Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie

The Pedagogy of a Rural Educator

South Dakota Ed Camp = Awesome!

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No schedule. Presentations are not planned. The room is the expert. No paid presenters. No keynote. No vendor fair.

Great professional development!

Its not “normal”, but that’s what makes it great! The edcamp model for professional development is a new, different way of coming together as a group of educators wanting to grow, learn, and connect with others. I wasn’t sure what to expect on the day of edcamp, but I know I was excited.

Right away, I loved that on the nametags, there was a place to put your twitter handle! This showed that the edcamp was focused on connecting with other educators and maintaining those connections far beyond the day at Harrisburg North Middle School.

Putting together the schedule. We were pumped!

Putting together the schedule. We were pumped!

The schedule was built by the participants at the beginning of the day. There were no planned sessions, just the question, “What do you want to talk about/learn about/share about?” It was very empowering to know that everything on the schedule was chosen by us, not by some committee or organization. Here are some of the sessions I attended throughout the day:

TLAP: Teach Like a Pirate – with special guest Dave Burgess (@burgessdave) via Google Hangout! Thanks Dave!


Project Based Learning – with two teachers from New Tech High School in Sioux Falls, SD. A school entirely built on project based learning! (How awesome is that!?)

Great group collaboration!

Great group collaboration!

Edmodo/Blogging – A small group that discussed how blogging can be used in multiple ways. (Personal blog, student blogs, class blogs, etc.)

Genius Hour – I was able to share about my experience with genius hour last year (which I might write about sometime!), and how to improve and utilize the concept again!

Secret Agent – J. Parker Adair (@TheCoachAdair) shared his message on being a “Secret Agent” teacher, where every day experiences can turn into great lessons!

Overall, it was one of the best professional development experiences I’ve ever had! I enjoyed the time I had to talk to other teachers, meet people I had connected with on twitter, and learn from what all these great people are doing in their classrooms! I am so glad I attended.

Time to connect!

Time to connect!

A huge thank you to Travis Lape (@travislape) for organizing the event! I can’t wait for the next one!

If you are interested in seeing some of what we talked about at edcamp, you are in luck! Visit and go to “session schedule”. There, you can access links to Google Docs that have notes from each session! Enjoy!


Author: sdsuemko

I'm a high school science teacher in a small Minnesota town who loves the world of rural education. I am constantly striving to learn more about my craft and share what I find with others!

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