Edcamps: The ‘Unconferences,’ Where Teachers Teach Themselves
June 5, 2018
By: Katherine Schulten
Source: The New York Times
It was 8:30 a.m. on a beautiful Saturday near the end of the school year, but the 127 teachers in Newark that day came ready to work: Not only were they attending a conference, they were also coming up with the conference topics from scratch, on the spot.
Scrawling ideas on sticky notes, they swarmed a grid showing room numbers and times and claimed their spaces; in a few minutes, the morning’s schedule was set. Interested in “Cultivating a Growth Mind-set”? Head to Room 203. “Supporting Youth Activism and Civic Engagement”? 204. “Building a ‘Black Panther’ Curriculum”? Join the team in 301.
In contrast to the kind of professional development many teachers are used to — one-size-fits-all presentations by an administrator or outside expert — the Newark conference was an Edcamp, an innovative form of training with no predetermined speakers or sessions, led by the participants themselves.