This past weekend, I took the opportunity to attend Edcamp Leadership BC. It was held at Delta Secondary and special thanks go out to @aakune and his team of fellow educators and students for putting on a great event. On a side note, it was also a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with members in our PLN’s.
If you haven’t been to an Edcamp before, there are always a large number of interesting and/or provocative discussion topics. There are so many fascinating topics that I cannot physically attend all the sessions due to overlaps in the timetable.
The thing I like the most about the Edcamp movement is that everyone in attendance has an equal voice and is invited to share their ideas and opinions as there are no keynote speakers. The person who steps up to lead the discussion, or ask a question, only gets the first 15 minutes to present and the rest of the hour is reserved for discussion from the other participants.
The unique thing about this particular Edcamp over others was the number of student voices that were in attendance. In one session I attended, called “Reaching Vulnerable Youth and Their Parents”, there were 5 students. It was a small group and they made up 50% of it. Another session that I unfortunately wasn’t able to attend, was led by two students. A third session I attended later in the day had 25 students. I would like to note that the overall event had approximately 200 people in attendance and the stakeholders ranged from students to superintendents. All are interested in education and were ready to contribute as well as consider each others’ ideas.
In an event such as this, multiple perspectives can gather, contribute, and truly listen and so much can be accomplished. It helps me to really hone in on my thoughts because I have more angles and perspectives to consider. @aakune stated, “We need to surround ourselves with opposing ideas in order to create a richer context.” I completely agree.
Now some might say that the Edcamp Leadership BC attendees are an atypical group and there is a lot of truth to it. It takes a certain kind of person to attend a free Pro-D event on a Saturday and travel from all over BC (and as far as Ontario) at their own expense for an organically derived agenda. (Kudos to @aakune and Delta Secondary’s Culinary Arts Program for the free lunch though!) However, there were still many respectful disagreements that were useful for those engaged in the disagreement, and those around them, to critically consider what was being said in the room and on the Twitterverse. And despite the atypical group that could be thought of as a congenial collective, the shift to a collaborative frame-of-mind was clearly made and the Edcamp event truly was a multi-perspective platform that increased the steepness of the learning curve for everyone involved.