EdCamp is a grassroots movement of do-it-yourself professional development "un-conferences" that originated in Philadelphia in November 2010. In just a year and a half the phenomenon has gained serious momentum across the country and now around the globe.
This teacher-driven, bottom-up approach to professional development has reinvigorated educators' passions for learning by creating an environment that, according to participants, rewards their curiosity, allows them to explore their passions, and values their experience and knowledge.
T.H.E. Journal Contributing Editor Jennifer Demski recently talked with four EdCamp participants to find out how social media and web 2.0 tools have fanned the flames of this movement and why teachers are so eager for a professional development experience that they themselves create.
Kristen Swanson is an adjunct professor at DeSales University and was the technology director ofSpringfield Township School District in Oreland, PA, when she cofounded the first EdCamp in Philadelphia in November 2010 with Dan Callahan, K-5 technology specialist at Burlington Public Schools in Burlington, MA. Callahan also is the organizer of EdCamp Boston and president of theEdCamp Foundation. Bill Selak, organizer of EdCamp OCLA (Orange and Los Angeles counties, CA), teaches music to elementary school students in the Covina-Valley Unified School District in Covina, CA, and educational technology to college students at Azusa Pacific University. Finally, Karen Blumberg, organizer of EdCamp NYC, is the technology specialist at The School at Columbia University, an independent K-8 school in New York City.