Free Advertising for Edcamps on Educationismylife.com

Getting the word out about your Edcamp is essential to its success. So, how about some FREE ADVERTISING?

AJ Juliani, who runs the new site Education is My Life, contacted the Edcamp Foundation recently with this incredible offer:

A group of educators and myself started a blog, “Education Is My Life“, and it has since taken off in ways we didn’t necessarily imagine. We are going to start advertising on our site with one 125×125 ad on each page. We are starting with 10 ads that will rotate with each impression. From the start of this process we’ve agreed to promote great educational opportunities in any way we can. We’d like to offer free advertising on our site to EdCamps to promote this awesome idea.

EdCamps (and the EdCamp foundation) can send us their logo, a brief description (and location), and link to their website. We’ll run the ad on our site for a month leading up to the specific EdCamp. All we would like in return is for an edcamper at that specific location to send us a blog post recapping the event once it is over.

Let me know if you need any more information!

Thanks,

AJ Juliani
Colllabo I The Q&A for Educators

To take advantage of this opportunity, contact AJ via this form or send email to AJJuliani@gmail.com!

Occupy Professional Development: Take Control of Your Professional Learning with the Edcamp Format

This post also appears on the Education is My Life blog.

We’ve all been there: A mind-numbing, passive, professional development session that aims to “fill up” your mind with knowledge and expertise. Quite often, these types of experiences leave you drowsy and uninspired.

Well, there’s a new form of professional development sweeping the nation that aims to change all that. Edcamps are unconferences for educators where learners share their experiences and their professional expertise in a collaborative, interactive learning environment. Edcamps are based on Open Space Technology (OST) which states that “whoever comes are the right people and whatever happens are the only things that could have” (Boule, 2011).

An authentic Edcamp has the following features:

  • free: Edcamps should be free to all attendees. This helps ensure that all different types of teachers and educational stakeholders can attend.
  • non-commercial and with a vendor free presence: Edcamps should be about learning, not selling. Educators should feel free to express their ideas without being swayed or influenced by sales pitches for educational books or technology.
  • hosted by any organization or anyone: Anyone can host an Edcamp. School districts, educational stakeholders, and teams of teachers have hosted Edcamps. YOU could be the next Edcamp organizer!
  • made up of sessions that are determined on the day of the event: Edcamps do not have scheduled presentations. During the morning of the event, the schedule is created in conjunction with everyone there. I know it sounds crazy, but it works! Sessions end up being spontaneous, interactive, and responsive to participants’ needs.
  • events where anyone who attends can be a presenter: Anyone who attends an Edcamp is able to be a presenter. All teachers and educational stakeholders are viewed as professionals worthy of sharing their expertise in a collaborative setting.
  • reliant on the law of two feet that encourages participants to find a session that meets their needs: As anyone can host a session, it is critical that participants can actively self-select the best content and sessions. Edcampers are encouraged to leave sessions that do not meet their needs. This provides a uniquely effective way of “weeding out” sessions that are not based on appropriate research or not delivered in an engaging format.

Edcamps were founded when a group of teachers, including me, were inspired by a local Barcamp unconference on computer programming. Since the first Edcamp was held in Philadelphia in May 2010, over 50 Edcamps have been held by teachers in the United States, Chile, and Sweeden. (Interested in holding your own Edcamp? Visit the Edcamp wiki at http://edcamp.wikispaces.com)

Teachers and educational stakeholders are using this format to start meaningful conversations about their work. Social media, including blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, have served to continue the conversation in online spaces as well. Professional reflection, application, and evaluation abound.

Lately, Edcamps have received some criticism due to the interactive, unpredictable format. How can you guarantee that every Edcamp session is based on the latest research? Quite simply, you can’t. Edcamps should be used as one meaningful item on the professional development menu. There will always be a place for traditional professional development to ensure that faculties are using the latest research and effectively employing the most fundamental strategies purported by the educational organization. However, using the Edcamp format to honor teachers’ expertise and provide interactive learning opportunities is a worthy process.

Edcamps strive to provide space for teachers to learn from each other. They give everyone a voice and a forum to explore new ideas and strategies.

To learn more about the Edcamp movement and upcoming Edcamps, visit the Edcamp Wiki at http://edcamp.wikispaces.com

Sources Cited
Boule, M. (2011). Mob rule learning. Medford, NJ: First
Printing.

Photo Credits (used with permission)
www.edcampfoundation.org

So, you want to run an Edcamp?

SOURCE: The Edcamp Wiki

*if you have a chance, ATTEND ANOTHER EDCAMP OR A BARCAMP! It will give a lot of guidance in planning your own conference*

First: Determine a mission/goal for the event. (Read part 1 of Mary Beth’s series on creating an edcamp)

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What types of discussions would you like your audience to have?
  • Engage your audience in conversation so they will attend the event.
  • Enlist the help of others–an unconference is hard to put on alone!

Second: Take care of the “big stuff” (Read part 2 of Mary Beth’s series on creating an edcamp)

  • Find a location, date, and secure insurance for your event.
  • Decide how you will handle the finances (PayPal account? Business bank account?)
  • Assign roles to organizers

Third: Get funding! (Read part 3 of Mary Beth’s series on creating an edcamp)

  • Develop a press release
  • Contact potential sponsors
  • Prioritize your spending

Fourth: Do all the “little things.” (Read part 4 of Mary Beth’s series on creating an edcamp)

  • Get a website up and running.
  • Determine if you will provide food.
  • Decide on any little “extras” (lanyards, t-shirts, etc.).
  • Survey your space and decide how many rooms you will have
  • Create a scheduling board

HAVE YOUR EVENT!!!