This summer Burlington Public School teachers came together every Tuesday during the summer vacation months to connect, share, and learn from each other. Why? Because they wanted to learn and be part of the conversation, they wanted to be a voice at EdCamp Tuesdays held at Burlington High School.
Burlington High School will be a 1:1 learning environment this year with the iPad 2. The BPS elementary and middle schools will also have iPad carts in place for teachers to use throughout the year. Over the last two weeks, 1,000 + iPads were handed out to every student at Burlington High School. To prepare, BPS teachers organized every Tuesday at Burlington High School and held their own EdCamp from 8-12. The Tuesday sessions were completely voluntary and open to anyone in BPS and outside of the district.
It was exciting to see the progress teachers made over the summer engaged in this learning environment. At the outset, a few teachers shared new apps, ideas for integrating the iPad into the curriculum and best practices. Some simply listened to the conversation. As the summer progressed, the teachers took over. They did not need myself, Principal, Patrick Larkin, Director of Technology, Dennis Villano, or Instructional Technologist, Dan Callahan to start the day off, they took over and owned it.
EdCamp Tuesdays were not limited to Burlington Public Schools either. Several teachers and administrators came each week to join in the conversation and lead short presentations. Eric Juli and Karen Janowski were two regulars outside of the BPS district that made a weekly appearance. It was very exciting to see teachers collaborating across district lines and expanding the educational dialogue.
In the beginning, I was not sure how the EdCamp Tuesday model would evolve. I was hesitant that teachers would come early on in the summer and then slowly fade as the summer vacation season kicked into high gear. I was wrong. Every Tuesday BPS teachers from every level and from a variety of disciplines showed up to share, listen, and learn. As a result, these teachers will enter the school year refreshed and ready to create a more dynamic learning environment for their students.
See, professional development can be fun.