NEW at Edcamp Philly this year: The “Inquiry Room”

If you are reading this, you are most likely familiar with how edcamp deviates from the traditional conference – Knowledge in the room vs talking head, conversation vs presentation, learner driven vs presenter driven. So many people around the world have embraced the spirit of edcamp and have honored the model of hour-long, participant driven sessions.

This year, edcamp philly is adding a new layer – The Inquiry Room. This space will deviate from the hour long slot where facilitators determine the topic and manage the conversation. For the Inquiry Room, the facilitator (most likely myself) does not decide the topic. Instead, a very edcamp approach will be taken, with attendees suggesting topics and then voting on the one they find most interesting. From there, participants will partake in a deep dive around the chosen topic using the Appreciative Inquiry methodology. Rather than the hour long block, the session will last as long as needed, when the group is satisfied that the exploration has resulted in some sort of deliverable for themselves, their classrooms, or schools.

We are introducing this for two reasons. Firstly, we need to move beyond “EDCAMP IS AWESOME!!!!!” to “Edcamp is awesome and produces positive, tangible results”. Having deliverables does this. More importantly, the methods of PD are just as important, possibly even more so, than the content of the PD. The Appreciative Inquiry method models a means of building upon assets for reforming our institutions rather.

If you have a topic that you would like to explore (Ex. Standards based grading, making mobile the norm, embedding social media in the learning environment), please suggest it in the comments or bring it with you to the event.

See you on the 19th!

Image credit: Kalexanderson on Flickr

Author: Kevin Jarrett

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