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EdCamp Detroit’s 2014 Unconference well attended

The participant driven conference allowed attendees to pick and choose their topics.
The participant driven conference allowed attendees to pick and choose their topics.
Erik Bean

Educators from around southeastern Michigan eagerly marched into Wayne State University’s School of Education building, at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 3, to be part of the 4th Annual EdCampDetroit’s Unconference. So what’s an “Unconference?”

EdCampDetroit's 2014 Unconference experience
#edcampdetroit.org

In the best interest of the new student centered education, a new paradigm shift where students have more say in the parts of their discipline they best like to study, the Unconference allowed educators to simply choose what they wanted to present and to whom and what they wished to visit. The process began with a bit of a friendly frenzy as dozens of enthusiastic K-12 and higher education teachers, administrators, and staff, signed up for numerous white board time slots.

After an hour of mingling, coffee, and donuts, the race was on to get settled into the first presentation offerings scattered throughout the basement and first floor. From Using Social Networks for Common Core Writing < my offering, to the Power of Augmented Reality in Education by Drew Minock and Erin Klein, to Using Wonderopolis.org by Nick Lawrence and Jennifer Vivian to Nurturing the Passions of Your Students by Jennifer Bond, the scope of topics all things education, particularly incorporating technology and the Common Core, had everyone wishing they could concurrently visit every session! And for those who simply wanted to understand how to digitally best connect with teachers, Todd Bloch explained the how and whys of #MichED.net.

Sessions ran from 9:30 to 3:30 with an hour lunch break. Planning is already underway for 2015 and “participant driven” organizers: Nick Provenzano, Chris Fritz, Karen Chichester, Mike Kaechele, Melanie Gray, Erin Klein, Cheryl Lykowski, Jennifer Bond, Bethany Beaudrie, Dan Spencer, and Linda Clinton plan to do more publicity and expect more educators to take advantage of the free day. Tickets were available on a first registration basis at EventBright. This was a fabulous event with enormous potential and the networking was priceless.