Principalship Program Students Organize Austin’s First Edcamp
Aiming to offer more relevant and targeted professional development for educators, two College of Education graduate students have teamed up to present Austin’s first-ever Edcamp.
The event will be on November 9 from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Crockett High School in Austin.
“Edcamp is designed to be for educators and by educators,” said Stephanie Cerda, a student in the college’s Principalship Program and Edcamp Austin organizer. “It’s held on a Saturday, is free, there’s no predetermined agenda and it’s open to anyone who’s involved in education and deeply interested in the topic of learning.”
So far, the event has lured registrants from as far away as Los Angeles.
Unlike most traditional conferences and training sessions, which have established schedules, the Edcamp agenda is determined by attendees on the day of the event. At the start of the conference, participants write down on notecards the topics they want to discuss and learn more about that day then everyone breaks up into groups to address the topics. Those with special expertise can volunteer to lead sessions.
“Stephanie and I have attended several Edcamps in other cities around the state and we both were impressed with how committed Edcamp is to differentiated and relevant professional development,” said Adam Holman, a student in the Principalship Program and Edcamp Austin organizer. “The conference is all about connecting educators with other educators and encouraging them to share their expertise – and it’s a worldwide connection, thanks to tools like Facebook, Twitter and Google+.”
Although all topics are open to discussion at Edcamp conferences, Cerda and Holman said that they have noticed some trends at previous Edcamps they’ve attended.
“We’ve heard lots of teachers express a desire for more collaborative learning experiences,” said Cerda, “an interest in inquiry-based learning strategies, and help in figuring out how best to implement technology at their schools.”
In addition to organizing Edcamp and being a graduate student in the Department of Educational Administration, Cerda is an Innovative Teaching Strategist for Manor ISD. Holman is assistant principal at Crockett High School and was a math and physics teacher prior to that.
In addition to Holman and Cerda, Jon Samuelson, co-host of the Techandia podcast on EdReach and the TechEducator podcast on TeacherCast, is helping organize the conference.
Anyone interested in attending Edcamp Austin can register online.