This week we did ran a practice Edcamp. On the board we wrote down topics of interest involving teaching and voted on which ones were the most popular. The top 4 topics were then given rooms and students broke off accordingly to explore them. Edcamp style learning is based on what students want to learn in the classroom. I think this style of learning is effective because the multiple options appeals to more students and in turn engages them to learn something they choose to learn. Although I did enjoy the overall process of engaging in a topic of my choice, I think the next time this is replicated, there should be some more structure. It would help if there were base questions or someone present with more background knowledge on the topic. That said, the more diverse the group of people involved the more the breadth of conversation can occur. I like the group facilitation aspect. Everyone has an equal say and the conversation has endless directions it can go. However, I do think that this aspect can also be the downfall in cases where the conversation comes to stagnate spots or there is a lack of information.
I focused on outdoor learning environments. My group started by going around and saying their own experiences with outdoor education. It was mind-blowing the diversity there was within our school system. My high school had an outdoor ed class where we did many trips. I built snow igloos and slept in them for several nights, went to natural hot springs, and learned about different plants out in the forest. In comparison, another girl in my group only had an environmental group that did hikes on occasion. The idea of outdoor classrooms also came up as we compared our different schools. As a group, we came to the conclusion that more outdoor learning should be happening with students. Whether it is camping trips, hikes, or just doing class outside.
Here is the link for one students project involving creating an Edcamp. It is a great example to see the potential for how this can be implemented.