December 3, 2012 by Brad Currie
Edcamp NJ was a great way to finish off an amazing year of innovative professional development for educators near and far. The entire event from start to finish provided ample opportunities for teachers and administrators to showcase innovative ideas that in turn will impact the success of students. Thanks to the tireless work of the Edcamp NJ organizing committee, participants were able to experience a first class learning environment both in person and online. Various PLN stars from across the country, including Jerry Blumengarten, Tom Whitby, Principal El and Dave Burgess contributed to the event in person and via Google Hangout. The last Edcamp of the year closed with a fitting “clap out” for participants who took time out of their busy holiday schedules to better themselves as educators.
The unconference kicked off with a live #satchat that focused on the topic of “What’s Best for Kids.” The East Coast #satchat crew was joined by west coast moderator Shelley Burgess via Google Hangout. Dave Burgess, teacher and author of “Teach Like a Pirate” enlightened the crowd with his insight on putting your best creative foot forward when trying to reach students during class. The momentum continued throughout the day as presentations touched upon important topics such as storytelling, parental involvement, classroom websites, PLN expansion, flipping the faculty meeting, cell phone integration and body language to name a few. The enthusiasm displayed by attendees after leaving the conversational sessions throughout the day was awe inspiring.
There is no doubt that Edcamp NJ exceeded everyone’s expectations. From the support of sponsors to the gracious hosts at Linwood Middle School, it was an unbelievable event. It is very clear that now more than ever educators have a professional development void that can be filled with a quick visit to a nearby Edcamp. There is no other place in the world where you an educator can receive timely, relevant, innovative and free PD. The Edcamp model in New Jersey and around the world for that matter, is here to stay and leave its mark on education. Do yourself a favor and make a commitment in 2013 to attend an Edcamp at a site near you. It will change your professional life for the better.