It’s funny, in our new iFormBuilder headquarters, there are several empty offices– because everyone prefers working in our main central area. Why? Some think that makes it easier to pick on each other, or possibly avoid being left behind when we go to try the lunch special at Generous George’s Pizza Parlor. Really, it’s about communication.
If someone has an idea to improve our offline data collection app, there is no meeting planned; they simply walk across the office floor, and start talking. Because that’s how we roll. And that’s why Ed Camps sound like so much fun to us. Its not about Big Data, which everyone is talking about, but Big (and little) Ideas to make education better.
It’s no secret that iFormBuilder Mobile Data Collection platform, has multiple uses in education, from student engagement monitoring, to health and safety inspections in schools. Peer reviewers can visit classrooms, observe classes in session, and in realtime, share teaching quality with administrators and the teachers themselves. We are working with several school systems across the US, like the City Heights Educational Collaborative in California, and the eagerness to grow and share in helping expand minds is staggering. And awesome.
But what about when teachers just need to share info face-to-face? That’s what Ed Camps are all about.
From the Ed Camp website:
Vision: Promoting organic, participant-driven professional development for K-12 educators worldwide.
Mission: To support free edcamp unconferences for educators to exchange ideas and learn together. Edcamps are:
- non-commercial and conducted with a vendor-free presence
- hosted by any organization interested in furthering the edcamp mission
- made up of sessions that are determined on the day of the event
- events where anyone who attends can be a presenter
- reliant on the “law of two feet” that encourages participants to find a session that meets their needs
Built on principles of connected and participatory learning, Edcamp strives to bring teachers together to talk about the things that matter most to them: their interests, passions, and questions. Teachers who attend Edcamp can choose to lead sessions on those things that matter, with an expectation that the people in the room will work together to build understanding by sharing their own knowledge and questions.
You can learn more about these innovative educational forums at http://edcamp.org