You might be wondering why an event hosted by Yokohama International School is called Edcamp Tokyo. It’s fair question. We do realize Yokohama isn’t actually in Tokyo.
This sort of geographically ambitious self-identification isn’t unprecedented. After all, if you want to go to Tokyo Disneyland, you’ll need to catch the train to Chiba. Sports fans are familiar with this phenomenon. Want to watch the New York Giants play American football? Head to the East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Angels baseball franchise once tried to split the difference by calling themselves the “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim”.
“Edcamp Tokyo of Yokohama?” It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue…
There are two explanations for the seeming incongruity between name and place. The first explanation is straightforward; the second is more aspirational.
The simple explanation is that the name preceded the location. We, the organizers, a group of educators based in Tokyo and Yokohama, wanted to have an Edcamp. We called the event we were envisioning Edcamp Tokyo. When YIS offered to host, we were elated. The combination of facilities and food that YIS has to offer is perfect for this event.
Edcamp and Tokyo belong together. After all, Edcamps are a rapidly growing movement in education, a movement that is changing the way teachers become better teachers. Edcamps combine old and new by using social networks and digital media to bring teachers together in real world, face-to-face conversation. Edcamps represent a shift towards teacher to teacher learning, a shift that runs parallel to changes that are happening both in classrooms, where students are assuming greater responsibility for their learning, and in society, where self-directed learning across a lifetime is becoming the norm.
Tokyo is, of course, one of the world’s great metropolises, a city greater than the its boundaries, as well as a pulsing hub of education. Every day, millions of people in and around Tokyo are learning and teaching in public and private schools, preschools, international schools, universities, trade schools, tutoring centers, language schools, conservatories. Tokyo is place of constant, insatiable learning.
Edcamp. Tokyo. A perfect combination. Are you in?