What is Edcamp?
Edcamps are composed of anyone who shares a vested interest in learning about learning and growing professionally. Unlike other conferences, an edcamp is considered to be an unconference because it does not include a keynote speaker, the day is planned by the attendees, and the cost of attending is free. If you want to share your ideas, sign up to speak. You want to hear the ideas of others being shared, sign up to attend a session. For more detailed information about edcamp, please visit our website at http://edcamphouston.wikispaces.com
Focus of Edcamp
One frequently asked question is “Is Edcamp only focused on ed tech or technology integration?” The answer is “no.” Edcamp is focused on learning about learning. Most Edcamps do have many participant driven sessions around technology, but YOU decide the session so you can suggest sessions on topics as wide ranging as ESL strategies, parent engagement, project-based or inquiry learning, leadership for innovation, creative/innovative classroom design, etc.
Who can attend Edcamp Houston?
Everyone. Yes - we do mean everyone! We invite all educators, educational leaders, students, AND parents. We welcome and eagerly invite anyone who wants to spend the day talking with others about learning and how to improve all learning environments. If you are an educator interested in attending, select a student and a parent who might be interested and invite them to come along with you. Invite your principal as well!
Basic Rules of Edcamp
To give you a better idea of how Edcamp works, we wanted to share the basic rules that guide the day. Edcamps are based on the BarCamp model, and the BarCamp model is based on what is referred to as “Open Space Technology Workshops” where the participants design and drive the day. We provide more detailed information on the Edcamp Houston wiki (see link above), but here are the basic “rules” of OST that are the foundation of BarCamp and Edcamps:
The Rule of Two Feet
- If people find themselves in situations where they are neither learning nor contributing, they are responsible for moving to another place -- using their two feet to find a place where their participation is more meaningful.
Whoever comes are the right people
- This reinforces the wisdom to achieve solutions is present in the room.
Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
- This keeps the attention on the best possible effort in the present, instead of wondering endlessly about what should or could have been done.
Whenever it starts is the right time
- This reminds people that creativity cannot be controlled.
When it is over, it is over
- This encourages people to continue their discussion so long as there is energy for it. This may result in a short session not filling the entire time allotted, or it may result in a session longer than the time allotted.
BarCamp (and Edcamps) also include the following guidelines which are very loosely based on Fight Club rules:
- 1st Rule: You do talk about BarCamp.
- 2nd Rule: You do blog about BarCamp.
- 3rd Rule: If you want to present, you must write your topic and name in a presentation slot.
- 4th Rule: Only three word intros.
- 5th Rule: As many presentations at a time as facilities allow for.
- 6th Rule: No pre-scheduled presentations, no tourists.
- 7th Rule: Presentations will go on as long as they have to or until they run into another presentation slot.
- 8th Rule: If this is your first time at BarCamp, you HAVE to present. (Ok, you don't really HAVE to, but try to find someone to present with, or at least ask questions and be an interactive participant.)
This day is all about what you want to discuss. The sessions will begin around 9:00 a.m. but those who are interested in proposing session topics/ideas and interested in helping to plan out the day should arrive to participate in the organization activity that will happen between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. We will have a light breakfast available between 8:00 - 9:00.
We believe there will be plenty of parking, but we do encourage carpooling if you are able to do so.
Media & Documentation of Event
Please be advised that there will be photos and video taken during the event for documentation purposes and we may select a few sessions to broadcast via live-streaming during the day. If you prefer to not be in any of this media, please contact one of the organizers to opt out of this. You will also be able to inform us of your preference to opt out when you check-in at registration on the morning of the event.
You have permission to document the event on your own as well and we encourage you to tweet during the day to share thoughts, new things you are learning, and photos that you might take throughout the day.
Who are the organizers?
The organizers are a self-selected group of volunteer educators from across the Houston area. We are:
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions!