Based on the success of the inaugural Lethcamp unconference last year, organizers had no doubts they wanted to use the model again this year. Organized by education students at the University of Lethbridge, Saturday’s unconference will start with creating an agenda that’s driven by participants.
“Instead of having one presenter at the front, you have a group of people who are collectively deciding what they want to learn about and how they’re going to learn it,” says Johannah Wirzba, one of the organizers of Lethcamp. “People who participated in Lethcamp 2014 found it was an excellent way for people to take ownership of their own learning.”
LethCamp 2015 is open to anyone invested in education, including students and faculty from the U of L, practicing teachers, school administrators, education assistants and parents.
At the beginning of the conference, participants are asked to jot down topics they want to learn about or some knowledge they’d like to share. Organizers create session topics based on themes from participants’ suggestions and post them to an online document so participants can select which sessions they want to attend. The sessions themselves are spaces where those interested in the topic can come together to share practices, ask questions and network.
In addition to the sessions themselves, learning will be shared online throughout the day on Twitter at #lethcamp2015 and through live blogging posted on the event website at lethcamp.ca.
“From a pre-service perspective, it’s such a great way to network and talk to people who are in the field,” Wirzba says. “For everyone else, there are many opportunities to collaborate and share best practices. You choose where you want to go and what you want to learn.”
The conference is free and will start at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Students’ Union Ballrooms. Participants are asked to register before the conference but those who haven’t registered are still welcome to show up on the day of the conference.