Often educators hear from non-educators that their job must be really easy because they have the summers and holidays off and are done with work at 3:00. Little do they know that the majority educators live and breathe their occupation, especially on weekends. Take for example this past Saturday at EdCampNJ 2014. Over 400, yes 400 educators from all walks of life filled the classrooms of Linwood Middle School in North Brunswick, NJ. Pretty remarkable for a Saturday on the eve of Thanksgiving. What else is pretty remarkable? That about 150 of the 400 participants showed up for #Satchat Live at 7:30 in the morning, a whole 90 minutes before the actual conference started.
There were so many great sessions on makerspaces, student body language, school branding, Google Apps, special education, formative assessments, blogging, student engagement, and web applications to name a few. The entire conference was organized by a group of dedicated educators consisting of teachers, support staff, supervisors, directors, principals, and superintendents. The day ended with a SmackDown which had participants come up to the big screen and share innovative web tools that they use to impact student success.
The sharing, networking, collaborating, and reflection that took place at EdCampNJ 2014 was incredible. It's a true example of what education is all about. The acronyms that often consume our lives were left at the front door. The focus instead was on innovation and finding ways to promote the success of all students. As an added bonus, the EdCamp USA Foundation made a very special announcement in naming Hadley Ferguson Executive Director. This is a clear indicator that the EdCamp movement is here to stay and shake up the professional development workd. A big thanks goes to all of the sponsors that provided the resources necessary to make this special day a reality.
Brad Currie is the author of All Hands on Deck: Tools for Connecting Educators, Parents, and Communities. He is one of the founding partners of Evolving Educators LLC. Brad is a 2014 ASCD Emerging Leader and Bammy Award Finalist. He currently serves as a K-8 Supervisor of Instruction and Middle School Vice Principal for the Chester School District in Chester, NJ. Learn more about Brad by following him on Twitter @bradmcurrie or visiting his website at www.bradcurrie.net.