What I will do is offer you some insight from one of my former high school teachers that attended an Edcamp this last weekend. I was also fortunate to call this teacher a colleague for eleven years and to tell you the truth, I was surprised to see him in attendance at #edcampcentralNE. After all, what could a veteran teacher with 25+ years of experience gain from this new thing they call an Edcamp?
At the conclusion of our Edcamp the teacher approached me and said, "I have to tell you something, but I don't want to hurt your feelings." My immediate thought was that he wasn't satisfied after attending his first "unconference." I was wrong.
He proceeded to tell me that the state technology conference that he (and his entire school staff) attended the week before paled in comparison to what he was taking away from #edcampcentralNE. I happen to be a board member that plans our state conferences and I informed him that I took no offense. His comment piqued my curiosity, so I asked him why he felt that way. He proceeded to tell me that he felt that his Edcamp experience was more "personal" and that people "listened" and had "conversations" that were relevant. As an organizer of Edcamp Central Nebraska, I just smiled. That teacher had just figured out what EdCamps ARE all about!
Upon returning to school last Monday my former teacher/colleague and newfound Edcamp follower sent the following email to his staff:
"Those of you who missed the tech/teaching meeting in GI last Saturday just flat out missed the boat. I cannot remember ever going to sessions that were so informative and where the people were so able and eager to help (even tech-dinosaurs like me).
BTW - there is a similar, though larger get together in Omaha in March. We should put together a crew and go."
Powerful, indeed! Now, can you give me a good reason why you haven't signed up for an Edcamp near you?