Have you ever been in a professional learning (PL) experience where you don’t keep looking at the time, checking Facebook, or texting people? I have! I spend several Saturdays a year at an Edcamp, an unconference-style professional development (PD) for all educators. You might be wondering why I would give up a Saturday to attend an Edcamp, so here are 10 reasons why you will love Edcamps as much as I do.

1. You are with rockstar educators from all walks of life. The energy at an Edcamp is electric! Rooms are buzzing with passionate people ready to learn to support students and make positive change in schools.

2. It is the perfect place to build your professional learning network (PLN). You will meet many of your Twitter connections face to face and encounter new faces to connect with on Twitter. Edcamps build relationships that last long after the Saturday event. I now have plenty of people to reach out to when I do not know the answer to something.

3. There is no schedule with EdCamps. The participants build the schedule, so the topics are what they want to discuss—not topics chosen by those running the event.

10 reasons why you'll love #edcamp as much as I do #PD #PL #PLN

4. You can create a topic to discuss or simply join a conversation. There are no formal presentations. It is a time for people to sit and chat like you are at a campfire, discussing best practices and questions you might have.

About the Author:

Rayna Freedman is a fifth-grade teacher at the Jordan/Jackson Elementary School in Mansfield, Mass. She has taught grades 3-5 and is an ITS. She is president elect of MassCUE and has been presenting at annual conferences since 2010. Freedman is a BrainPOP certified educator, Flipgrid Ambassador, Fablevision Ambassador, and advocate for teaching digital citizenship in the classroom. She serves on the Massachusetts DESE Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards Panel. She can be found on Twitter @rlfreedm.


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