ACAMP Unconference Overview and Tips
EVERYTHING IS OK!
Unconferences are highly participatory gatherings where attendees use an amazingly fast and fun process to create an on-the-spot agenda that addresses the topics of greatest interest to them, and then go to breakout sessions to dig into those topics. The motto is “everything is OK!” You can:
- Propose a topic if you want to pitch an idea, practice, or tool; or raise and delve into some problem. You don’t need to have the answers!
- Propose a topic for which you hope someone else can provide their expertise or experience.
- Coordinate (ahead of time or on the spot) with a group of attendees to use a session to get work done face to face.
- If you’d like to propose a merger, change, or amplification, put your sticky note on or next to someone else’s proposed topic.
HOW DO I PITCH A TOPIC?
Agenda setting for the entire ACAMP (all day Monday plus Tuesday morning) happens at the opening ACAMP session. To propose a topic:
- Write the name of the topic and your name on one of the large sticky notes found on each table.
- Make it short, large, and legible.
There are 8 ACAMP time slots with 5 breakout rooms per time slot - that’s 40 total sessions.
When the hosts say it is time, post your sticky note on one of the flip chart pages in a time slot of your choosing. You might check the other topics proposed at the same time for similarities.
WHAT IF THERE ARE TOO MANY PROPOSALS?
If there are more proposals than time slots, we typically work to combine some topics if it makes sense - the hosts will help with this.
ISN’T THIS CHAOTIC?
Yes it is! So dive in and keep smiling!
HOW DO I GET THE MOST OUT OF THE BREAKOUT SESSIONS?
Participate! Ask questions at the breakout sessions. Assist with the collaborative scribing, which will help the community and also help you follow more closely and get more out of the session.
ANY EXTRA GUIDANCE FOR A NEW PERSON?
Yes! It is a friendly group and a few veterans have volunteered to provide more information about the process and the topics. The hosts will introduce these resource experts. Ask them questions; they like to meet new folks!
NEW - “WHAT’S COMING AT ACAMP”
This year, one of the proposed sessions for the first breakout time slot will explain some of the content to come during ACAMP, based on the agenda that emerges. This would be a great place to ask questions.
TRACKING THE ACAMP SCHEDULE
As soon as the schedule is set, we’ll post it to the ACAMP wiki page (internet2.edu/acamp). The detailed ACAMP schedule will not appear in the conference mobile app, but you can access www.internet2.edu/acamp from your phone via a browser. We’ll also have the flip charts with the schedule in the hallway.
A SWEET CLOSING SESSION
ACAMP has a sweet twist at the end, as attendees have a chance to acknowledge (with chocolate provided) someone who has helped them to address a problem in a new way, advance their thinking somehow, or whom they just want to thank for any reason. The room’s collective “big heart,” even more than the chocolate, is a great thing to share before everyone says their goodbyes and departs. Don’t miss it!