Monday, January 16, 2012


On Saturday, January 14th, Delta Secondary was lucky to host EdCamp Delta, an outstanding "unconference" that attracted participants from across the Lower Mainland and around BC. The event even included a video conference with educators in Santiago, Chile who were holding their own EdCamp simultaneously.

I say "lucky" because EdCamp Delta drew some incredibly bright and reflective thinkers to DSS to talk about a shared passion: education and learning.

And get this, it was free!

Over the years, many of us have had the opportunity to attend some amazing conferences, often at a significant expense. But the EdCamp format allows participants to engage in dialogue about what works best for learning with some of the most talented educators anywhere at absolutely zero cost!

Teachers, administrators, parents, trustees and students, in fact, anyone who shares a passion for education and learning attended. The topics ranged, but several themes prevailed, including the importance of relationships, critical thinking, and learner engagement. Technology was a major topic, not as an answer, nor as a problem, but rather as something that can be utilized as an innovative vehicle to help learners engage with content, to create solutions to problems, or to interact with experts and other learners.

The agenda for EdCamp is determined by the participants. Topics are suggested by participants and then voted on. Organizers scramble to map out a schedule for the day. At EdCamp Delta participants were able to select from six different main topics during each hour. Facilitators stepped forward to move the conversation along by posing a question, sharing a video, or describing a personal challenge. Participants contributed to Google docs that highlighted key ideas generated during the conversation. In short, the format was entirely participant driven, with students, parents, teachers, and administrators contributing to the rich sharing of ideas. Click here to see a slideshow about how an Edcamp works:
courtesy of David Wees:

What made EdCamp Delta even more special was that it included amazing contributions from DSS students. Their insight and passion for learning was evident and clearly valued by the unconference participants. We can all be proud of the incredible students we have at DSS and their teacher leaders.

You can review the conversation and participate in the continued dialogue by clicking here. Simply click on a session to see a Google Doc that summarizes the discussion.

I've used this space before to talk about the rich professional dialogue that social media affords. EdCamp Delta allowed participants to connect face to face with some outstanding educators. And through the magic of social media, that dialogue continues. I encourage you to follow on Twitter (I do):

Bruce Beairsto @bbeairsto
Neil Stephenson @neilstephenson
Brad Ovenell-Carter @Braddo
David Wees @davidwees
Johnny Bevacqua @johnnybevacqua
Aaron Akune @aakune
Jason Leslie @jleslie1
Brooke Moore @bmooreintheloop
Blair Miller @millerblair
John Tyler @mrjtyler
Jonathan Kung @coolpuddytat

Thanks again to the organizers of EdCamp Delta (@MarkDouangchanh, @aakune, @ngg37, @coolpuddytat) and to everyone who engaged in the discussion. It's both inspiring and motivating to be able to be able to share a passion for learning with so many committed learners.

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