@MCDPEL Innovations Lab

On Expanding EdCamp Leadership

Posted by Joe Mazza

9/12/14 12:53 PM

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WHAT

On Monday, August 4th, our program hosted the annual EdCamp Leadership experience. For those who haven't attended over the past since years of its existence, Edcamp Leadership (@EdCampLdr) is a free un-conference devoted to K-12 education issues and ideas. The goal of the day is to assemble forward-thinking school administrators, board of education members, classroom teacher leaders, parents/community members and anyone interested in K-12 education for a day of conversation, reflection and inspiration. The official website cn be found at edcampleadership.org

The experience brought together over 250 educational leaders from nine states for a free all-day conference. (Free thanks to the Program and supporting sponsors) Many, however, left many who attended wondering why we do not have more events like this in other parts of the country. There have been over 500 EdCamps around the world since the first event in 2009 here in Philadelphia. One of the goals of experiences like EdCamp or EdCamp Leadership is to motivate and inspire attendees to go back into their local learning organizations and create more participant (teacher) driven, relationship-based professional development experiences. 

CONTENT

Below are all 32 sessions held during EdCamp Leadership this year. Most are linked with a Google Doc of session notes (completed by participants) to give you a window into the discussion happening in each room.

EXPANDING EDCAMP LEADERSHIP

EdCamp Leadership was an opportunity for the "PLN" or Personal Learning Network as many educators around the world call it to come together face to face and learning from each other, build relationships and develop new perspectives to take back to our schools and organizations.

I'd argue that every school leader needs this type of experience more than once per year to

  1. Get off the infamous admin island and learn away from your own turf
  2. Empower the voices of those within the organization who can make a difference
  3. Expose leadership teams to ideas and challenges others in similar roles are working through
  4. Develop further a Personal Learning Network (PLN)
  5. Maximize resources. THESE EVENTS ARE FREE. Budgets have been slashed and attendance at major conference have dropped over the years. There are countless local and state associations that support EdCamp. Tools, apps, start-ups, as well as online resources like Edutopia are always willing to contribute to the experience in some way. 

In the coming months, I'll be working with students in our program's Digital Instructional Leadership course to identify face to face and online ways to create more EdCamp and EdCamp Leadership professional development experiences around the country both as a part and separate from district-based professfional development. EdCamp Leadership Organizers have also tossed around a traveling EdCamp Leadership experiece out there, with the city Chicago as a potential 2015 landing spot. More on that in the coming months. 

RESOURCES

For our Digital Instructional Leadership class, we'll be using the Corwin Connected Educator Series which includes The EdCamp Model. Powering Up Professional Development. The best part about this book is that it was written by the original EdCamp organizations who are more than generous with their time and efforts to grow this experience for others. Some other resources to consider include:

A WINDOW INTO EDCAMP LEADERSHIP

Posts Written/Inspired By EdCamp Leadership 2014 Attendees

If I missed your post, please add it in the comment section below. 

ATTEND AN EDCAMP

Visit edcamp.wikispaces.com to find one coming up in your area.

Also, EdCampOnline is coming up on October 25th as a part of Connected Educator's Month. Here's your chance to learn and share from wherever you want 

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Topics: Innovation, Leadership, Conferences, School Leader Preparation, EdCamp, Personal Learning Network