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January 31, 2018

WNET Hosts New York’s First PBS EdCamp

Last Saturday, educators filled WNET’s Kellen Boardroom for an unconventional day of conversation, exploration, and professional development.

WNET’s Ellie Smeallie, Sandy Goldberg, Kristina Kirtley, Janice Fuld, Norah Jones and Jasmine Wilson welcomed passionate educators for New York’s first PBS Edcamp.

Designed for teachers, an Edcamp is a “un-conference,” which provides educators access to high quality, personalized, professional learning. There are no prepared presentations. Instead, the teachers who attend develop and facilitate the sessions based on their interests and experience. Participant-driven, everyone is encouraged to join the discussion, explore ideas, and share key information with others for their personalized teacher development.

Session topics at last Saturday’s event explored STEAM, early literacy, project-based learning, technology in the classroom, field trips, and strategies to support students in an inclusive environment. Sara Schapiro, Vice President of Education at PBS and Hadley Ferguson, Executive Director of the Edcamp Foundation, also joined in on the buzzing conversations of the day.

“Our goal at PBS is to support educators, especially those who teach young children, and connect them with one another to spark innovation in the classroom,” said Schapiro.

PBS and Edcamp created PBS Edcamp as a national partnership in 2017 to provide opportunities for educators across the country to engage in peer-to-peer learning. Through this pilot initiative, Edcamp and 10 PBS member stations bring together teachers in communities across the country to elevate their voices and empower them professionally.

“PBS’ commitment to fostering local teacher communities is a natural extension of our mission,” said Ferguson.

Saturday’s event embraced technology too. Attendees broke out their smartphones, tablets, and laptops to take live notes on ever-evolving Google documents for each session. Educators enjoyed the opportunity to brainstorm, network, and make new connections. Eager to also share their experience on social media, they used #PBSEdcamp to engage the educator community on Twitter:

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