Austin Trinity

An independent K-8 Episcopal day school five miles from the heart of Austin

Edcamp Independent ATX

An Unconference

On Saturday, April 1, educators from across Central Texas joined us for a new kind of professional development. Edcamp Independent ATX is a different kind of conference -- an "unconference" -- that flattens the traditional model and empowers teachers through their curiosity and expertise to drive what happens. There are no big keynote speakers, no preset agenda, and it is held free of charge for all attendees.

Representatives from the following schools and ISDs were in attendance:

Austin ISD Aldine ISD (Houston)
Diocese of Austin Headwaters School
Holy Family Catholic School Lake Travis STEM Academy
Lindamood-Bell Northside ISD
Paragon Prep Round Rock ISD
San Antonio ISD St. Andrew's Episcopal School
St. Stephen's Episcopal School St. Ignatius Catholic School
St. Mark's School of Texas (Dallas) St. Michael's Catholic School
St. Theresa's Catholic School Trinity Episcopal School 
The Woodlands ISD    

Edcamp Independent ATX Photos and Recap

Trinity hosted the 2nd annual Edcamp Independent ATX “unconference” on April 1st, and it was another successful gathering of forward thinking educators from the greater Austin area. 50 people attended from such affiliations as St. Andrew’s, Paragon Prep, St. Edward’s University, San Antonio ISD, and there was even an out-of- town visitor from Chicago (15 of the attendees were Trinity teachers).  Participants began their day in the Blue House Hall commons by making some new friends over a breakfast tacos and coffee. Once a critical mass of participants arrived, Mark Richards and Elizabeth Bayer invited each person to suggest 2-3 topic ideas for sessions and they then began building the schedule for the day to fit into a matrix of 5 classrooms in three 45 minute blocks of time. Once the session board was completed, a discussion facilitator and note taker were designated for each and all the participants moved to Legacy Hall to begin their sessions. Session topics included brain-based teaching and learning, ideas about/strategies for improving homework, technology integration, grading and assessment, and helping  kids have their own Edcamp as a way of showcasing their learning and passions. Participants were invited to “vote with their feet” if they weren’t getting what they needed from a session and joining a different one. A virtual session board was made for attendees and those who couldn’t attend to read the notes from each session. The day ended with a great lunch set up by the Trinity staff, as well as a “smack down” of ideas from the day and fun giveaways.  

Our Edcamp leaders, Mark and Elizabeth, also created an Edcamp Ind ATX group on Facebook to keep meaningful conversations about teaching going throughout the year and hope to schedule regular meet-ups for teachers to have book studies and brainstorm ideas. They’re already looking forward to Edcamp Independent ATX 2018! 

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