The heart of an educator is to be a lifelong learner. In recent years professional learning communities have taught educators that the answer is often “in the room.” Educators are just in need of a venue in which to ask and learn from others while sharing their own knowledge, experience and expertise with their colleagues.
To this end, the Prosper ISD Instructional Technology (IT) department recently hosted an Edcamp. This is one of several the department has offered over the last couple of years and the third this year. Edcamps are called unconferences because there are no presentations, presenters or sessions to sign up for. Attendees list all of the topics they are interested in learning more about on the morning of Edcamp. Volunteers categorize these topics into sessions. After session topics are listed, attendees volunteer to facilitate or lead the discussion in each session. During the sessions, everyone in the room shares their questions and knowledge on the shared notes documents.
Edcamp provides educators of all experience levels the opportunity to both learn and take initiative to lead by sharing their knowledge and expertise with their colleagues. Approximately 150 Prosper educators took advantage of the opportunity in January learning about topics such as classroom management, instructional coaching, student feedback tools and many more. Educators come away excited and invigorated that they were able to help others and/or learn from their peers.