For the past three years, the company that I co-founded, EdTechTeacher, has sponsored Edcamp Boston, one of the best professional development opportunities in New England and part of the Edcamp movement, which has spawned over 250 similar educator-organized events. Our contribution mostly goes towards lunch, t-shirts, and some of the other logistics so that the event can be completely free for educators.
Edcamp Boston organizers Dan Callahan and Tracy Sockalosky asked me to write a short piece about why Tom Daccord and our EdTechTeacher colleagues support Edcamps. An excerpt is below, and the full post is available at the Edcamp Boston blog. Looking forward to a great event!
If you run a professional development consulting firm, here is a troubling fact: when interviewed, teachers report that the number one influence on their teaching practice is other teachers. That means that if you really want to make substantial improvements in the experience of students in classrooms, you have to help teachers have meaningful conversations about pedagogy with one another. If you are an external consultant, you can't do that work alone. You have to build partnerships with teacher leaders that will carry forward the work that you start together. Consultants like EdTechTeacher can kickstart, but ultimately communities of teachers need to lead the way to better practice....
We support Edcamp Boston because we respect, personally and professionally, the leaders of the event. We support Edcamp Boston because many of the participants have been participants in our own workshops and events, and we're excited to support their growth. We support Edcamp Boston because the Edcamp movement represents a hopeful vision for the future of education and teacher professional development.... If people in the Edcamp community are creating more vibrant learning opportunities for educators, we think that can only do good things for our own mission.
So to all the educators gathering at Edcamp Boston on May 4, we hope you have a wonderful day of learning, and hats off to you for investing your time in supporting your colleagues and improving teaching and learning for your students.