How about a Connected Edcamp?

I have been pondering the possibility of an Edcamp in Tokyo for about a year now, and am extremely excited to see some interest beginning to simmer around town. Not only would it be a fantastic opportunity for much needed teacher-driven collaboration, it would be a lot of fun and a great chance to make new connections and friends.

Personally, I have one issue with the Edcamp model. I think that showing up and filling out cards is an ineffective use of technology. Being known for our technological prowess, I believe that Tokyo should host a ‘Connected Edcamp’:

– utilize technology to maximize relevance and connectivity

– collaborate via social media and shared documents before and after the actual event

Collaborative Chaos

In my imagination, engaged collaborators would be able to begin to group themselves and build their sessions during the weeks before the unconference. The event itself would be a chance to further share and reflect, perhaps even to participate in activities or exercises created during preparation. All agendas for sessions would be developed by the participants, both before and during the event. There should be no rules, only tools.

One tool I have developed is this survey to begin gathering and publishing information from interested educators. I think it will help us to gain an understanding of the possible scale of the event as well as provide information all participants can use to help to organize the event itself. The public responses are published on the Connectivity Page and as a webpage to facilitate self-organization and collaboration.

Also please feel free to use the Edcamp Tokyo Public Google Drive Folder to share documents, resources, and whatever inspires you these days.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “How about a Connected Edcamp?

  1. Hi there,
    Call me old-fashioned, but I actually like the chaotic, organic, unplanned ‘on the day’ paper and postcard format of unconferences!
    To be fair, preemptive tech connections *can* make organisation and planning easier, but I really like how planning the schedule on the day encourages us all to connect and talk to each other; doing this all via Google beforehand takes away the opportunity to socialise and talk and negotiate and connect face-to-face at the start of an unconference, which is the most exciting part!
    Turning up on the day and seeing what people put on the display board, then making a spontaneous decision in the moment brings energy and excitement to the unconference. I think having at all planned prior to the event could possibly take away the ‘human connection’ aspect which is such an integral part of an unconference. It might possibly even turn it into a properly planned and organised CONFERENCE! Oh no! 😉
    But I *do* think using tech to find out what people’s interests are beforehand, and to start thinking of possible workshops to offer, would definitely save time on the day.
    Despite my friendly (and, hopefully, constructive) criticism, I *sincerely* appreciate your initiative!
    Hope to see you soon!
    Brenna 🙂

  2. Hey Bart,
    I’ve been looking at other edcamp websites. EdCamp Inland Empire has an “idea wall” app for suggesting sessions, asking questions, etc.

    http://edcampie.org/idea-wall/

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