On Thursday, August 11, The Philadelphia School played host to Edcamp Delaware Valley Independent Schools (DVIS) . Edcamp is an increasingly popular "unconference" model that promotes educator exchanges of school-related ideas and issues by way of attendee-led debates, presentations, and discussions.
The free event, sponsored primarily by The Philadelphia School, Edu-Tech Academic Solutions, and Air Squirrels, started with a complimentary breakfast and networking hour during which participants proposed breakout session topics. A wide variety of concepts found there way on the "Big Board" (a makeshift matrix of session times and rooms made of painter's tape and large sticky notes as seen both on the wall in MPR and on this Google Doc). They included "Pokémon Go in the Classroom?! Augmented Reality's Impact on Lesson Planning," "Technology & Mindfulness: When to Plug In and When to Unplug," and "Integrating Design Thinking into Your Classroom."
Throughout the day, 63 teachers, administrators, and people passionate about learning met in small groups to share their experiences, best practices, and pedagogical innovations. At lunchtime, participants grabbed pizza outside from the Jules Thin Crust food truck and then rejoined a demo slam to share "one best thing" (typically something revelatory, like a microwaveable, cloud-ready notebook) from their morning. Following the conclusion of the afternoon sessions, door prizes were raffled off to celebrate the day's worth of organic, unconventional, grassroots (and free!) professional development.
Jeffrey Mordan, TPS Director of Technology captured the essence of this event best when he said, "This partnership with Edcamp is truly one that focuses on the school's mission of education and community engagement, and it's framework and execution mirrors our progressive philosophy perfectly."