Edcamp CT Update & Seeking Input on Virtual Conversations

Dear Edcamp CT community:

We hope you are doing as well as you can given the current circumstances. Amidst these crises, we have been inspired by so many educators, learners, caregivers, advocates, and justice-seekers worldwide. Teachers everywhere have shown their undeniable amazing-ness these past few months during the pandemic. Educators have also demonstrated a commitment to work for social justice, to pursue equity and inclusion, and to collaborate on creating trauma-sensitive learning environments. While there aren’t adequate words to describe how challenging this time has been for many, your support of one another and your examples of creativity, ingenuity, dedication, and advocacy have been remarkable.

Since August of 2011, we have had the good fortune of being able to convene in person every summer on the campus of The Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT. As you might imagine, we are facing the reality that such an in-person gathering is not possible this year. As our school continues to prioritize the health and wellbeing of everyone connected to our community, we have been engaging in remote teaching and learning, and our staff is working to create conditions such that our boarding and day students may return safely — whenever and however that is possible.

Of course, if there were ever a time when we need edcamps, it is now. Open conversations among educators asking questions, sharing ideas, and creating connections are essential. Therefore, the Edcamp CT Team is exploring ways to connect educators virtually to share lessons learned from these past several months and to look ahead together for what the 2020-2021 school year may entail.

For this year, whatever opportunities we may be able to create or point to may not be a true edcamp. (If you are new to edcamp, you can learn more about the unique approach to professional development in this short video and on edcamp.org.) We may need to pre-plan a bit for facilitators who are willing to moderate certain topics of online conversations. We will need to safeguard our virtual room locations (if there’s a demand for synchronous conversations) in order to avoid Zoom-bombers or other unwelcome crashers. We may need to shorten the day because we’re already so fatigued from our screens. That being said, we would adhere to the edcamp tenets of no lectures, no sales pitches, and the opportunity to leave and join conversations as they serve you best.

If you are interested in connecting with educators in some virtual manner this August, please take a minute to fill out this form to indicate your interest. We’ll take your input and go from there.

Thank you for your understanding and support. This would have been our tenth annual in-person event. That’s big. We want to be together in one another’s company, enjoying an abundance of ideas, inspiration, wisdom, and food. We will do that again, to the fullest extent, when we are able to.

In the meantime, please continue to take care of yourselves, share your ideas for a possible modified virtual August gathering, and know that we can’t wait to connect again in person at this unconference that has been a part of our lives for nearly a decade.

Kind regards,

The Edcamp CT Team

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