Saturday, May 5, 2012

EdCamp Birmingham

If you've never attended an UNconference, I highly recommend it. I just got back from an amazing day at Edcamp Birmingham! I'm so glad I went. I've never been part of an "unconference" before, and wasn't even sure what that was exactly until today. Wow! When my friend Cara, over at Teaching My Calling, and I walked in, we saw an in-progress schedule on a wiki projected on a large screen. There was a table with computers set up so that if you wanted to lead a session, you just went over to the table and added it to the schedule. Each scheduled event was also linked to a Google doc which allowed you to add your name, school, and contact information, for easy collaboration once the unconference was finished. Basically, the sessions and topics of the day were determined by the actual participants and what they wanted to learn/discuss. 

Which brings me to the next really great thing about edcamp: The sessions themselves were very non-traditional. There was very little "sit and get" and TONS of actual conversations and collaborations among the facilitators and participants. Everyone had a chance to speak their minds and share ideas. For example, the facilitator might ask, "Do you agree that using technology in your lessons helps your students learn more?" Participants then just basically discuss, with the leader chiming in occasionally. 

What a fabulous unconference! If you'd like to know more about how our day went, check out the twitter feed: #EdCampBham

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