The SCASL Conference began today in Columbia, SC. I missed the preconference sessions and opening reception. I feel bad, as I could have driven down right after school today at least for the reception. But the weather was pretty bad and would have called for quite a drive in nasty rain, and I an still recovering from what probably is a pulled muscle in my back. I just decided one more evening comfortable at home and in my bed was called for. (Of course I’m driving in both Thursday and Friday too, so I guess that sounds somewhat like a lame excuse for not attending this afternoon.)
I will be leaving ridiculously early both mornings, and will be staying late in the evening at least tomorrow night. Pray for travel mercies! I am excited to attend, and there are many reasons!! Three of them are my own involvement in presentations.
- I’m copresenting with incoming SCASL president-elect for 2001-2012 Heather Loy, and with my friend Fran Bullington. We are quite the trio, and affectionately refer to ourselves as the Media Muskateers!! We are leading a session titled “There’s an App for That!” We have done this presentation twice before (UTC and the SCETV Conference) so hopefully the third time is the charm. It is a fun session, but this will be the first time it is a planned “sit and get” type presentation. The two times before we have been in a lab setting with out attendees getting hands on sandbox time to play with the tools. Here is the link to our session.
- I’m also doing another session: Words, 2.0h! Again this will be the third time presenting it–I did this for the SCETV workshops this past summer, and then again in St. Cloud, MN for their annual conference, MEMO.
- I’m going to do a showcase of the AASL Top Websites for Teaching and Learning as well, though it’s not until Friday. Nothing original here. Most of my resources come straight from the AASL website, and intend to give them full credit. I don’t ever remember a SCASL session that highlighted the “Best Websites,” so thought I’d give it a stab. My twist on what has already been done is to have my group brainstorm sites before I reveal these (which surely some in the room are already aware of) to identify/list on chart paper more and hopefully different sites that we can categorize the same way, and hopefully walk away with some websites to nominate for next year’s AASL Best sites for Teaching and Learning. I hope folks like my presentation twist anyway.
This conference is one where we as librarians get to come together face to face and network, hang out, have fun, and learn so much from each other. I often say the most value added part of conferences is the networking, even above and beyond hearing dynamic keynotes and listening to authors tell about their craft. This year we have David Loertscher, and unlike recent years, David is here for the entire three days of our gathering, contributing each day!
My presentations are pretty light sessions, so I feel a little guilty not doing something deeper in content. But at least I am contributing. And I’m attending too. I know far too many LMS;s who have opted not to attend this year–some for because their budget, others because school is not paying for and/or allowing them to attend. I feel sorry for those folks, and hope to contribute some to a virtual presence through videos, pictures, and using the social networks.
I have no patience for those who did not come solely based on that their district would not pay for it. My district did not pay for me, but happily gave me the professional leave. It was worth it to me to scrape up money to attend, though I’m not spending the night and opting out of some of the meal functions.
I guess I’m being pretty judgmental here, but I just cannot fathom that someone would miss out just because their school or district would not shell out the money. Of course I am reminded that some live on limited income and are far enough away that we are not just talking of a conference registration, but also a need for gas, meals, and lodging, making it perhaps not necessarily a sound financial investment at this time. I’m glad I was able to swing it. I am thankful that I can drive in each day and enjoy the perks of being around a room full of like minded or job alike educators.
I hope I can blog more about the conference. Tune back in!