Teachers and staff in Cherokee County School District attended the first EdCamp Cherokee. EdCamp is a grassroots effort of professional development for teachers by teachers. It adopts the unconference format in which participants are allowed to pick and choose from a variety of topics or opportunities that they would like to learn or share about. Sessions are not pre-planned or pre-assigned as in traditional conference formats. Debbie Childress, Supervisor of Instructional Technology for the district, shared that EdCamp Cherokee focused on technology integration and 128 staff members came out for this event on a voluntary basis.
The EdCamp movement has been present in education around the world, but on June 2nd it came to the Cherokee County School District. The staff requested this powerful form of professional development after learning about it through social media and through the Georgia Educational Technology Conference (GaETC).
With five time slots offered throughout the day, participants were able to attend sessions covering a total of 22 topics. These topics included student driven portfolios with Seesaw, digital citizenship, Google Lit trips, green screen in the classroom, and more! Visiting the backchannel of EdCamp Cherokee using the #edcampcherokee hashtag on Twitter will allow for a peek into what teachers and staff shared throughout the day. Teachers and staff raved about their professional learning from the day, and are anticipating the next teacher and staff driven professional development opportunity with the unconference format.
Needless to say, the first EdCamp Cherokee was a success. Feedback from EdCamp Cherokee participants was overwhelmingly positive, and with the success of this year’s EdCamp, another one is already in the beginning stages for 2016. Find out more about EdCamp through the EdCamp Foundation. If you would like additional information or are interested in donating to help support the local 2016 EdCamp Cherokee, contact Debbie Childress at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images provided by Debbie Childress