Back in August, Regina Public Schools saw the first ever EdCamp professional development opportunity.
It was a new option for teachers in Regina Public at that time; the concept of professional development where the schedule was set the day of the event was disconcerting to many. The event drew a lot of educators, however, and set the stage for another EdCamp, this time on a Saturday morning.
This past weekend’s event drew teachers and educators from all over. Representatives from Regina Public, Regina Catholic, Prairie Valley, Horizon and Saskatoon School Divisions came and joined together to share their professional learning.
Participants signed up for sessions by placing their name around a subject of interest. Additionally, there were spaces for new learning (what I want to learn about). If someone wants to lead a session but is unsure, there are many jumping off points from which to start. This was new to this year’s EdCamp and it was a great option!
Once the sign up was completed, the break out sessions began. From interschool novel studies, to working with Google Docs, Gr 9 math planning, Digital Citizenship sessions, Backchanneling and Assessment conversations, learning about using Social Media to engage and improve student achivement, using Inform to guide instruction, Appy Hour and Apps for primary, E-portfolio tools and much, much more, there was something for everyone. Some of the presentations followed a presentation style format, while others were conversation and discussion based.
It was amazing to watch how everyone participated and shared. There were no “experts” in the audience; everyone was there to learn and discuss.
The format of this year’s EdCamp varied slightly as well given that the event was held on a Saturday. The hope was that the learning and collaboration that came out of the event would be worth educators giving up some time out of their weekend. The Saturday option allowed us to connect with other school divisions as well. It was great to be able to meet our “tweeps” in real life, much like the Tweet-Up organized earlier this year.
Much of the work that we do as teachers goes beyond the walls of the schools. Professional development needs to suit the needs of the individual; for some, that may be during the school day, for others, a weekend may be a better option. Varied sorts of professional development are needed to help support busy educators in their day to day work.
With over 100 participants attending and approximately 30 – 35 sessions offered, we know that this model of professional development is an appealing alternative to those who desire self directed professional development. All in all, the event allowed teachers to focus on the important conversations around improving practice and learning and growing as professionals. We learn best when we learn from each other. Thank you to all who came, participated, shared, discussed. Your presence helped this be a hugely succesful event!
Listen live to CTV who filmed a brief segment for the evening news (at 8:20 mark). For more information, follow the group on facebook (EdCampYQR), or follow on twitter @EdCampYQR. All links and presentations shared will be posted on the blog (CHECK BACK FOR MORE INFORMATION).