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Edcamp Silicon Valley Tomorrow

February 21, 2014

After several months of planning, the first ever Edcamp Silicon Valley is only hours away. I’ve been working with a wonderful organizing team made up of colleagues from within my school and district. Maybe it was a bit of a reach for us to think we could pull this off without much collective edcamp experience, (and no prior edcamp planning experience), but it looks like we’re in good shape for Saturday – getting by with a little help from our friends!

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Palo Alto High School (photo by the author)

I suppose every edcamp is a little bit different, and here’s some information about our plans, in case you’re coming, or interested in running your own edcamp. We’ll be at the Palo Alto High School library, and starting a little bit later than some edcamps, with a 9:00 a.m. arrival, with time for a light breakfast, networking, swag-browsing, and suggesting sessions. Some edcamps go with a voting process to allow the attendees to select the topics with the highest interest level. Others take all suggestions and look for ways to combine topics so that everyone has a chance to help lead. We are going with the latter approach. With the first session starting at 10 a.m., we’ll have time for two before lunch. At lunchtime, we’re suggesting that edcampers head across the street from Palo Alto High School, where the Town and Country shopping center has a multitude of good lunch options. After lunch, we’ll have one more session, and then reconvene in the library for the “eduslam” where participants share their best or favorite resources and tips in a rapid review format. Finally, we have a raffle to thank our guests for coming and participating.

One feature about our edcamp that I’m particularly proud of is that we are sponsored by several local teachers associations, and we had some help from the California Teachers Association as well. CTA Vice-President Eric Heins is also scheduled to stop by and say hello. At the risk of generalizing, it seems to me that many of the edcamp enthusiasts I know have less interest in union activity, and many of the teachers I know who are more active in unions are less knowledgeable about edcamps or other newish forms of networking and professional learning. The union leaders I talked to, however, were anxious to support teachers interested in connecting and learning. Hopefully the innovative and actively networking teachers at Edcamp Silicon Valley will consider the possibility that our associations have more of a role to play in our professional development in a variety of ways, and will engage with unions to explore new possibilities. Hopefully, our association members and leaders who are now learning about edcamp will continue to support the idea, and future iterations of it; the potential benefits to our associations and our profession are self-evident, as we promote teacher connectedness and new modes of working that expand our capacity for learning and leading.

Follow the event on Twitter:

@EdCampSV and #edcampsv

EdCampSV organizers:

David Cohen, @cohend
Roni Habib, @Roni_Habib
Kirk Hinton, @kirk_hinton
Smita Kolhatkar, @SKolhatkar
Ellen Kraska, @KraskaE
Matt Lindner, @TheMrMLindner
Christina Nosek, @ChristinaNosek
[edit 2/21/14 – minor clarification at end of 2nd paragraph]

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