This week our class was run as an EdCamp. What is an ED Camp?
According to wikipedia,
“An edcamp is a participant-driven conference – commonly referred to as an “unconference”. Edcamps are designed to provide participant-driven professional development for K-12 educators. Edcamps are modeled after BarCamps, free participant-driven conferences with a primary focus on technology and computers.”
This was the second Ed Camp I have participated in and, having had two positive experiences with this style of conference, I would recommend it as an effective method of professional development.
Both EdCamps I have participated in took place in an online environment; one in Bluejeans and the other in Zoom. For an Edcamp, I would say, that between the two, Bluejeans is more suited to this style of Professional Development. The main reason for this is that, within the BlueJeans system, users can come and go as they please from room (topic) to room (topic), whereas in Zoom, the moderator has to assign them to a room, so every time a participant wants to switch, they would need go back to the main room and ask the moderator to send them to a different room.
While I have not attended a physical EdCamp, I would think that there are some benefits to attending an Online EdCamp. One of the larger benefits of an online EdCamp is that visitors can be invited in from all over the world to share ideas, answer questions and contribute to discussions.
I wonder about trying out the Blue Jeans system with some of the classes I currently teach. And I wonder how different the experience would be as compared to something like google hangouts.
The room I stayed in for the duration of the EdCamp was connected to engaging students in online and blended learning. It was interesting to hear others questions, ideas and experiences connected to this. A couple of the topics that arose were connected to teachers understanding of how to teach online and students understanding of how to learn online. These topics lead to many questions that I would like to do some research on as part of my literature review. In addition, as a result of this discussion, we spoke as a group about designing a required credit course that teaches students how to learn online. I’m excited about the possibilities!