Wayne State University

Outreach & Engagement News

College to host Edcamp Detroit for seventh consecutive year

Published Monday, April 17, 2017

For the seventh consecutive year, the Wayne State University College of Education will host Edcamp Detroit, a free professional development “unconference” for current and aspiring educators, on Saturday, May 6. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.; the event will run from 9:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The college is located at 5425 Gullen Mall in Detroit.

Launched in 2011 by College of Education alumnus Nick Provenzano (B.A., English/Social Studies Education, ’03), Edcamp Detroit allows teachers, administrators, students pursuing education degrees and others involved in education to control their own learning in a creative, flexible and open format. Inspired by similar events around the country, the program provides participants with access to high-quality, personalized and participant-driven professional learning experiences.

“The College of Education is proud to host Edcamp Detroit,” said Dean R. Douglas Whitman, Ph.D. “This ongoing collaboration not only provides educators throughout the state with a valuable opportunity to learn from one another, but it also gives our faculty the chance to interact with teachers and administrators and ensure that the college is preparing future educators to meet the needs of students and communities. Faculty members can also use this experience to inspire new or inform existing research, and our students can network with and learn from education professionals. We are excited about continuing to partner with Edcamp Detroit to promote excellence in education throughout Michigan.”

Organized for educators by educators, Edcamp Detroit is based on the barcamp model, also known as an “unconference,” which is defined as an ad-hoc gathering at which participants share and learn in an open environment through discussions, demos and interactions with one another instead of listening to a speaker. The structure is very informal; attendees can sign up to facilitate hour-long sessions based on their interests when they arrive.

Provenzano — a teacher and technology curriculum specialist at Grosse Pointe South High School, as well as a blogger and consultant — anticipates that more than 120 educators will attend this year’s conference.

“Educators throughout the state have attended previous Edcamps and enjoyed the experience,” said Provenzano. “Participants have led sessions about a wide variety of topics, ranging from using technology in the classroom to developing strategies for teaching students with autism spectrum disorder. It is an excellent way to explore best practices, get new ideas and spark collaboration. It is also a great place to share tips, examine tools and demonstrate techniques, and show others how they can be integrated into the classroom to improve student learning.”

Since the original Edcamp was launched in Philadelphia in 2010, there have been more than 700 conferences around the world in 25 countries. Embracing the belief that fellow educators can be some of the most valuable professional development resources for their colleagues, the Edcamp movement has been recognized by countless organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the International Society for Technology in Education, TEDx, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Edcamp provides teachers with a forum to share and learn,” said Provenzano. “Our goal is to help educators identify strategies and practices that help educators foster environments conducive to learning and facilitate student success. We are pleased the College of Education supports our efforts to impact student learning by ensuring teachers, administrators and others in education have access to training and development activities.”

Reservations are not required, but participants are encouraged to register in advance. To learn more or to register, visit events.wayne.edu/2017/05/06/edcamp-detroit-70898/.

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