Conference Season

Last week I went to a three-day conference, Technology Integration and Instruction for the 21st Century Learner.  I’ve been to a few other conferences, the Iowa Association of School Librarians, the 1:1 Iowa 1:1 Conference, and before that, the Wallace Symposium for Gifted Education before that.  This week, the Twitterverse is agog over the ISTE conference in Philadelphia.  It’d be fun to take my daughter who is an ed tech minor to one of those yearly meetings, but since next year it’s in San Diego, 2013 in San Antonio, and 2014 in Atlanta, it will be awhile (too far, too expensive, too much traffic).  Why don’t they do these meetings in say, Omaha?  I can handle driving there.  Maybe we’ll go in 2014 then my brother in Atlanta can drive me around. HA!

Anyway, this close-to-home conference was really good.  I’m glad to see a wide variety of sessions, for the beginner to the seasoned ed tech professional.  I thought the keynote speaker, David Warlick, was fantastic, although his fascination with Second Life has me wonder.   🙂  The idea of a “flat classroom” is really where we are headed, isn’t it?  Oh and after the conference, a rockstar teacher tweeted me and would like to collaborate!  How cool is that?

Here’s a few notes I took down, things I want to stay with me:

*Some countries have much greater internet access than we have.  It’s sort of every man for himself here (my phrase, not his), and Warlick said that we have disaster looming in our country because of this.

*Warlick – “Perhaps the best thing we can teach our children today is how to teach themselves.”  Exactly!  This is what I see as the foundation of information literacy and what I want to accomplish as a teacher librarian.

*The best way to get students to respect other people’s intellectual property is to make them intellectual property owners – have them create and post online and copy using Creative Commons their own work.  Even put these in the library for future students to see.  (Reminds me of when my 6th grade teacher kept my report on the Brahman of India that I took poetic license on and wrote in the first person.  She said she wanted to use it for future classes and boy did that make me proud!)

*Start your lesson with something that you learned yesterday

*Anatomy of the long tail – apparently I should know about this!  Find out more.

*Lulu is great for self-publishing

*Information skills is about exposing what is true (reading), employing the information (math), expressing ideas compellingly (writing), and doing all this in an ethical framework

*Peggy Coyne (another keynote) – Universal Design for Learning addresses the variability of students in today’s classrooms

*Coyne – provide multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement – great for our PLN class

*Blogging is motivating to student writing because it becomes a responsive experience, not because it’s technology


Well, I know that blogging is motivating to me as a good way of keeping track of what I’ve learned at conferences.  HA!

Anyway, T-minus-4 (days) until I start my job as a teacher-librarian.  Yay!!!

My favorite things

One of the best part of librarianship for me is how varied it is.  Every day is something new! Seriously, at the public library, you just never know what will happen.  I asked my mentor once what a typical day for her was like and she said there was no typical day, and then described what the previous day had been like, which involved all sorts of things you just don’t learn in library school.  
My favorite thing about my job, though, is when a child comes up and wants help finding a book to read.  The other day, a girl came up and she totally soaked up every book idea I put in front of her.  (Of course, there’s been some who don’t like any book I suggest!)
But by far my favorite part of librarianship in general is the idea of information literacy.  I imagine that for those who have been librarians for awhile, it’s been amazing to see the transformation from a bricks and mortar institution to one where there are no limits to information.  Seriously, people don’t need librarians to find information.  There is no dearth of information out there.  But then that goes into the idea of information literacy – finding, assessing, and using information.  Finding is finding good information which of course is done through assessing.  But assessing is also figuring out if information is good for your purposes – it might be a solid, trustworthy resource but not have anything to do with what you are doing.  Then using information is not only writing a report or making a Power Point – it’s using alternative methods like Glogster and Jing and Prezi (or, like I’ve done here, creating a presentation using HTML – isn’t so much more interesting than a Power Point?), and even more, creating content.  My oldest daughter is great at doing things like this.  She made a video for her sister’s birthday using iMovie and posted it on You Tube (not listing it, so you have to have the link to see it).  That video totally makes me cry!

I graduate in 168 days!