#EdcampQ8 – it’s a thing

This has been an exciting year for progress at AIS. It seems like we’re starting to be more open-minded to trying to new things. It’s been fun!

First semester the ES did a series of 3 Edcamps during weekly staff meetings. Inspired by the feedback, our MS/HS professional development planning team decided to try out the Edcamp model during our half-day PD. Although I’m not part officially part of the team, I helped on the back end. Kudos to Christina, the rest of the team and the entire AIS staff for being risk-takers! To see more details from a different perspective, check out Christina’s post.

  1. The PD planning team solicited topics and introduced Edcamps:
    1. edcamp1

  2. People who proposed topics were asked if they wanted to facilitate (in the Gform). If they didn’t, the PD planning team asked other staff members to facilitate the proposed topic.
  3. Christina held an Edcamp facilitator ‘orientation’ where she shared information & answered questions.
  4. All staff were asked to sign-up for topics. The facilitators were kept ‘secret.’ This isn’t the pure Edcamp model but the planning team wanted accountability and to keep the numbers low in the sessions. When a topic reached 10-12 participants, it was closed.
  5. Christina assigned topics/facilitators to rooms in the HS for each 45-minute session on a master schedule.
  6. Facilitators were asked to capture the conversation in some way (with a suggestion).
  7. I made a copy of the suggested spreadsheet and then shared it so that anyone with the link could edit. I took notes during our discussion and then emailed it to the participants so that they could add anything they wanted. I also added a link to the master schedule so that other staff members could keep the conversation going.
  8. After our mini-Edcamp, Christina sent out a feedback survey to get an idea of the overall reactions to Edcamp and also to the individual sessions.
  9. Lastly, Christina sent out an email with suggestions to encourage staff to “continue and extend the conversations and learning from Edcamp sessions.”
    1. You know who’s in charge of your development? YOU.edcamp2

We’d love to hear about other grass-roots Edcamp movements! We’re hoping this can become something bigger and we can host an Edcamp for all of Kuwait in April.

In other news, we’re slow chatting this week over on Twitter. Feel free to join in the fun 🙂 Yesterday the ES did another staff meeting Edcamp. This time it was themed – differentiation. Abby facilitated “Differentiating your own PD.” They discussed using Twitter as a professional learning network for both teachers and students. Love what’s happening at #AISQ8 🙂

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Staff meetings turned Edcamps

We have staff meetings every Tuesday after school. The middle and high schools alternate between department meetings & divisional meetings. The elementary has a divisional meeting every week. That’s a lot of meetings.

So Taryn (PYP coordinator) and Heidi (counselor) decided to be risk-takers. They organized Edcamps for the three weeks leading up to winter break. I was pretty excited for the opportunity to participate in something new to our school!

The first two weeks I hosted Mystery Skype sessions. I was pretty excited after the session with Andria’s 3rd graders. Paul & Marisa got up early so our teachers could try to figure out where they were located. Then we asked each other questions about where we live and shared ideas for using Skype in the classroom. I created a shared document so that anyone could add resources & ideas.

This week Abby and I faciliated a discussion about finding happiness in Kuwait. As we were talking I took notes about how and where people found things to do. We again shared the document so that anyone could add to the list we started. Our hope is to start a community approach to Instagram in order to easily share what’s happening. Unfortunately you can’t add hashtags to other people’s posts so we’ll have to keep brainstorming!

Image credit: Taryn

As I was sitting down to write this post about our elementary Edcamps, I realized that Taryn already wrote an awesome post! She does a great job of summing up the entire process. Check it out for more info 🙂 Heidi just wrote another great post about #AISQ8 Edcamps in the ES.

Inspired by our elementary, our middle and high schools will have a two Edcamp sessions during their February professional development day. We’re hoping that in April we can have a school-wide mini-Edcamp and then in late April or early May we can host an Edcamp at our school for Kuwait.