Friday, August 15, 2014

Ed Camp - PD done differently

So Wednesday I went to Ed Camp for professional development in Oshkosh, WI -- a one day "un-conference" where all the sessions were figured out at the beginning of the day - no experts, all presentations by the participants.  A networking and sharing day.  As a rookie it was hard to follow at first - but as we gathered in one large group things started taking shape.  About 150 of us received instructions and started setting the sessions for the day.

So the sessions were a blank grid - 20 rooms - 4 sessions during the day -- so 80 blanks to fill in.  The plan seemed too big to work at first - but it was well-thought out and UW-Oshkosh Sage Hall was great.  They handed out post it notes and people wrote what they wanted to learn or what they could show.  They filled in the grid and the session titles into a google doc.  Then what would ensued was at the will of the people in the room.

For me personally it meant two good sessions and two that just did not work.  Sometimes ideas or problems were posed for a session and if no one knew the answer or an expert did not come the session would not flow well.   And that might be too polite - the session really just would not go -- the problem or open-ended idea really would die a death (like a fish on land flapping around).

So I picked up some flipping and homework ideas - but not 100% sure how to apply into my class.  So a okay event but the drive made it too little return for the hours invested, 5 hours of driving for me that day.  I need more items to put in the classroom things from my PD, more structure in the deep thinking sessions.  If it were closer and had just a few "bedrock" sessions  (Bedrock meaning having some experts to help, some session topics set prior to the day for attendees to "pre-reflect" on)  I think it would fit me better - but I also know it worked for some - just not me.

Just like a real classroom - everyone needs something different.