Students

This September, Springfield, MO will host the first ever student-led Edcamp. High school juniors, Theo Shuler and Lydia Smith of The Summit Preparatory School of Southwest Missouri, are leading the organizing team for the education-centered unconference. The duo will be responsible for planning, marketing, and seeking sponsors this summer, as well as facilitating on the day of the event.

Summit Prep teacher, Patrick Misterovich is supervising the pair’s service learning project. “A big part of my teaching philosophy is to find opportunities for students to gain real-world experiences,” explains Mr. Misterovich. “The Edcamp DIY philosophy provides a great opportunity for Lydia and Theo to demonstrate their ability to lead a large-scale project, independently.”

This will be the first Edcamp in Springfield, MO, home of Missouri’s largest school district. Springfield is in the middle of the Ozarks and the unconference will draw from a region of 300,000 people. The students are working in cooperation with Professional Development leaders, administrators, and teachers from across the Ozarks to plan and promote Edcamp Springfield.

As students in a 1:1 laptop school, Lydia and Theo are incorporating their daily experiences with social media and web 2.0 tools in the planning process. They have already recruited a team of their classmates to record each breakout session and post the notes and pictures online. They hope to utilize their daily experience working with technology in the development of Edcamp Springfield.

The event will be hosted at The Summit Prep on September 22, 2012, and is free to all registrants. To register online, you can visit their website: or follow them on Twitter: @edcampsgf.