Updated: Aug 3
Written by: Dr. Sam Fecich @SFecich, Jordyn Pistilli @jordyn_pistilli, Hannah Sansom @HannahJSansom, and Jessie Pyle @JessieJPyle
After attending Edcamp Pittsburgh, we were all excited about the type of professional development. Before we knew it, we got our EdCamp box and planned with Sam in her office and our coffees in hand. To-Dos were delegated, and we all started planning and getting things rolling. EdCamp GCC is an unconference: a personalized professional development opportunity to meet the needs of those attending. Upon registration, attendees post topics they wish to learn more about that can offer insight. These topics then create a schedule for the day. There is no formal speaker for each session. Educators come together to share ideas, ask questions, and learn from each other about those topics.
We decided to plan our edcamp by defining roles and setting everyone up for success. We first set up a group team in Microsoft Teams, and anyone interested in helping out identified a role they would like to take on. Individuals could choose to be a Day Of Volunteer or a Year-Round Volunteer. Let’s look into each of ey these areas.
Because schedules are so busy, consider creating a day-of helper role for those who don’t have as much time to give. This role is perfect for student teachers and Edcamp newbies. They can assist in set-up, tear-down, registration table, and more! It is also a great way to ensure people are as involved as their schedule allows.
Day of volunteers: These roles are significant for students in a time crunch, student teaching in the spring, or first-time attendees to an EdCamp, but still want to help. Day-of volunteers are the backbone of our Edcamp. They include greeters, Tinkerlounge demonstrators, facilitators, and prize patrol runners. The commitment to a day of volunteering is that s/he must be available for two 1 hour meetings, the first two weeks in advance and another one week before Edcamp, to learn of your duties and help stuff goodie bags. Each volunteer must be available on the day of Edcamp. The perks of being a Day Of Volunteer: experience working with a group, a full day of professional development on the campus, dibs on swag, and a volunteer certificate.
A Year-Round Volunteer checks in monthly at in-person meetings for updates and progress. These volunteers also need to be available on the day of Edcamp. The perks of a year-round volunteer: a resume booster of conference planning experience, a full day of professional development, a volunteer certificate, and a T-shirt. The year-round volunteers are as follows:
Sponsorship Seeker – works throughout the fall and spring to secure monetary sponsors and product-based. This requires you to send out a letter (we already have it created) via email to our list of sponsors. You will also be asked to reach out and find some new sponsors for the 2020 Edcamp. For this position, we have a spreadsheet that we update yearly with contacts, products, sites, etc.
Advertiser Extraordinaire – You are all about getting the word out about Edcamp—email flyers to local school districts, universities, and colleges. You are also in charge of organizing a team of volunteers to pitch Edcamp in education classes. In addition, you will work with education organizations (KDP, CEC, SES, FCE, etc.) to work with PD credit approval. For our edcamp, we have education organizations looking for professional development credits for their members. Edcamp is always on the list! All participants must d the day of the Edcamp when they register to check that they are getting credit for the college's education organization. Lastly, you will contact p prospective students to let them know about Edcamp.
Edcamp Influencer(s) – You are in charge of updating our website with the registration form, lead learner bios, swag pics, and link and posting updates to social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook). You will work with the advertiser extraordinaire to get the message about Edcamp via our social media outlets.
Social Media You can’t underestimate the power of a post! Use social media to take y your Edcamp to the next level! Give shoutouts to sponsors and attendees to encourage everyone to do what it takes to make an Edcamp possible. Please assign this role to two or three people and consider dividing it by platform to make sure you cover all your bases(one person runs Twitter, one person runs Instagram, one person updates the website, etc.)
We have some tips for splitting up the work and roles.
Meet regularly and check in on leadership members to ensure things are on track and they aren’t getting overwhelmed—it’s a team, not a contest of who can do the most.
Know your limits! Don t stress yourself out! Ask for help when you need it!
Make, use, and stick to the timeline. Check off the checklist as things get accomplished.
As the conference gets closer, meet more often to ensure that SWAG is rolling in and organized, meals are ordered, lunch accommodations are made, materials for registration and tech support are ready, etc.
At Edcamp GCC, we love to treat real?, celebrate, and honor attendees of EdCamp GCC. Here are some different ways we help them feel as unique as they are:
Meet attendees as they walk in the door. Waiting in line for registration can be boring! Network and pass out free bags to people who are waiting in line!
Get a playlist going. Consider sending an email to attendees the week before with the link to a shared playlist and have them contribute their favorite pump-up songs to it!
Preservice teachers mainly run EdCamp GCC! What an excellent opportunity for college students! Create an example of how they can add their work at the Edcamp to their resume.
EdCamp GCC acknowledges our alums who return to campus to be a part of EdCamp GCC. We welcome them and don them with special swag prizes! We have a specific alumni lounge for our attendees to gather and chat about the good ‘old days.
Create a shared document for all attendees to write notes, connect, and collaborate (this idea was done at Edcamp State College). By creating a shared folder with documents and links, attendees can review concepts they missed. They can also connect with other attendees from sessions.
During our Edcamp, we started two traditions. alumsPreservice teachers created both of these!
First, the escape room. Teachers want to have fun at EdCamp! Onesessionway to do this is to plan Instead n an escape room. We use BreakoutEDU. Start planning this at least two months before your EdCamp. Don’t get behind on planning! For successful escape rooms, we start by picking a theme. The
Mingle during registration.
Pop in the sessions to ensure things are rolling and see if anything is needed.
Bring positive vibes! If the voluntStartup ers and leadership team members show their attendees how excited they are to see and learn with them, then the attendees will replicate that excitement! :)
We would love for you to check out our edcamp if you are ever in our neck of the woods. Learn more about it here:https://edcampgcc.weebly.com/. If you need any tips or strategies, please contact us. We are happy to help. You got this - you can plan a fantastic Edcamp! Go!
Where to find more information about EdCamp GCC