Educators, students and parents are invited to a unique day of learning at Sands Secondary on April 28.
EdCamp is an education conference that’s been hosted in Delta since the early 2010s. But unlike most professional learning days, this one is open to the public and geared towards participation rather than presentations.
Most of the 100 to 150 participants are teachers, but many are also students and even some parents attend. And they’re not just from Delta. The conference is open to people from all school districts.
“We just looked and realized that with so many new or newer people, not only within our district but within our whole system … it’s time to try and expose them to another …. method of professional learning,” Aaron Akune, principal of Sands Secondary, said.
Akune is one of the organizers for the event, and has been to every Delta EdCamp since it started. Other districts host their own versions of EdCamp as well, and Akune has been to a few of those too.
The goal of each EdCamp, no matter where it takes place, is participation.
The day starts with a schedule, but no topics assigned to each discussion session. Instead, participants vote on the things they want to talk about during the day.
“It’s a very participant-driven and organic day of learning, because depending who the participants are, they’re going to say ‘Here’s a topic I’m interested in talking about,’” Akune said. “Whether it’s something to do with new curriculum or engagement, they’re the ones that get to propose an idea.”
This year, the conference will feature a number of presentations from Delta students in Kindergarten to Grade 12, called KidSpeak. Each presentation will feature a different topic: some will be discussing their sense of belonging in the school, while others will look at inclusion, empowerment and engagement.
“It’s something new we’re trying, and pretty excited about it,” Akune said. “We’re hoping that the … presentations will spark some ideas in the participants’ minds.”
Having the students at the EdCamp also adds another dimension to the conversations that happen throughout the day.
“I think as adults in schools, we do a lot of talking about what we think kids think, or what we think their experience is,” Akune said. “But it’s a lot different when you hear a kid express or describe their experience to you firsthand.”
Interested people can register for EdCamp online at deltalearns.ca/edcamp. The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 28 at Sands Secondary. Lunch is included.