So. You’re signed up for nErDcamp. You’re ready to learn from your experienced, expert colleagues. You think you might want to lead a session, but you have no idea how to do that. You’ve come to the right blog post!
Edcamps are such a versatile, flexible structure. Sessions could be designed in near infinite ways. But here are some baseline formats for you to ponder:
- The “prepared” session – The leader for this type of session has perhaps presented on the topic to their building or district. They might have a PowerPoint or something like it. The session runs mostly like a presentation.
- The “Teaching” about something session – This type of session is a lot like the prepared session, but less planned out. The presenter probably doesn’t have a PowerPoint or anything. This session would be a little more free-form, and could be about a strategy, tool, program, etc., that the presenter uses. Often includes a lot of discussion.
- The discussion session – For this type of session, the “leader” is more like a facilitator. They may present an initial topic or question. The group discusses. The trajectory can often shift, and the facilitator can choose to redirect, or go with the flow. Lots of discussion.
- The “I need help with this, let’s all talk about it” session – Similar to the discussion session, but with an emphasis on solving a problem or puzzling something out. The leader/facilitator presents a problem, and the group shares solutions they have used, brainstorms possibilities, etc.
- The “sharing” session – This type is also similar to the discussion session. The purpose of the sharing session is to endorse/recommend/share/promote/gush over different resources/tools/titles/etc. on a particular topic. Examples of sharing sessions could be #TitleTalk, for book titles, or “Using tech in writing workshop,” for tech tools in use while teaching writing.
As you can see, sessions can go a lot of different ways. It is important to remember that you do not have to have something prepared to lead a session. Usually, discussion gets rolling, and the facilitator/leader hardly has to do anything at all!
When you arrive at nErDcamp Bellingham, and you’re staring up at those blank spaces on the session board, you’re right: They are calling your name. Don’t be nervous. Jump in! We’re excited to learn from you!