It was unique in that I am new to the un-conference idea, and despite descriptions of how an un-conference is deployed, I was still unsure. I was surprised to find that an un-conference is not so unlike a traditional conference that I felt overwhelmed or alien. To begin, several participants proposed panels they would be willing to lead. Proposers are not required to have a paper to read, or even to do any lecturing. If your proposal gets accepted as a panel, you merely lead a conversation which happens involving the whole group, a google document, and a lot of tweeting. Some proposers brought along visuals to get the conversation started, and others just brought questions.
The first day of the conference, we all gathered (there were about 50 of us) to determine the schedule based on the proposals that had been added to the THATCampHP blog. This scheduling created a sense of community and togetherness that I have never felt at a conference. Not only did we all discuss our ideas and talk about what is important to our particular THATCamp community, we also got to meet each other face-to-face for the first time. Many of us have been tweeting back and forth, and contributing to Hybrid Pedagogy conversations using a #digped for months. And once the scheduling was over, we went into the panels we had decided and created really interesting and valuable discussions, some of which may even end up featured in the Hybrid Pedagogy journal at some point in the future.
Overall, THATCampHP was a success for me. Our virtual conference was also a success, as several people participated remotely. If you have never participated in an un-conference, or have never heard of one, I recommend you check out the links in this blog and try one out for yourself.
And I am curious to know what others here in the HASTAC community have experienced at other THATCamp un-conferences. Please share!