@MCDPEL Innovations Lab

Sustainable Networks Through #EdCamp, #EdSims & #FutureReady Summits

Posted by Joe Mazza

6/12/15 4:50 PM

Education leaders attending non-traditional conferences in growing numbers

On July 13, 2015, EdCamp Leadership events will take place in 17 different locations around the United States—as well as one location in South America. The movement, which was started by a group of Philadelphia educators in 2009, brings together educators for professional learning in an unconference format, with participants crafting the day’s agenda as the event begins. All EdCamps are FREE, so register soon before your event location fills to capacity.

Read more about the EdCamp movement.

The Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Ed Leadership (@MCDPEL) has been a partner of the EdCamp Foundation for the past several years, serving as host of this free annual summer event for school leaders in Philadelphia. During last year’s August 4th event, more than 250 educational leaders from nine states were in attendance, sparking a conversation on expanding the event across the country in order to provide more local opportunities for state departments of education, local associations, and those with limited resources and unable to travel.

According to Hadley Ferguson (@hadleyjf), Executive Director of the EdCamp Foundation, there have been over 700 EdCamps around the world since the movement launched in 2009. The non-profit is growing based on interest and funding support internationally, and she serves as the go-to supporter for EdCamp organizers everywhere.

On May 29th, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) hosted its second EdCamp in the last two years. The day brought together educators, leaders, parents and policymakers from around the country to engage in participant-driven, relationship-based professional development.

Richard Culatta snaps an end of day selfie with @MCDPEL’s new selfie stick at the U.S. Department of Education’s EdCampUSA.


A few highlights from 2015 EdCamps thus far…

    • National Association of Secondary School Principals (@NASSP) became the first professional organization to experience EdCamp firsthand. NASSP kicked off their annual conference by bringing leaders and board members together for a session.
    • The New York City Department of Education Principal Preparation Division hosted two highly attended EdCamps, further embedding these unconference-style adult learning events into their repertoire. Both the Thursday evening and Saturday morning EdCamps were highly attended by NYC education leaders and DOE staff. More on that experience including feedback from participants here.
    • At the National Association of Elementary Principals’ (@NAESP) National Conference this summer, there will be EdCamp express sessions built into the centrally located Innovations Lab schedule. Follow #NAESP15 for details. Check out this month’s Principal Magazine centered on Networks for School Leaders.

Is higher education preparing teachers and leaders for new trends in professional development?

What are teacher and leadership programs doing with students, staff and alumni to model unconference formats for teaching, learning and leadership? During the #EdCampUSA held last month at USDOE, Secretary of 

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Topics: EdCamp, Leadership Simulations, edtech, PELS, futureready, edsims, edcamp leadership

New "Scenario-Based" School Leadership Podcast Series Launches 3/2/15

Posted by Joe Mazza

2/4/15 5:07 PM

Over the past few weeks the NEW Innovations Lab at @MCDPEL has been used by students, faculty, staff, alumni and most recently high school students debriefing their STEM presentation from #EduCon. 

The role of the Innovations Lab will vary from lens to lens within the MC Program. Aside from building connected capacity across the students, faculty, staff and alumni, the goal is to leverage today's emerging technologies (podcasting, social media, video, etc.) to innovate in the area teaching, learning and leadership. One exciting project that will launch next month is called BackchannelEDU, a weekly scenario-based podcast based on connecting research to practice across the educational space and involve real roles, real leadership scenarios complete with real voices from the field, cutting across race, gender, class, ethnicity and sexuality. Social media will be embedded throughout the process as school leaders around the world will be encouraged to “backchannel” reflections stemming from each episode throughout week using #backchannelEDU on Twitter.

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Topics: Leadership Simulations, podcasts

Creating Critical Conversations Through Leadership Simulations

Posted by Joe Mazza

11/24/14 10:41 AM

I've been a participant and a facilitator in Twitter chats for over four years now. I've learned so much and connected with some really inspiring and hard-working people and organizations. The majority of these chats out there follow the format of Q1, Q2, Q3 followed by A1, A2, A3. There's an awful lot of "group think" going on where agreement and praise is a great core value of the conversation. I think this is a real area of concern as social media conversations around educational issues evolve and it's up to chat moderators to encourage a rich conversation that digs deeper, doesn't shy away from the tough conversations and works toward actual strategies and solutions that can be taken into school conversations the following day.

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Topics: Leadership Simulations