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Edcamp Literacy: An “Unconference” Opportunity at IRA 2014

by Jonathan Hartley
April 24, 2014

EdcampWill you be in New Orleans on Friday afternoon but are not attending an Institute? Are you looking for a new, interactive way to share a professional development experience will fellow literacy educators? The International Reading Association (IRA) is leaping into the “unconference” movement with the launch of Edcamp Literacy at IRA’s 59th Annual Conference in New Orleans. The free Edcamp Literacy event will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m on Friday, May 9, 2014 in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

What Is an Edcamp?

An Edcamp is a participant-driven professional development session where the attendees have the power to set the agenda and drive the discussion. Educators create the agenda on the spot and facilitate discussions based on what topics are important to them. Edcamp Literacy attendees will be asked to jot down their name and some topics they’d like to discuss on a sticky note that’ll be posted on a wall. IRA hosts will be on hand to help organize the topics into conversation strands, and attendees will take it over from there. Everyone is encouraged to share their knowledge and expertise.

How to Register

Edcamp Literacy attendance is open to any K–12 classroom teacher who registers to take part in this fully customizable event, but be warned that space is extremely limited. To reserve your slot (and sticky notes!), register at www.iraconference.org/edcampliteracy.

The First of its Kind

“The Edcamp Foundation is thrilled to see the International Reading Association be the first organization to adopt the Edcamp format for a portion of its national conference,” says Edcamp co-founder Dan Callahan, a K–5 instructional technology specialist and now chairman of the Edcamp Foundation’s board of directors. “They demonstrate a forward-thinking commitment to providing free and democratic professional development for all interested educators who wish to attend.”

IRA is presenting this event to provide educators with the agency to get the information they need in a forum that they control. Tori Bachman, IRA’s content acquisitions manager, explains, “IRA is committed to helping teachers advance their professional learning and practice in whatever formats they choose. We hope Edcamp Literacy will be an exciting way to continue that tradition: You decide what you want to learn about, and you and your colleagues learn from each other.”

To stay up to date on news about the event, follow the #EdcampLiteracy hashtag on Twitter and feel free to add your own voice to the excitement as our time in New Orleans draws closer.

Edcamp Literacy is filling fast, so register today at www.iraconference.org/edcampliteracy.

Jonathan Hartley is the social media strategist at the International Reading Association. 

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