• 8:00-8:45 Registration, breakfast, and networking
  • 8:45-9:00 Introduction/explanation
  • 9:00-9:30 Schedule building
  • 9:30-10:20 Session 1
  • 10:30-11:20 Session 2
  • 11:30-12:20 Session 3
  • 12:20-1:30 Lunch
  • 1:30-2:20 Session 4
  • 2:30-3:20 Session 5
  • 3:30-4:30 Group smackdown/prize giveaway
  • 5:00 After party

Session content is negotiated during “schedule building” time. It is malleable—often created with sticky notes or index cards to allow for reorganization, consolidation, merging, and time shifting. It starts with a blank matrix with designated spaces for room numbers (including capacity) across the top, and time slots along the left-hand side, and then participants post topics of interest. Related topics are frequently merged, and facilitators team up. Participants who wish to attend two sessions in the same time slot can move them around so they can attend them all.

While the physical schedule is under construction, Edcamp volunteers collaborate to populate a corresponding Google spreadsheet of the session activity. Quick Response codes with links to the schedule are posted throughout the facility, so that participants can download it to their devices and track its development in real time without having to revisit the board.

Edcamps are guided by a few principles. Gatherings are…

  • Free
  • Non-commercial and conducted with a vendor-free presence
  • Hosted by any organization interested in furthering the Edcamp mission
  • Made up of sessions that are determined on the day of the event
  • Events where anyone who attends can be a presenter
  • Reliant on the “law of two feet” that encourages participants to find a session that meets their needs

Back-channeling—synchronous conversations about learning, usually conducted via Twitter—is essential to Edcamps, because it helps participants practice the “law of two feet.” By following the conference hashtag (#EdcampCT, #EdcampBOS, etc.), participants can monitor other sessions. This empowers participants to literally steer their learning to meet their needs.

Session facilitators make time for dialogue, questioning, and reflection, so an esoteric conversation about inquiry can morph into a concrete, hands-on, question-building workshop. It is truly a democratic process.

While Edcamps are non-commercial and vendor-free, sponsor support enables Edcamp registration to remain cost-free. Participants also might make modest donations, or choose to support the event by purchasing an Edcamp T-shirt. Facilities booking, insurance, breakfast, lunch, and the after party can add up surprisingly fast, so organizers are obliged to reach out to educational organizations for support.