I really liked the bottom-up learning design of EdCamp as a way of having a fruitful discussion. The choice of attending which topic spoke most to you allowed for smaller groups all interested in the same thing to have more in-depth discussions while being on a fairly even level with everyone else. Not having one designated person running the conversation maybe made it tricky to mediate who spoke when, but at the same time, with everyone being equal in the circle, there was a lot being said and many different ideas circulating with everyone feeling that their individual point was valid to share.
Our group discussed the idea of inclusivity and how to accomodate students based on designations or other issues that may impede learning in standard classroom settings. Mike, in our group was an EA for quite a while and was able to offer a lot of valuable information from personal experience which kept the direction moving and the conversation full. Everyone had a lot of questions and many were directed at Mike although many did not have answers that we could reach in the short 45 minute session. I feel like everyone was very passionate about the subject and I think the EdCamp style worked well for this type of discussion. We came to understand that the most important thing is to know your students, know the classroom and communicate with the EA’s as much as possible. It is important for students to have the opportunity to be included without feeling different while still getting the help they need to accomplish goals. We discussed the difference between accommodation and modification and what those different learning outcomes mean for different students and we also talked about a good resource called access ed to learn more information.
I thought it was one of the best mini group conversations we’ve had so far and I really like the idea of using EdCamp as a process for student discussion on student-led topics.