EdCamp and Why Teachers Should Care
By William Jackson, M.Edu
Duval County Public School Teacher
and Adjunct with Edward Waters College
#EdCamp Speaker and Motivator
#edcamporange Welcomes @wmjackson
The diversity of educational initiatives that influence student
academic learning aids students in choosing future career paths
as student’s transition through the educational process. This
process can be challenging for students, parents and even teachers.
Teachers need professional development that addresses their
needs collectively and is relevant to their individual classrooms.
EdCamps do this and more, they bring together educators that
want the best for all their students, from high tech classrooms to
those that are low tech or no tech. Everyone attending
EdCamps are respected for their dedication to a profession that
influences the world. #EdCampGlobal
The incorporation of technology will not stop, in fact it is
increasing and curriculum’s are constantly changing because of
influences sometimes not related to education or learning. Politics,
global commerce, societal issues and other challenges interfere
and even contribute to learning of students and teaching by teachers.
Students are learning to function in a global environment of
competition, growing human capital, cultural diversity, religious
influences and societal lifestyle changes of families. Teachers are
seeing transformative change in teaching strategies and differential
instruction as they work to reach children of multiple diversities.
Integration of technology is changing how students will function in
the world and preparing them to solve problems even before they
are created, incorporating higher order and critical thinking skills.
Teachers bring balance to all these issues.
Changes are being made from teacher centered instruction to
student centered learning, this learning involves increased
educational exposure to technology and educational strategies
that do not replace educators, but is used as a supplement to teaching.
“Do not allow technology to make you fearful.” @wmjackson
My first EdCamp was a very cool experience because of the
connections with “real” educational peers, teachers in the
classroom, not vendors or those who wish they were in our noble
profession, but want to “tell” teachers how to teach. Teachers that
have a united mission to teach, willing to sacrifice a weekend to
gain new insights and strategies to teach all students. Sharing
not just “Best Practices, but Awesome Practices” to ensure that
their students make those connections for “light bulb moments”
when they get the “big picture” or the great “aha” moments.
Education does not have picture perfect environments complete
with state of the art hardware and software and students that are
“perfect.” We live in an imperfect world where tech does not always
work, students do not all learn the same, and curriculum’s have
flaws. Teachers adapt, make modifications and make
learning relevant. Teachers see the “big picture” that they are
important to the world because they have young lives in their
hands that will influence the world, and we will see some if only
one or two on television with business suits, medical scrubs,
flight suits, and others tools of their trades.
Teachers have the “end in mind” to prepare students for careers that
are not even created yet and preparing them to solve complex
problems that are not yet problems. #EdCamps allow for each of
us to help each other get our students where they need to be.
The integration of academic elements being taught in schools
across this nation have been beneficial because teachers
“teach” and mentor each other. Teachers are connected in a
solidarity that has evolved into a brotherhood and sisterhood.
The educational goals are to engage the whole child and foster
achievement in all students. Students are being challenged and
guided by teachers to be creative, innovative, and adaptive thinkers.
“EdCamp is an organic, participant-driven professional
development experience, created by educators for educators.
EdCamps are growing locally, nationally and internationally,
providing professional development that is not clinical nor sterile.“
Educators and administrators are turning to EdCamps to
provide valuable, relevant and transformative learning so
teachers can grow in a profession of consistent adaptation.
EdCamp educators meet over coffee in the morning to plan
the day’s sessions. They learn from their peers by talking
with each other not at each other. “Shift Happens”
and educators must be a part of the shift to make sure
they are prepared for each generation of children and
“The goal is to engage the whole child and foster high
achievement in all areas,” as defined by STE[+a]M.
Teachers now have an AWESOME professional development
tool to aid in instruction, building self-confidence and to drop
some knowledge to those entering into the field that
influences other fields of study and change.
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow
belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X
EdCamps help teachers prepare for tomorrow, whether it is
through curriculum dialogues, gaining a better understand
about administration and even teaching/mentoring students
that are challenged with learning disabilities. There are no
excuses to teaching children just challenges that need
to be overcome with patience, data, collaboration and
cooperation between parents, teachers and administration.
EdCamps have a purpose driven life to help teachers help
each other to help the students we love and hold dear to
Listing of All EdCamps
EdCamp USA Doed
Video of EdCamp
Lyman Institute of Technology
Engineering Resources at Lyman Institute
Design Process Shown at EdCampOrange
Photos of EdCamOrange in Orlando, Florida