Our annual SCASL conference is over and done. I arrived home from Charleston, SC around 3PM today, deciding to nix the SC Book Awards Luncheon even though I scored a ticket (I did not have one due to tight budget when I originally registered.) I figured I had connections with iPhones sitting in the luncheon, and they would let me know the winner of the SCYABA–and I was NOT let down! Oh the power of PLNs.
I am still very much processing the conference, and hopefully will follow up with posts. But here are the highlights for me:
- Our title wins!!
Finding out WHILE driving down the road that the book my students overwhelmingly chose as our school winner was also named the 2010 SCYABA! Thirteen Reasons Why was actually the first one of the nominees I read, and it was AWESOME!! I am posting on our school blog later this evening so hopefully kids will know before we return from spring break–we have all next week off! I want to have a celebration at school too!
- Featured Author Alane Ferguson! WOW she is probably the most engaging and energetic author I’ve ever seen at our conference. She was fantastic. I know Fran Bullington captured audio of the session I attended, and maybe–(PLEASE FRAN) maybe we can find a way to create a podcast of the session to share. It won’t be the same as being their since her visuals were oh so much MORE than just her book titles, but hopefully we’ll be able to produce and publish this podcast. We’ll have to ask permission of course, and we may have to edit out a few comments (we’ll have to ask and offer that option) but no matter what, if we get to share bits and pieces, it will be worth it. I want to go to the library tomorrow and check out ALL her books now. And she has shared that her next title is set in Charleston, SC< so she was ecstatic to be with us–and it showed.
- Michael Giller’s session–here’s how it was listed in the conference guide:
What’s the DIF? You still be IL’n. ……….. Room 14
Do you want to understand how Digital Information Fluency (DIF) connects to student success? How does this fluency relate to the broader Information Literacy (IL) movement? Explore how to incorporate digital information fluency and technology skills with students and faculty to prepare them for the 21st century.
Strand: Emerging Technologies/Integration
Presenter: Michael Giller, South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities
- I was extremely intrigued with this session’s title alone. Michael Giller walked us through the pedagogy for teaching information & digital fluency, and masterfully used Camtasia created videos of search samples that showed how we use the problem solving model in our own instruction. Lot’s of metacognition and thinking about thought processes/reflections and best, I walked away with GREAT ideas for creating sample tutorials for teaching the databases we have, using examples of searches. These could be posted on our various web portals so kids needing assistance can watch them as an option. I told Michael this should be sent in as a proposal to ALA and AASL.
- Will Richardson
That’s almost enough said. Will did two half day pre-conference sessions Wednesday, as well as a conference concurrent session and our keynote on Thursday. It was delightful to have someone with rock-star status in the education world at our conference. Best, I consider him an elite member of my PLN. I admit to nagging for a long time to conference planning chair and SCASL president elect Joe Myers that Will Richardson was the ONLY suitable choice for our keynote. Afterall, it would be very difficult to top our hosting Joyce Valenza in 2008 and Doug Johnson in 2009. I borderline harassed Joe into inviting Will Richardson, so imagine my surprise and delight when he emailed me earlier in the school year and said, “Shhh, dont tell, but I think we just secured Will Richardson as our keynote.” I was stunned, and could only reply OMG! And yes, Joe took immense pleasure with his introduction of Will, telling everyone of my campaign. I got a thank you from Will at SCASL too. Best, he called me by name–which let me know yes, we move in some (a very few for sure, but some) of the same circles. Dare I say PLNs? And don’t say he could have read it off my badge. I could tell it was said with an ease that comes from “familiarity!!” Of course I began a huge campaign to get great speakers to propose sessions for this conference (THANKS SO MUCH Chris Craft, Betty Jordan, Donna Teuber, Liz Martin, Frank & Cathy Moore, and all the rest. You folks were wonderful!) Icing on the cake, I was asked to arrange a dinner host for Will’s dinner plans Wednesday PM, and with Chris Craft’s help, six of us entertained Will for dinner at a Thai restaurant. Thanks Joe for listening to me, and thanks for embarrassing me some with the keynote intro by telling everyone how pushy I was about this. LOL. Thanks Heather Loy, Fran Bullington, Chris Craft, and Nic Finelli for being engaging and entertaining dinner guests with me and THE Will Richardson.
While I know none have been published yet, seven sessions were recorded to be published as vodcasts on SCASL’s TeacherTube channel. Will Richardson’s second pre-conference took place in the “vodcast” room, so was accidentally taped, but Will has given us permission to publish it along with the rest. SCORE!! I worked diligently between sessions Thursday to record parts of the conference and get feedback from attendees to share as well, and sometime this week I will publish that video to share, especially for those who did not get to attend this year.
Will helped many of us figure out Evernote, and so some of my friends (Fran, Heather) used Evernote to record a couple of sessions. Maybe if we can figure it out, we can find a way to publish those files as podcasts.
- My only complaint was that SCASL was not able to secure wifi for attendees at conference, which was a huge hit for me. I seriously thought I was going through withdrawal. But I did manage to get connected using my droid, so it wasn’t a total loss. But I have ADD so bad when I’m at conference I cannot concentrate on regular tweeting or texting with my PLN. So my contribution will have to be my homemade video, which I will share on the conference site, my blog, and the SCASL Ning…sooner or later.
So now–all you connected learners out there–what were your conference highlights?
P.S. Will Richardson bears a striking resemblance to my brother who is a year younger than me. I told Will I would share pictures so we could decide. What do you think? Here are two of my brother Chris and one of Will.