Guest blog post by Amy Illingworth, Ed.D., Director, Professional Growth, Leadership Development and Systems Innovation, Sweetwater Union High School District
Edcamp619 took place at Sweetwater High School on Saturday, August 27. Over 75 educators from within and outside of Sweetwater Union High School District attended this Edventure. An Edcamp is entirely participant-driven, which means that the topics discussed in each session were determined that morning, based on feedback from the participants. Dr. Dan Winters, Director of Research and Evaluation for Sweetwater Union High School District, provided a humorous and poignant opening keynote about using empathy in our work with students. As participants entered Edcamp619, they had time to write topics that they were interested in learning about and/or discussing on post-it notes. Those post it notes were then grouped together into similar ideas to create our session schedule. During each sessions, participants formed a circle and began to talk- they shared questions, ideas, and great discussions around topics of interest to them.
One of our most powerful sessions was a student panel. Kelly Leon, one of our History/Social Science Teachers on Special Assignment, facilitated a discussion with 7 Sweetwater HS students. The students shared what they liked about school, how they preferred to learn, and what helped them connect to teachers and content. These students were articulate and honest in their feedback to educators, and it was amazing to hear their words.
We had generous sponsors who provided some amazing swag for our raffle prizes, including Virtual Reality Glasses, Dave Burgess Consulting books, and more! You can see lots of tweets from the event by visiting the hashtag #Edcamp619. We plan to make this an annual event in Sweetwater and we look forward to collaborating with even more San Diego County educators next year! The tentative date for the next Edcamp619 is Saturday, August 26, 2017. Save the date!
The Edcamp619 planning committee was comprised of the following Sweetwater Union High School District staff members:
- Dr. Amy Illingworth
- Ms. Marielle Venturino
- Dr. Ricardo Cooke
- Mr. David Cobian
- Mr. Roberto Bonilla
- Ms. Kelly Leon
- Mr. John Patel
- Ms. Georgina Meza
- Ms. Easter Finley