Saturday offered me the best professional development I have received since ITEC. A group of teachers and I attended Edcamp in Iowa City with an estimated 200 other educators. The concept around the “unconference” is that sessions are not decided until the day of the conference. No presentations are planned. It’s simply a professional development day focused on what attendees want to discuss. It’s an opportunity to collaborate and make connections, and it’s all free! In fact, there were four locations around the state of Iowa, so Twitter was a tremendous resource as people from all over the state were connecting digitally to improve education. If that doesn’t make a teacher burst with inspiration and optimism, he or she is in the wrong profession.
I attended sessions on standard based learning, writing workshops, Authentic Intellectual Work (AIW), and Genius Hour. I’m thankful today is a snow day (11 inches of fresh powder) so I can sort through some of my notes. If you’re interested in any of these topics and want to discuss, let’s grab coffee!
The best part about the day was being surrounded by people who want to become better educators. Teachers, principals, board members and even student teachers were in attendance. Edcamp was optional professional development, so you can bet attendees were self motivated.
Although Edcamp is over, the connections will continue to inspire me. So, if you’re not in education but you’re reading this post, consider planning an “unconference” within your own profession. Find motivation through other people’s positive energy!