I've had the pleasure of being on the organizing team for EdCamp Silicon Valley for the past three years and have really enjoyed making connections with other educators, helping to provide a day of educator-driven professional development, and engaging in educational conversations myself. EdCampSV has been around since 2014. This year's EdCampSV was definitely unlike previous years for several reasons.
- EdCampSV has always been scheduled for the last Saturday in February but this year it was scheduled for second Saturday of the month. This was done after a series of conversations about the challenge of having it on February 25, 2017 as a result of some school districts in the area having ski week and other professional development conferences. Other dates were considered, including March 4, March 11, and February 4, but each presented challenges.
- Historically, EdCampSV has had over 100 educators attend. EdCampSV 2017 had 85 people register on EventBrite but only 45 people showed up. That definitely led to a bit of disappointment.
- As a result of the low attendance, there were only 5 concurrent topics at each of the three session times. In previous years there were up to 12 concurrent topics. However, even though the attendance was low and led to fewer topics, the conversations at each session were rich and very engaging. It was really quite refreshing. The heaviness of managing an event for over a hundred educators and checking that their experience was rewarding was replaced with the lightness of being present in each session.
- This year's post-EdCampSV efforts were/are more elaborate than in previous years (some tasks are still scheduled to go out). Just like previous years, a Storify of the day's tweets was sent out. New post-PD efforts for EdCampSV 2017 include sending the video of the kickoff message by James Sanders, creating a way for participants to receive a certificate of attendance for their professional development records, sending a compilation of the "takeaways" participants shared, and announcing the date for EdCampSV 2018.