New opportunity for educators to advance professional developmentSubmitted: 10/09/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson

New opportunity for educators to advance professional development
EAGLE RIVER - We often think of our teachers teaching, but educators sometimes return to the classroom as students. They need to keep learning, too.

Some Northwoods educators will return to the classroom as students Saturday, October 18th.

Northland Pines High School will host an EdCamp.

The event offers professional development workshops to educators. It works differently than other teacher conferences. In fact, teachers call this an "unconference."

"It allows educators to come together without a specific itinerary, without a specific goal. It allows educators to come to a free event that allows them to speak with other educators about topics in education that really are important to them," said EdCamp organizer and Northland Pines technology coach Dave Strong.

The group will decide what topics they want to discuss or learn more about. They'll then break into groups and learn from each other.

"Somebody just naturally becomes the leader in the room and leads the conference or discussion. Maybe they're sharing apps or talking about websites, or they're sharing ideas or topics, or talking about educator effectiveness or whatever is on their minds and that topic," said EdCamp organizer and Northland Pines media specialist Jone Davis.

This is the first time an EdCamp has been hosted locally.

"This gives an opportunity for schools from northern Wisconsin, from the UP of Michigan to an EdCamp that's closer, that's more available to them," Strong explained.

Organizers think the unique format benefits participants.

"At your big conferences you have somebody on stage talking. You don't really get that personal experience of 'I've used this. It's worked. I know what doesn't work.' So it's nice to have that time with people who are in the classrooms as well," Davis added.

One of the unique aspects of EdCamp is teachers can vote with their feet. That means if a workshop isn't meeting their needs, they can leave and find another workshop.

The event is completely free and includes lunch.

There's still time to register.

A link to more information and registration is below.

Related Weblinks:
EdCamp Northwoods Information and Registration

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