According to its organizers, this “un-conference,” defined as a conference in which participants use their interests, knowledge and experience to generate discussion topics,” is for anyone involved in education to meet, share, collaborate and educate. At SaigonEduCamp:
Everyone is a participant, no one is a spectator.
It is informal: there are no proposals, papers or presentations. The emphasis is on productive, positive discussion and collaboration between participants.
- There is no agenda.
- Participants generate topics for group discussions.
- It is non-hierarchial and non-disciplinary – anyone involved in education is welcome.
- It lasts no more than one day.
- It is a free event.
- It is non-profit and funded through partnerships and sponsorships.
I asked one of the organizers who worked at a university in the Mekong Delta for three years as an English teacher/coordinator and then as the international relations adviser what his movitation was for creating the SaigonEduCamp. Here is his reply:
Well, as I’ve been in the education sector for 3 years in AGU, I’ve been thinking a lot about the circumstances of education in Vietnam and its impact on development. I also think that my experience is only unique to one part of the Mekong Delta. As I’ve moved into the education business sector I see there are plenty of perspectives on how education could evolve in Vietnam in the next ten years and would like to enlighten myself to other people’s perspectives on where education should go. I think people like Sir Ken Robinson, whom I’ve seen on ted.com, shed some fascinating light on the future of education in the world, and I wonder where Vietnam stands on the revolutionary ideas that he’s putting forth about how education ought to be and how it should be adapting to the circumstances of market economy and general needs of the people. Not to mention I’m still trying to understand Vietnam and its needs, and I think that ought to influence the way I treat my educational career in Vietnam. Coming together to talk with people about their take can only lead to enhancing my personal role in education in Vietnam. I think Barcamp is basically an open forum to do so. I’m sure that plenty of people have other needs when they’re talking about education and it makes sense to learn/share with them, too.