My Quest To Teach

March 17, 2017

EdCamp – An Adventure for HBCUs

Filed under: Education — William Jackson @ 7:45 am

EdCamp – An Adventure for HBCUs
by Professor William Jackson
Edward Waters College

EdCamp St. Augustine

The exposure to the collaboration with educators
with years of experience is important for new
educators and pre-service educators that attend HBCUs
choosing a career in education. Becoming a teacher is not
an easy decision, knowing you have the support of seasoned
and respected educators is a plus and motivating.
Diversity builds education, it is a foundation of teaching to
build on what the real world is so students can adapt and
contribute. It requires diverse people to educate a diverse
growing student population in schools and strengthens
the communities schools are in. Schools are a microcosm
of their communities as I have stated in my classes, that is
why schools are important.
The stronger and connected the school and the valuing of
education helps a community grow and strengthen their
connection. The teachers are the base of acceptance,
stability and tolerance.


The more teachers are respected and connected they
can influence the life of a community. That is why in
the past teachers that lived in the areas they taught in
were effective not just with students, but with parents
and influencing the community.
EdCamp provides a foundation for those in education
from teachers, administrators, support staff and even
students to come together and share in open discussions
about how to improve the educational culture and
atmosphere of schools. These connections are valuable
for new teachers to see and experience.
HBCUs need to be involved in EdCamps because they
can network with the schools their graduates may teach
in, talk to experienced teacher and experience successes
with pride and learn realistic strategies to help prepare
HBCU students for their careers.
Why wait until being on the “field” your senior year and
be thrusted in the environment based off of sometimes
outdated policies and procedures when HBCU students
can connect earlier and learn from experts. HBCU students
can understand the culture and the climate of schools
before they get there and be able to handle students
because they understand them earlier.
EdCamp what better platform for pre-service educators
still in under-graduate programs to learn than on a weekend
with free breakfast, free lunch, high energy, diverse
experiences and seasoned professionals that have wisdom,
knowledge and PLCs and PLNs that work.

EdCamp Magic
EdCamp provides a foundation for resources that reinforce
why to be an educator, why America still needs passionate
and diverse educational mentors, role models and
professionals. Writing this blog reminds me of my experiences
as a teacher and wish that I had the opportunities of EdCamp
as I traveled my journey 27 years ago and continue on for
several more year. I have had the great opportunity to be a
keynote speaker at two (2) EdCamps and attended
several in Florida taking students from Edward Waters College.
Their attendance has been life changing in ways that cannot
be measured. The direct exchange of ideas is important,
conversation is a strong tool that can enhance the confidence
of the teacher in the classroom.
Because of the successes for teachers EdCamp has grown
to international environments. This allows for global sharing,
collaboration and the integration of ideas, strategies and
best practice not just technology.
If teachers do not prepare students to sit at the tables of
business, commerce, finance and education then students
will be left behind and out of the decision making process
of building communities and prosperity for its citizens.

Educational Technology class at Edward Waters College

HBCU students have a responsibility to continue the
storytelling and educating of children that provides
additional exposure and positive contributions to
the communities that HBCUs are a part of. Even if
a student is not an education major HBCU students
can gain experience in networking, professional
exposure and career preparation as a life-long
learner and leader.

Professor William Jackson
Educational Technology, Social Media and STEM


The Hidden Magic In Children of Color

The Hidden Magic In Children of Color
by William Jackson and Breyonna Fox


Inspired by the movie Hidden Figures and the book
by Margot Lee Shetterly
How many girls of color are super smart in mathematics,
how many want to be engineers, how many girls of color
want to be doctors and lawyers, scientists and pilots?

How many want to be vetrienarians and writers like Breyanna
Fox a sophmore attending High School in Jacksonville,
Florida, she is interning with My Quest To Teach writing
blogs that are read nationally and Taylor Richardson of
Bolles Middle School, her dreams to be an astronaut
traveling to Mars and exploring the Red Planet. How many
want to be like Angie Nixon’s daughter Natalie creating
a national following with The Adventures of Moxie McGriff

Mayor Brown and Natalie


How many boys of color love to read and how many enjoy
building with Legos and other materials that would make
them the next architects and designers of our national
infrastructure for roads and buildings. Young men like
Elisha Taylor an 8th grade students that loves robotics,
reading and has spoken at conferences, TEDxFSCJ and
attending WordCamps and EdCamps in Florida



Young men such as Jon Gregory of Edward Waters College
studying to be an elementary education teacher working
with TEAM UP in Jacksonville, Florida.
He has spoken at TEDxFSCJ, EdCamp NASBE and attended
WordPress and WordCamp events. One of the first to
speak at the Edward Waters TIGER TALKS Experience.

Each of these dynamic and success driven visionaries
are embracing their talents as smart creatives and
innovators for the future. How many boys and girls of
color will be able to design future space ships that
will take astronauts beyond Mars and to the stars?
These are dreams that many do have. There is Hidden
Magic in children of color and culture that
needs to be cultivated and encouraged.


The movie Hidden Figures has sparked a renewed interest
in the need for girls and women to enter into STEM
careers, it is a call for boys and men also to get
involved in STEM and STEAM that allows the imagination
to know no limitations. Girls and women shatter glass
ceilings, boys and men demolishing walls that keep them
out of innovative and historic careers with tech.

There was a time as seen in the movie Hidden Figures
where Black girls and boys were honored as scholars
and intellectuals, what has happened in the 21st
century? There are too many that are scared to read
books in public, too many that will be bullied because
they love math and science.
The question WHY is a question that needs to be answered!!
Not just in schools, but in homes where parents are the
first educators. How can kids bring guns to school, but
struggle to bring books to and from school?

Why are our Black girls and boys that can be honor
students scared to be academically successful? What has
happened since the days when Blacks had to secretely learn
how to read using the Bible that was hidden away. That
was a “hidden treasure” because it was the tool that Blacks
used to start the educational process that even continues
today. HBCUs had to struggle to teach not because of money,
but because society did not think Blacks were smart enough
to be anything other than field workers, hired hands and

These stories are not science fiction, but science fact
how Blacks have influenced a time in national history.
“If Not for Them” there may have not been a journey to
the moon or if there had been, it may have cost more
human lives. Look at the facts that Blacks helped put a
man in space, Blacks helped put a man on the moon and
Blacks continue to do this.

HBCUs have contributed to thousands of #HiddenFigures
that are still unknown and their contributions are
historical in the benefits we enjoy today. Parents
and teachers need to work together to create cultures
of learning not just for school learning, but for the
betterment of our cultures and societies. It is because
of the diversity that America has that is why this
nation is still the best place in the world to live
because we enjoy freedoms that our constitution allows
for everyone.

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