What do I propose?
There are roughly four things people do in THATCamp sessions: Talk, Make, Teach, and Play. Sometimes one session contains elements of all these, but it’s also a fair taxonomy for THATCamp sessions.
In a Talk session proposal, you offer to lead a group discussion on a topic or question of interest to you.
In a Make session proposal, you offer to lead a small group in a hands-on collaborative working session with the aim of producing a draft document or piece of software.
In a Teach session, you offer to teach a skill, either a “hard” skill or a “soft” skill.
In a Play session, anything goes — you suggest literally playing a game, or you suggest some quality group playtime with one or more technologies, or what you will.
How do I propose a session?
Once you register for THATCamp W13 and are approved, you will receive a user account on the THATCamp website. You should receive your login information by email.
Before the THATCamp…
You should log in to the THATCamp site, click on Posts –> Add New, then write and publish your session proposal. Your session proposal will appear on the front page of this site, and we’ll all be able to read and comment on it beforehand. (If you haven’t worked with WordPress before, see codex.wordpress.org/Writing_Posts for help.)
The morning of the event…
All THATCamp participants will vote on those proposals (and probably come up with several new ones), and then all together will work out how best to put those sessions into a schedule.
You will be expected to facilitate the sessions you propose, so that if you propose a hacking session, you should have the germ of a project to work on; if you propose a workshop, you should be prepared to teach it or find a teacher; if you propose a discussion about a topic, you should be prepared to summarize what that is, begin the discussion, keep the discussion going, and end the discussion.
When do I propose a session?
You can propose a session as early as you like, but most people publish their session proposals to the THATCamp site during the week before the THATCamp begins.
It’s a good idea to check the THATCamp site frequently in the week beforehand (perhaps by subscribing to its RSS feed with an RSS reader such as Google Reader) to see and comment on everyone’s session proposals.
You can also come up with a last-minute idea and propose it to the THATCamp participants during the scheduling session, which is the first session of the THATCamp.
Why are sessions proposed this way?
Proposing sessions just before a THATCamp and building a schedule during the first session of a THATCamp ensures that sessions are honest and informal, that session topics are current, and that unconference participants will collaborate on a shared task. See the About page for more information on the philosophy of unconferences.
How do I facilitate a session?
If you’re new to the THATCamp scene, you might be wondering how to facilitate a session. This is entirely up to you, but here are a few suggestions…
- Who are you?
- Where do you come from?
- What do you know about the session topic?
- What would you like to get out of the session?
Plan the session
- How are we going to record our ideas? (whiteboard/notepads/Google docs/something else)
- What are our session objectives? (write these down)
Go for it!
Learn, share, hack, build, brainstorm…
- What are our takeaways?
- What this session useful?
- Do we need more time? We could use another session to continue…