Run Your Own Barcamp for Primary School Children
Running your own Barcamp can be slightly tweaked so that you can run a Barcamp for Primary School Children
- Give yourself a day to introduce children to the concept of a Barcamp and so that they can start planning their sessions (a day is enough to maintain the spontaneity and spirit of an unconference).
- Have a clear wall available for the child-generated Barcamp timetable.
- Unlike a standard Barcamp, be prepared to have repeat sessions to ensure that the presenters get a chance to attend a session that 'clashes' with their one. This also allows the children to fine-tune their workshops, refine their ideas, and reflect on their session.
- Think about the 'vote with your feet' rule (will this work in your class-room?)
- Have barcamps at the end of terms (or even year) to ensure that children are confident and comfortable with each other.
- Use the school timetabled breaks. The children will want to carry on through them but they will get tired.
- Be prepared for a diverse and wacky range of topics!
- Attend the sessions yourself to show the children that you are a learner too.
- Photograph and film as much as you can. My kids loved this one -
- Timetable in reflection of the process so that the children can give feedback. Much of the feedback with be very insightful for your future teaching practice. Google forms are good for this. Let them consider what they've done as learners, and teachers.
- Make it a special school day - put on a shared morning tea or have goodie bags. The kids are working hard - celebrate it!
- Be prepared to be blown away by the enthusiasm for the process that your students have. Have a day to wind down, they will exhaust themselves. Mentally and physically.
- Consider how your barcamp fits in around other scheduled school, team or syndicate activities. Encourage students to be flexible and responsive to other activities.