Pittsburgh, home to the Remake Learning initiative, will host it’s first edcampPGH Saturday, October 5th. Edcamps have been spreading through the country remaking professional development for educators.

This is a great opportunity for those interested in learning and education to come together to connect, support one another, and share their wisdom.

edWhat?

Edcamp originated in Philadelphia in 2010, and has since spread over hundreds of cities. Edcamps are unconferences, which mean they are run by attendees with sessions that are determined the day of the event. Conversations are promoted over presentations, and anyone who attends can lead a session. Edcamps are free to attend with a non-commercial/vendor presence.  Participants are encouraged to share their ideas.

Perhaps the most revolutionary aspect of edcamps is the “law of two feet,” which encourages participants to seek conversations that meet their needs. Attendees should leave sessions that do not meet their needs. The flexibility to leave a session that one doesn’t find meaningful and go find something worthwhile is refreshing.

 

Photo: Norton Gusky

Photo: Norton Gusky

Aileen Owens, Director of Technology and Innovation at South Fayette School District, working with Lisa Braun from the Children’s Museum, at Makey Makey workshop.

The first edcampPGH

The inaugural edcampPGH will be at City Charter High School located in downtown Pittsburgh at 201 Stanwix Street. The goal of edcampPGH is to foster conversations that improve learning opportunities and support ideas for deeper community connections in and out of traditional school settings.

We’ll start the day at 8:30am with sign in and a free breakfast from Zeke’s, sponsored by the South West Regional PAECT. We’ll mingle and share topics we’d like to learn about , and also discuss ideas we would be willing to present.

Photo: Kevin Jarrett (Flickr)

Photo: Kevin Jarrett (Flickr)

We will ask attendees to write down on post-its what they want to learn more about

Through this process, the day’s schedule will be created.

Photo: Sedson (Flickr)

Photo: Sedson (Flickr)

This is how sessions can be displayed at edcamps

Around 9:30 we’ll kick off the event with a welcoming note and then sessions will begin!  Because sessions are decided the day of, it is difficult to predict topics. Here you can see what other edcamps have done in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia.

At noon, lunch will be provided by Marty’s Market sponsored by the Sprout Fund. During the lunch period the innovation lounge will be open. This is a large room where innovative projects in our region will be highlighted, and attendees will have the chance to connect with with these exciting opportunities.  After lunch we will have two more sessions and wrap up with a brief closing around 3:30pm.

The organizing team hopes this becomes a recurring event. There are already plans in the works for Ellis School to host a Spring edcampPGH.

Photo: Norton Gusky

Photo: Norton Gusky

Teachers from around Western Pennsylvania at STEAM Institute, South Fayette SD, July 2014

Exciting! What should I do now?

Start by registering today!

Next, you can help us spread the word. Anyone interested in improving learning opportunities for youth in invited. This includes educators and administrators in a variety of schools such as Pittsburgh area public schools/districts, private schools, and universities (for professors of various disciplines and future educators.) We also want to connect with out of school programs as well as community organizations. It is the collaborative and community-minded intention of the edcampPGH planning committee to bring all voices that are concerned about learning to the table.

Come with an idea of some things you want to learn/discussion. We will want your input to make this a meaningful day for you!

Are you doing something that you’re passionate about? Think about leading a session! Remember, these are not formal presentations, just think of something to share that will get a conversation started.

Photo: Norton Gusky

Photo: Norton Gusky

Aaron Sams presenting at Using Classroom Classroom Salon to Flip Learning workshop at Carnegie Mellon University

For more information go to www.edcampPGH.com. EdcampPGH will focus on enhancing learning opportunities. The event will increase communication among the many educators who impact the lives of young people in the region. The event will also allow educators to discover new strategies and techniques to improve learning in and out of the classroom. This type of event typically attracts teachers and other community members who are interested in remaking learning.