When people attend professional conferences, they often remark that the best parts are the spaces between the sessions. When professionals have the opportunity to informally interact with one another, they make connections and collaborate on the things that are important to them.
EdCamp takes the best parts of the conference — the spaces between the sessions — and makes that the whole conference.
The “Unconference” Experience
Bring your own agenda. You’re going to decide the topics for the day. In the morning, we’ll have a big board with a blank schedule for the day. If you’re interested in facilitating a session, put your topic on the board. As more things are added, attendees can indicate the topics they’re most interested in. Those with the most votes will be added to the schedule.
After a brief welcome, the day consists of four breakout sessions that are chosen and facilitated by the attendees. These might include discussions about particular issues, brainstorming sessions to identify solutions to a common problem, or collaborative sessions to share resources and ideas. All of the sessions will be participatory. While the facilitator may have some resources to share, the contributions of all attendees will make this a truly valuable experience for everyone.
To get a better feel for how an EdCamp is different from a traditional conference, check out this video, produced by True Life Media for EdCamp Philly. The EdCamp movement started in Philadelphia in 2010. Since then, successful EdCamp events have been held in dozens of cities throughout the world.