The Edcamp Movement

TeacherCast Podcast Episode #117

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Jeff sits down with Hadley Ferguson, the Executive Director of the Edcamp Foundation and Shannon Montague, an edcamp organizer and educator to discuss the edcamp movement.  

About the Edcamp Foundation

Edcamp is a form of unconference designed specifically for teachers and their needs.

What makes Edcamp an unconference? Unlike traditional conferences which have schedules set months in advance by the people running the conference, Edcamp has an agenda that’s created by the participants at the start of the event. Instead of one person standing in front of the room talking for an hour, people are encouraged to have discussions and hands-on sessions. Sponsors don’t have their own special sessions or tables, all of the space and time are reserved for the things the people there want to talk about. People could pay hundreds of dollars to attend another conference, or they could go to Edcamp for free.

Built on principles of connected and participatory learning, Edcamp strives to bring teachers together to talk about the things that matter most to them: their interests, passions, and questions. Teachers who attend Edcamp can choose to lead sessions on those things that matter, with an expectation that the people in the room will work together to build understanding by sharing their own knowledge and questions.

Edcamps are:

  • free
  • non-commercial and conducted with a vendor-free presence
  • hosted by any organization interested in furthering the Edcamp mission
  • made up of sessions that are determined on the day of the event
  • events where anyone who attends can be a presenter
  • reliant on the “law of two feet” that encourages participants to find a session that meets their needs

Hundreds of Edcamp events have been held to date around the world. Find one near you today.

Links of interest

Topics Covered in Todays Podcast

  • History of the Edcamp Movement
  • Starting Your Own Edcamp
  • Edcamp In A Box (Helping You Get Started)
  • The Edcamp Website and Wiki
  • How Can Educators Help Other Educators through Edcamp
  • Edcamp DOE
  • The Future of Edcamp
  • Edcamp Starbucks
  • Edcamp Cheeseburgers

About our Guests

Hadley Ferguson (@Hadleyjf) is the new Executive Director of the Edcamp Foundation. She is one of the Founding members of Edcamp Philly and the Edcamp movement. She helped create the Foundation and has served on its Board since its creation, acting as the Board representative to the Public Relations Committee.She has organized all of the following Edcamps in Philadelphia, up until this year, when the original organizers handed the work onto a new group. She has also helped to organize EdcampIS and Edcamp Online. She is a member of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Mentor Advisory group. She is co-author of Unleashing Student Superpowers: Practical Teaching Strategies for 21st Century Students. She was named a “Teacher of the Future” by NAIS. She is a member of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Mentor Advisory group.

Ferguson holds a BA and an MEd from Smith College. Besides her work in middle school classrooms, Ferguson has served on and chaired many supervisory committees: New Faculty Mentoring, Mission Alignment, Supplemental Programs, Professional Development.

Shannon Montague (@montysays) attended her first edcamp in 2011, and has been hooked ever since! By day, she's the Middle School Dean of Students and Drama Coordinator at an all-girls independent school in Baltimore, Maryland. On Saturdays, she can be found attending or helping the organizing teams at any number of edcamps! She co-founded Edcamp Baltimore, which started in 2012, and has also been on the organizing teams for Edcamp Maryland and Edcamp IS. Shannon is active on Edcamp Foundation committees and has presented on unconference-style professional learning regional and national conferences. Shannon is also a board member of the Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School.

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