Conference Wrap-up

I’ve had the good fortune to be able to go to two – count ’em, TWO – great conferences in the past two weeks.  I went to the Iowa Technology Education Connection (ITEC) conference, focusing on integrating technology into education, then I went to the American Association of School Librarian (AASL) conference, focusing on school librarianship.  The latter includes a lot of technology, too, of course.  It’s a bit overwhelming to consider all that I have to do, and easy to feel like I’m not getting anything done.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?

One of the fun things I was able to do was I tweeted my way through both conferences instead of taking handwritten notes.  I have a new phone, my first smart phone, and (as Hank Hill would say) I tell you what, it changes your life.  It’s definitely made me more productive in some ways, but definitely more distracted, too.

I tell you what!
So if you want to read my notes from the conferences, just check out my tweets here.  I think my biggest takeaway from ITEC is that we can’t definitively show improvements in student learning because of laptop computers.  That can’t be the reason why we do 1:1 in schools.  But especially upon hearing the impact in the Sioux City School District (from people who interviewed and didn’t hire me!), I know it does change lives for the better.  To me, it’s about bridging the digital divide.  I’m also excited about lots of new projects – GIS, digital storytelling, tools for blogging, and a lot more.  The big takeaway from all that is that no one person can master all the technology out there.  I’m excited, though, after the standardized tests in a couple of weeks, I want to start implementing “lunch ‘n learns” where people come eat lunch in the library and learn about some new technology.   I can’t wait to learn from the great teachers here at my school.


AASL was a great experience too.  I’d never been to a national conference and the number of vendors and sessions was a little overwhelming.  There was so much I’d love to see and couldn’t do.  I can access it through the AASL Ning, though, and hope to do that soon.  (There’s also the Library 2.0 conference going on now, so . . . )  I met some great librarians, from Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Arkansas, Connecticut, and more.  I think the biggest takeaway I got there was that I’m in the coolest profession ever!  The coolest profession for me, anyway.  But I think it’s pivotal that we librarians spread our message, that libraries aren’t just about print books or the Dewey Decimal System.  We’re about sharing stories and writing and research and technology.  Lots and lots of technology.

This week, it’s book fair time, so that’s a whole ‘nother experience.  I’m learning with that too and can’t wait for the next book fair because I’ll know exactly what to do!

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