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EdCamp; Chicago Style

When it comes to learning, sharing, and connecting with communities and networks, few activities can match the energy and effectiveness of EdCamp. From all accounts EdCamp Chicago 2014 was a rousing success. With 260 educators present, and countless others following the sessions on Twitter, it proved to be an enjoyable day of personalized professional development.

I had the pleasure of co-organizing and co-hosting the event that took place Saturday May 10th, at Palatine High School. My original intent of this post was to provide advice on how to host an EdCamp, but I soon discovered the topic has been effectively documented, several times. Instead, I am reinforcing the message that EdCamps provide awesome opportunities for learning, personal networking, and professional development. Here are a few terrific resources for gaining a better understanding of what EdCamp is, as well as, how to effectively host an EdCamp.

Resources for Hosting an EdCamp - Edutopia, Kristen Swanson

So You Want to Host an EdCamp - John Schinker

Here are essential pieces that need to be accounted for in order to host a successful EdCamp
  1. Secure a facility with adequate parking, enough breakout areas, and rock-solid wi-fi.
  2. Creatively acquire sponsor support to pay for food, beverages, supplies, and door prizes.
  3. Leverage the energies of enthusiastic faculty, staff, and student volunteers to help with set-up, hosting, and clean-up.
  4. Leverage the experience of EdCamp veterans to help build out sessions, organize support materials, and keep the day on schedule.
  5. Use social media, such as Twitter, to share the learning with a wider, authentic audience.

"Why EdCamp? - because it is a fun, free, non-commercial, self-directed learning experience for educators."
- Kristen Swanson

"Why #EdCamp is so Awesome" - Steven Anderson

"I am MIND-BLOWN...this was a life changing day!"

Having been a participant, co-organizer, and host of EdCamp, it is easy to see why EdCamps are quickly becoming one of the most enjoyable and popular professional development opportunities that educators can experience. Here is a schedule for upcoming EdCamp events. See for yourself why EdCamps are so awesome!

** Special thanks to the following campers that helped make EdCamp Chicago 2014 a success**
Shawn McCusker, Joy Kirr, Ben Hartman, Stephanie Sukow, Ben Kuhlman, Sean Fisher-Rhode, Jen Krause, Alex Larson, Kathy Petko, Adrienne Stewart, Keith Sorensen, Theresa Christensen, Lynn Swanson, Gary Steiger, Mike Alther, Erika Varela, Paul Solarz, Tony Ganas, and Amanda Ganas

Related Resources

EdCamp Foundation

EdCamp Chicago 2014 - Organizer Checklist, EdCamp Foundation

EdCamp Chicago 2014 - Session Schedule, Shawn McCusker

EdCamp Chicago 2014 - Participant Evaluation Responses

EdCamp Chicago 2014 - Photo Gallery


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