BarCamp is a group discussion format where no distinction is made between speakers and audience and where sessions are proposed spontaneously. The focus of a BarCamp is the exchange of knowledge within a defined group of people.
It is not the organiser (or teacher) of the BarCamp who defines the topics, structure or focus of the session, but the participants (or learners) propose and select in a democratic process which topics or questions they want to work on.
The facilitator (educator) assigns a room and a specific discussion time to each selected topic. The participants (learners) then decide which session they want to attend. They can participate in the session because they want to know more about that topic, because they want to share their expertise or because they have specific questions about that topic – there are different roles they can take.
A session usually lasts one hour. 45 minutes are reserved for content, and the participants need another 15 minutes to change rooms between two sessions and to adjust to new topics. Students become experts and contribute their knowledge and experiences. A BarCamp helps to connect a teaching subject with the concrete world of experience of the students. It’s a good opportunity for working in heterogeneous groups.
You can use various video conferencing tools to realise a BarCamp:
- MS Teams: use break out rooms to organise the different BarCamp sessions – Log In | Microsoft Teams
- Zoom: https://zoom.us/
- BigBlueButton: offers helpful features like personalised rooms, polls, chat, multi-user whiteboard, document upload; GreenLight is a user-friendly interface for the open source web conferencing system BigBlueButton. – https://bigbluebutton.org/
- Google Meet: https://meet.google.com