The idea of Edcamp Greenville originated in the summer of 2016, after attending the Edcamp Organizers Summit in Atlanta and helping to plan Edcamp Sparkle in Spartanburg, SC. I knew this professional development model would be perfect for the educators I had been working with in Greenville County. After assembling a team of dynamic organizers, made up of instructional coaches and curriculum specialists within Greenville County, we decided on the location, date, and time. After all hours of planning and collaboration, on March 25, 2017, around 200 educators attended Edcamp Greenville at Bryson Elementary in Simpsonville, SC.
"By the end of the event, teachers were recharged and ready to take on the rest of the school year. Many teachers commented about how their professional learning networks had expanded because of this event and were already asking about when the event would be held the next year."
Teachers were treated to breakfast, refreshments, snacks, a delicious lunch with numerous choices, and frozen yogurt to end our day. Conference bags filled with a professional text and small prizes were given to each attendee. Many corporations and areas businesses donated items to give away for door prizes to these very deserving teachers. By the end of the event, teachers were recharged and ready to take on the rest of the school year. Many teachers commented about how their professional learning networks had expanded because of this event and were already asking about when the event would be held the next year.
This past year, Edcamp Greenville was held on February 3, 2018 at Blythe Academy in Greenville. We expanded our planning team to 10 members and included stand-out attendees from the year prior, to help round out our team by adding additional technology coaches and administrators. We welcomed over 250 educators from all over the state, and several from out of state. We were able to add a “S.T.E.A.M. Room”, Discovery Education, and a fun photo booth donated by an area vendor. We wanted teachers to feel “treated” and refreshed to finish the school year. We are already planning for our next Edcamp on February 2, 2019.
Stay in contact with your planning team.
Choose people with different roles.
Involve many organizations from your community
Some strategies I would recommend for a successful Edcamp would be to stay in contact with your planning team and choose people with different roles in education. Having different perspectives when planning this event is extremely valuable. I would also suggest involving as many community businesses and organizations as possible. Many businesses want to help and be involved, but they don’t know how. Best advice, is to have fun! Enjoy this time with your colleagues and take time to love what you do.
Kelli Coons is an organizer for Edcamp Greenville. She works in Spartanburg School District One at Inman Intermediate School as a Technology Coach with the Dynamic Learning Project. She enjoys working with teachers to promote student engagement and teacher professional growth. Twitter: @TooLegitTeach