Localizing Learning. The Edcamp Model | Ecology of Education

Localizing Learning. The Edcamp Model


Ever get the feeling that the professional development (pd) you get in your in-service days just doesn’t inspire you? Or drive your practice? You’re not along. A few envisioned something a bit different.

Edcamp founders and organizers Kristen Swanson, Ann Leaness, and Christine Miles began their ASCD12 session with two things:

1. A backchannel discussion board, inviting participants to engage, immediately.

2. The below slide:

Professional development (PD) programs for teachers frequently . . .

Are not learner centered.

Are not knowledge centered.

Are not assessment centered .

Are not community centered.

These contrasting elements — PD of relatively minimal use to educators, and more importantly, for students vs. PD that involves and engages participants — served as an apt starting point for a presentation that inspired hard questions, numerous comments, and no shortage of inspired educators.

Edcamp aspires to solve the problem of out-of-touch sit-n-git PD by giving teachers the opportunity to learn together. Kristen says, “It is flipping PD. It’s anytime, anywhere learning using social media tools.”

Participants arrive on site to find a blank schedule. Attending educators sign up to present their content, creating a schedule on-sight that comes about organically and engages teachers with the concerns and expertise in attendance, effectively individualizing the experience.

The “sessions” are then built around those generated ideas and topics. Participants in the sessions are both leaders and learners. Everyone interested interacts together, building ownership over the content and conversation, and finding in the process that they learn about things that directly impact their practices in the classroom.

The benefits of such a format are many.

  1. Teachers learn together, creating and cultivating and sustaining a culture of learning.
  2. Builds leadership within the ranks of the profession.
  3. Connects educators to discuss, dissect and
  4. Reflects the needs of a community of learners.
  5. Models the behaviors we want to see from teachers in the classroom.
  6. Changes the culture of the school and community.
  7. Building relationships within one’s community.
  8. Localizes the learning to address and meet the needs of the students in that district/school.

Along the way, teachers enhance their practice, not through sit -n- git, but from engaging and collaborating with others, concepts, ideas, and actual pedagogical practices that work. Here is a model that does so. It creates an open safe place, builds the camaraderie among teachers, and cultivates learning as an integral part of a school and community’s culture.

Josh Stumpenhorst, a 6th grade teacher in Chicago, shared, “Even the ‘bad’ teachers in the faculty were engaged when we did #edcamp style pd on campus.”  It’s a model even the staunchest edrefomer could get into.

Want to learn more? Check out this great video below and read Mary Beth Hertz’s “Introduction to Edcamp” on Edutopia and Kristen’s Storify with the presentations slideshow, videos, and discussions.

Image: Philly Teacher


Tags: , , , , , ,

12 Responses to “Localizing Learning. The Edcamp Model”

  1. March 24, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Localizing Learning. The Edcamp Model http://t.co/1MwTBmZj via @jasonflom

  2. March 25, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Thanks for the great session summary Jason. I could certainly see a few skeptics in the audience, but that is a good thing. Cognitive dissonance creates change. Great to connect at #ASCD12. 😉

    • jasonflom
      March 28, 2012 at 11:10 am #

      Thanks, Dr. Swanson. There were skeptics for sure, but I agree, that was a good thing. As the events continue to pick up steam, I have little doubt Edcamp has the potential to affect change and to reframe the debate on professionalizing the teaching profession. I very much look forward to watching (and hopefully participating) in developments in the future. Cheers. 

  3. March 25, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Localizing Learning. The Edcamp Model http://t.co/70IpSlTI #Edchat #ascd12

  4. March 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Kudos @kristenswanson @aleaness @ritzius2 Localized Learning: EdCamp Model http://t.co/q51SrgVw from @JasonFlom #edcampss #edcamp #ASCD12

  5. March 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    Localizing Learning. The Edcamp Model http://t.co/aASX0qoS via @zite

  6. April 20, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    Localizing learning: The edcamp model – http://t.co/bgrVU5hm [ #edcamp #edchat #edreform {via @eco_of_ed}]

  7. April 20, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Interested? We'll be unconferencing at MTA Summer Conf in Aug RT @symphily: Localizing learning: The #edcamp model – http://t.co/R6RZYroh

  8. April 20, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Localizing learning: The edcamp model – http://t.co/bgrVU5hm [ #edcamp #edchat #edreform {via @eco_of_ed}]


  1. [BLOCKED BY STBV] Localizing Learning. The Edcamp Model | Ecology of Education | EdcampFoundation | Scoop.it - March 27, 2012

    […] ecologyofeducation.net – Today, 6:17 AM […]

  2. [BLOCKED BY STBV] Emerging Trend: Grassroots Growth | Ecology of Education - March 27, 2012

    […] can read more about Edcamp here, here, here, here, here, and […]

  3. [BLOCKED BY STBV] Localizing Learning. The Edcamp Model | Ecology of Education | EdcampFoundation | Scoop.it - March 28, 2012

    […] ecologyofeducation.net – Today, 11:22 AM […]

Leave a Reply