Are you as confused as I was sixty minutes ago? What is an Ed-Camp? Ed-Camps are free conferences that people attend to discuss topics that interests them in an open, unplanned discussion. There is no leader to guide the discussions but instead the attendees of the conference get to decide what they want to talk about and get to lead the discussions themselves with other people.
Today in my EDCI 336 class we ran our own Ed-Camp and I joined a discussion with 18 of my peers in which we discussed if teachers are being too accommodating for their students. I have been taught that we should always put the student’s needs first and if a student is uncomfortable with an activity, we should never force them to do it. What we discussed in our Ed-Camp however, was if discomfort is always a bad thing. Sometimes you need to push a student out of their comfort zone so that they are able to learn new things and can begin to diminish their fears. Take public speaking for example, if a student is uncomfortable speaking in front of a group but you never push them to get over this fear, they never will. In our Ed-Camp discussion, one of my peers brought up an excellent point about helping students get over their fears and discomforts, without pushing them too much and causing anxiety in the student’s life. Continuing with the public speaking example, you could start with having the student just speaking one on one with someone and then solely progress into speaking in front of a small group, to a larger group and then the whole class.
I found my experience with Ed-Camps very beneficial and I think that it’s a great way to start important conversations and meet people who share similar views to yourself. I am definitely interested in going to another Ed-Camp in the future and even running one in my own classroom one day.