A Virtual Brave Space
The Duke TeachHouse UnConference model continues the spirit of the in-person unconference format in a virtual brave space aimed at empowering the voices of early career teachers to propose and select topics and facilitate session dialogues around timely and critical issues impacting K-12 schools.
So how does it work? TeachHouse supports facilitators and participants with event logistics by organizing a virtual space where all educators can share their voices and experiences with one another. Each year, drawing inspiration from the Stanford Hollyhock virtual unconference event in early 2020, the planning team creates an event “LaunchPad” (pictured below and linked here) that participants use to navigate between sessions and access important information about the event. Prior to the event, the team surveys participants about their desired session topics, supports facilitators in creating their event Zoom and session notes, and organizes featured “EdTalks” by education leaders and teachers.
How it Works: The UnConference "LaunchPad"
Keeping in line with the founding principles of the original unconference model, the TeachHouse UnConference is a completely free event. Thanks to a grant from The Kenan Charitable Trust, participants at the 2021 and 2022 UnConferences also received TeachHouse “Red for Ed” t-shirts and UnConference book selections to add to their own professional libraries.
In light of COVID-19 and the isolation and stress that are ever-present in the lives of teachers and students, new and innovative models for networking and collaboration are critical to our profession. Engaged problem-solving and community-based action center the mission and work of the Duke TeachHouse UnConference.