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.

“Why I committed to a monthly donation to Edcamp and why you should too” by Sara Brooks

CC Image credit: day 215/365 (bokeh) donations by  ~*~...nicole...~*~  on Flickr

Image credit: day 215/365 (bokeh) donations by ~*~…nicole…~*~ on Flickr

The Edcamp Foundation would like to recognize and thank Ms. Sara Brooks, an Information Literacy Teacher (Elementary School Librarian) in Greely, Colorado, for being our first monthly donor. We appreciate your support! Here’s the note that accompanied her donation:

By dedicating a monthly amount to Edcamp, it allows the organization to  better budget and plan throughout the year. But even more important, a monthly donation is my commitment to all teachers’ professional growth.Teachers want to improve their teaching and will contribute and participate in professional development that matters to them! This is Edcamp. It allows us to share what we know and to learn from others; we can build from each other’s experiences. Edcamp makes it better for teachers and our students. It is a truly grassroots organization that began from our rank and file and continues to be about our profession. Give monthly and keep it growing!

Thank you, Sara, for your advocacy and support – and for paying it forward!

The Edcamp Foundation Partners with MIT Media Labs Join us for Learning Creative Learning

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It’s not (just) a course, but a community for educators, designers, technologists, and others interested in creative learning.

Learning Creative Learning (LCL) is an online community on creative learning hosted by the MIT Media Lab. LCL will start on March 18 with six weeks of discussions and activities, followed by a few weeks to work on projects, leading to a creative-learning exhibition in May. There will be online sessions on Tuesdays from 1:00-2:00pm Boston time.

LCL will focus on key aspects of the Media Lab approach to learning: Projects, Peers, Passion, and Play. We invite you to apply these ideas to your own teaching and learning experiences. Together, we can reimagine and reinvent education.

Learning Creative Learning is a collaborative experiment. We are building on the online course we offered last year and plan to continue to tinker with the format and explore new tools for sharing ideas and supporting discussions. We hope you will tinker with us.

Online learning + Local meet-ups = :-) We think local meet-ups are the perfect complement to online learning. That’s why LCL is collaborating with EdCamps and NWP to encourage more meet-ups. They create an opportunity to meet others in your area who are just as passionate about creative learning as you are!

Each week, LCL will cross-promote EdCamps that are happening and encourage participants to host sessions about LCL. In these sessions, participants could talk about the readings and ideas of the course, or even work on course activities together, but do it face to face instead of online only.

Join LCL > No sign-up necessary. But we will send updates and weekly reminders to an email list. To get updates, register your email at http://learn.media.mit.edu/ and follow @medialabcourse on Twitter.

Announcing Edcamp US DOE: June 6, 2014 | Washington, D.C.

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This June, the Edcamp Foundation will be collaborating with the United States Department of Education to cultivate interactive conversations between teacher leaders and policy leaders.

Held in the heart of Washington DC, Edcamp US DOE will be an intimate gathering of teacher leaders and policy leaders in order to discuss the most important issues in education. Every conversation will focus on finding actionable solutions and answering tough, asset-based questions.

The day will explore three themes: policy, ConnectED, and best practice. Interactive conversations will be proposed on the morning of the event, honoring every attendee’s authentic voice.

Learn more about the event and how you can attend here.

Edcamp STEAM Gets Featured on Classroom Closeup NJ TV! Watch NOW!

As those who attended Edcamp STEAM will recall, a production crew from the Emmy-award winning Classroom Close-up NJ television show was present throughout our event last summer. Their show featuring our event just aired! It’s a terrific recap of Edcamp STEAM and it’s a great testimony to the power of participant-directed professional development. Special thanks to The New Jersey Education Association and the terrific team at Classroom Close-up NJ for producing this video and for letting us excerpt it for sharing on social media!

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The Edcamp Foundation is Expanding!

The Edcamp Foundation is very excited for 2014. We’ve been planning lots of new ways to support Edcamps, teachers, and Edcamp organizers. To better support our work, we’re expanding our membership to include committees that work directly with the Foundation Board on important matters.

We’re very excited to welcome the following individuals to the Edcamp Foundation as committee members!

Public Relations Committee – this committee will a) create documents for the Foundation’s committees to use in their work (i.e., fundraising letters, proposals to present at conferences, presentations, etc.); and b) lead the “50 States Challenge,” an initiative aimed at bringing an Edcamp to each of the 50 states.

  • Shannon Montague – Chair
  • Christy Brennan
  • David Cutler
  • Philip Cummings
  • Joanne Najarian
  • Lisa Palmieri
  • Markette Pierce
  • Jennifer L. Scheffer
  • Chris Shriver
  • Chris Thinnes
  • Hadley Ferguson (Edcamp Foundation Board Member)

Foundation Partner Program Committee – this committee, chaired by Edcamp Foundation Board Member Kristen Swanson, supports Edcamp Organizers across the globe. The committee provides support, assistance, and professional development when it comes to running the best Edcamp event possible.

  • Alice Barr
  • Cindy Dixon
  • Kaye Hendrickson
  • Debby Jacoby
  • Karl Lindgren-Streicher
  • Andrew Marcinek
  • Chris McGee
  • Kristina Peters
  • Michael Podraza
  • Laksmi Puspitowardhani
  • Margaret Roth
  • Aaron Ross
  • Jerry Swiatek
  • Peter Strawn
  • David Wees

Online Presence Committee – chaired by Edcamp Foundation Board Member Kevin Jarrett, this committee is responsible for helping manage everything about the Edcamp brand online – including our blog, Twitter, wiki, Facebook & LinkedIn pages, and more.

  • Jessie Bamberger
  • Lisa Butler
  • Paige Lennig
  • Kyle Pace
  • Mike Marotta
  • Shannon Montague
  • Shawn White

Recognition Committee – chaired by Edcamp Foundation Board Member Mike Ritzius, this committee is responsible for ensuring Edcamps are recognized as official events (and follow the tenets of Edcamps) and the organizing teams are recognized, too.

  • Ben Wildeboer
  • Billy Krakower
  • Trisha Sanchez
  • Stacey Schuh
  • Tracy Sockalosky

Keep a lookout for these folks as they leverage the true power of Edcamp over the next year. We welcome them aboard and thank them for their efforts!