EdTechTeacher is very proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of Edcamp Boston, as well as several other Edcamp events. We’re a professional development consultancy with a mission to help schools and districts leverage technology to create student-centered, inquiry-based, learning environments. During the summer, we host workshops for educators in Chicago, Atlanta, and Boston, and during the school year we work with schools, districts, and universities around the United States and across the world. We also host conferences and events, including several recent summits around iPads in Education. Tracy Sockolosky and Dan Callahan, two of the leaders of Edcamp Boston, invited me to explain a bit about why we support Edcamp Boston.
If you run a professional development consulting firm, here is a troubling fact: when interviewed, teachers report that the number one influence on their teaching practice is other teachers. That means that if you really want to make substantial improvements in the experience of students in classrooms, you have to help teachers have meaningful conversations about pedagogy with one another. If you are an external consultant, you can’t do that work alone. You have to build partnerships with teacher leaders that will carry forward the work that you start together. Consultants like EdTechTeacher can kickstart, but ultimately communities of teachers need to lead the way to better practice.
In a sense, Edcamp is where we want schools to end up. We want schools to find themselves in a place where they trust their faculty to have deep, meaningful conversations with one another about improving their practice, and we want teachers to be defining and leading those conversations (in partnership with thoughtful, supportive school and district leadership). We believe in more structured professional development experiences as well, but we think that experiences like Edcamp represent a powerful vision of what it means to have a cadre of truly professional teachers.
We support Edcamp Boston because we respect, personally and professionally, the leaders of the event. We support Edcamp Boston because many of the participants have been participants in our own workshops and events, and we’re excited to support their growth. We support Edcamp Boston because the Edcamp movement represents a hopeful vision for the future of education and teacher professional development.
Of course, EdTechTeacher is a business, so our philanthropy is a business decision tied to a business strategy. But the strategy here is a long term one. Edcamp exposes educators to high-quality, interactive, teacher-centered professional development. We think as more educators recognize the power of these models, they’ll choose to partner with EdTechTeacher in developing the internal capacity to bring these visions to life in their own faculties and communities. If people in the Edcamp community are creating more vibrant learning opportunities for educators, we think that can only do good things for our own mission.
So to all the educators gathering at Edcamp Boston, we hope you have a wonderful day of learning, and hats off to you for investing your time in supporting your colleagues and improving teaching and learning for your students.