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The Edcamp Model


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Table of Contents

Preface by Peter DeWitt Introduction: Learning is Changing. Is Your PD Keeping Pace? 1. Powering Up Professional Learning With the Edcamp Model The Need for Edcamps What Is an Edcamp? What Makes an Edcamp Unique? Tenets of the Edcamp Model Edcamp Philly: A Vignette So... How Do I Attend an Edcamp? 2. Does Edcamp Really Work? What Educators Are Saying About Edcamp and Its Exponential Growth The Impact on Student Learning Edcamper in Action: Craig Yen Edcamper in Action: Sean Wheeler Edcamper in Action: Heidi Swiak Edcamper in Action: Laksmi Puspitowardhani The "Yes, Buts..." We're Still Learning 3. Organizing an Edcamp-Style Event at Your School or District Bring the Benefits of an Edcamp-Style Professional Development to Your School or District Before You Start: Connecting to the Edcamp Community Getting Started Considering Culture Convinving School Leaders Who Are Skeptical of Open Learning Setting the Stage for Success The Day of Your Event: A Step-by-Step Guide Inset: A Helpful Checklist for the Day of Your Event 4. Tips for Running a Regional Edcamp Event Recruiting a Diverse Team Securing a Venue Large Enough to Accommodate Regional Attendance Promoting Your Event Fundraising Help Via the Edcamp Foundation 5. Final Thoughts References

About the Author

Kristen Swanson helps teachers design meaningful, interactive curricula at the local and national level. She has taught at the elementary level, served as a regional consultant for Response to Intervention, and worked as an educational technology director for a public school district in Pennsylvania. She holds a B.A. degree from DeSales University, two M.A. degrees from Wilkes University, and an Ed.D. degree from Widener University. Kristen is currently an adjunct in the DeSales University instructional technology M.Ed program and a senior technology leader for BrightBytes. In addition to her experience as an educator, Kristen is also passionate about meaningful professional learning. She serves on the board of the Edcamp Foundation, a nonprofit organization designed to facilitate local, grassroots professional development. She has shared her ideas and expertise at ASCD conferences, TEDxPhiladelphiaEd, TEDxNYED, and Educon. She has also been published in academic journals, including Literacy Learning: The Middle Years and the Journal of Reading, Writing, and Literacy. She is the author of Professional Learning in the Digital Age: The Educator's Guide to User-Generated Learning and Teaching the Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards. Kristen is active in the educational technology sphere. She is a Google Certified Teacher, Twitter Teacher, Edublog Award Nominee, and avid blogger. She strongly believes that rigorous curriculum fosters meaningful technology integration, and she is also interested in the learning opportunities provided by asynchronous learning. Hadley Ferguson is a middle school teacher at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, an independent school in Philadelphia. She teaches History and Humanities as well as Entrepreneurship. Hadley is passionate about developing new curriculum to meet the needs of her students, working with other teachers, both in her building and through her personal learning network, to develop the best strategies to enhance the learning in her classroom. Hadley has a B.A. and an MEd from Smith College. Because of her experiences of how important collaboration is for learning and growing as an educator, Hadley is actively involved in helping to develop connections among educators. She is a member of the Library of Congress' Teaching with Primary Sources Mentor Advisory group, where she helps teachers connect with the Library. She also advises groups of teachers on strategies for working together to develop curriculum that includes the resources from the Library of Congress. She was named a "Teacher of the Future" by the National Association of Independent Schools and part of a network to enhance support for independent school teachers. Hadley also seves on the board of the Edcamp Foundation, a nonprofit organization designed to facilitate local, grassroots professional development. She has presented at a variety of conferences, including ISTE, National Middle School Association, Educational Computing Conference of Ontario and Educon. She has written articles for ISTE's Learning and Leading on how teachers can take control of their professional development to directly impact the classroom. Her latest presentation is "On Being a Risk-Taking Teacher," based on her work with ungrading. Her blog explores the challenges of teaching middle school in a digital world.


"In this era of accountability, educators feel as though professional development is something being done to them, and then Kristen Swanson and the Edcamp Foundation came along. Edcamps are exciting, engaging unconferences that put the learning back into the hands of educators, and in this book Kristen Swanson provides step-by-step directions so educators can create their own in their building, district, county or state. It's a must read for anyone who wants to put the professional in professional development."

-- Peter DeWitt, Corwin Author, Flipped Leadership Doesn't Mean Reinventing the Wheel

"This book, written by members of The Edcamp Foundation, is a first-hand account of the Edcamp model for professional development from the people who were with it from the very beginning. Dr. Swanson's insights into how the Edcamp Model meets the needs of educators in their pursuit of personalized learning for professional development is founded in the experience of designing and supporting Edcamps since the very first one in Philadelphia. She provides the information necessary for any educator to plan, execute, and reap the benefits of this most relevant form of personal, professional development for educators in a profession that relies heavily on relevance in order to be effective in a fast paced, rapidly changing culture. This book provides simple and intelligent answers to: why Edcamps work, how they are effective, and how to deliver one to a district or school. This is a book for teachers and administrators alike."

-- Tom Whitby, Consultant, Corwin Author, The Relevant Educator

"The leadership of Kristen Swanson and her collaborate professional network has nurtured a growing community of learners through the power of the Edcamp model. This book provides the energy, urgency, and resources to continue to spread Edcamp-style learning into classrooms, schools, districts, and collaborative networks around the country. Anyone looking to take control of their learning, lead next generation adult learning, or build new energy surrounding the ways that kids learn each day should make this book a part of their learning today. Kristen writes in a way that all can access and provides step-by-step ways to make Edcamp-style professional development in all learning spaces a success."

-- Robert Dillon, Director of Technology and Innovation

"Swanson outlines a new kind of professional development that is sure to revolutionize how educators improve their craft. This step-by-step blueprint for success demonstrates PD that is remarkably simple and brilliant. I don't know an educator who won't love The EdCamp Model."

-- Mark Barnes, Education Consultant and Corwin Author, Teaching the iStudent

"This book is the ultimate "how-to" guide to plan and design your own Edcamp, whether it be within your district or in your region. It gives you "how to's", guidance on getting organizer's feedback, and data on the successes of the Edcamp models. It is a "must" for all leaders who are in the process or idea stage of organizing and running a successful Edcamp. This needs to be on your shelf!"

-- Vicki Day, Principal
"Professional development today is in intensive care. Trainings and workshops are boring and lifeless. What professional development needs is a jolt. Edcamps are the defibrillators that are going to bring professional development back to life. Kristen Swanson and the Edcamp Foundation have authored an amazing resource to put a charge into your professional learning. Use this amazing resource to put learning into the hands of those most affected--the teachers. No more life support, no more boring meetings. Edcamps are shockingly awesome. CLEAR!" -- Dr. Chris McGee, EdcampSTL Organizer & CEO ConnectED Learning
"As of now there are about 20 books in the Corwin Connected Educator Series, a seemingly ever-growing set of titles masterminded by Peter DeWitt and Corwin Press. Each book is short enough to be read in one sitting, which makes the collection ideal for book studies and professional development, both during the summer and throughout the school year. Also, each paperback is authored by one or two educators who speak (and blog, tweet, etc.) with a credible voice in the world of connected education. Some of the topics include:
  • Flipped leadership
  • Tools for connecting educators, parents, and communities
  • Blogging for educators
  • Best practices for establishing a makerspace
  • Tools to connect and empower teachers

Finally, all of the authors are active on social media, and they regularly present at local conferences, which helps in bringing to life the contents of these books."

-- Ross Cooper, Supervisor of Instructional Practice K-12

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