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Edcamps: New Age Professional Development for Teachers in India

Edcamps, an educator driven initiative are informal, participatory, one day event organized by educators or facilitators for themselves to discuss about their needs and demands.

Apparently, the main emphasis is given on discussing about education related matters by attendees for professional development.

Edcamps are a loosely structured informal meet ups where mostly organizers arrange in morning sessions which seems to be suitable for everyone to arrive at the venue on the scheduled slot. It is seen that teachers, scholars or educators constantly seek for professional development as an important source towards increasing the quality of teaching, learning and schools. Therefore, these types of professional gatherings would lead to exchange of ideas for improvement and enhancement of education.

The new educational format entered into the learning environment in 2010 for the first time and after five years 925 unconferences of such type happened all around the globe. Teachers and schools should make themselves aware of the fact that it is free of cost and happen outside the official school systems which basically involves teacher preparation evolvement.

What Makes Edcamps Distinctive?

Indeed, edcamps are a great platform for the like-minded facilitators with an intent to modify the incumbent education system. It usually occurs on Saturdays and they fully utilize the existing principles of Open Space Technology (OST). The OST is structured in a way which allows interested participants to self-organize, gather and solve problems.

There were many conferences conducted in different countries prior to edcamps which was basically technology-driven like Barcamps and Teachmeets and it got a great acceptance in United Kingdoms. Edcamps are non-profit organisation which states to bring teachers together to discuss about what matters to them the most.

Each participant is supposed to define the topics of their interest during the initial phase of brainstorming ideas for discussion.

It is also important to consider the fact that these topics serve the interest of the audience present there. Afterwards, the event organizer allots time slot and classroom to each participant where instead of giving lectures or presentations, these are meant to be discussion-based and the participants are expected to share knowledge and ideas with each other.

While most camps have participants, who have selected topics on their own but some camps have events focussed on arts integration or English language learners. Edcamps have been held in around 22 countries till now and a number of virtual ed-camps have also occurred in google documents, twitter and other technologies by utilising video-conferencing.

There are various procedures to attend and organize edcamp events and are as follows?

Steps to attend an Event:

Interested participants can check ed-camp wiki for the complete list of events. Get yourself registered for the event by visiting the page and register for free tickets.

Steps to organize event:

1.Find people who are interested to run an event with you

2. reach out to the organizers who have conducted other edcamp events to get an idea about the experience that they had.

3.find a venue and schedule a time. Many places have donated space to conduct edcamp events.

4.look out for sponsors for funding the event. You can also collect money from your locality.

5. create a website, logo or a page in social media about your event. This would create awareness among people. Use ticketleap or Eventbrite to distribute free tickets

and registration.

6. Arrange 5-10 volunteers to get a help in registration and other work.

Mounting of Edcamps

The growth of edcamps is going on a very fast pace in countries such as Sweden, Ontario, British Columbia, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, Belgium, Abu Dhabi, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ukraine and Chile.

In 2011, 51 edcamps were held; in 2012, 127 were held and in 2013, 190 were conducted which shows its rise. Some events mainly focussed on inculcation of new teaching methods and some were organised by high school students for local instructors.

The edcamp wikispace has more than 1,200 organising members and the organizing team of edcamp has created Edcamp Foundation in December 2011 to help teachers and other stakeholders in conducting events.

The rate at which we focus on development of student -oriented programs in schools, it is equally important to facilitate teacher-driven programs to produce well trained teachers. They are the predominant factors responsible for moulding a child’s future which is why edcamps are to be given immense attention

Vinod Kakumanu

Vinod Kakumanu

Founder & Consultant - School Serv

Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.

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