June is here and so is ALA’s Annual Conference. This year, my first serving on AASL’s Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee, is wrapping up the year’s work. June 23, 2012, 8:00-10:00AM, our committee has a featured session to announce the 2012 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning. I attended this session in 2010 at ALA, and I kid you not when I say standing room only. Same was true for a session featuring the BWTL at AASL2011 back in the fall. Apparently ALA has taken notice, giving the session a bigger room and higher rank for the 2012 Annual Conference, as it is a recommended/featured session that many school folks clamor to!!
Committee members and friends
It has been such a joy to work on this committee. I can’t tell you how many skype calls, doodle polls, emails, and AASLBestList digital discussions we have engaged in to formulate, review, and finally select the winning sites. It has been a tremendous amount of work that has been exciting and rewarding. Getting to know my committee members (by children and pets LOL) has been memorable and fun. So it is with great anticipation that I look forward to the big reveal that morning in Anaheim, CA!!
Before ALA, there’s UTC
Next week, June 12, I am conducting a session at the Upstate Technology Conference in Greenville, SC on, if you havent already guessed, the Best Websites for Teaching and Learning. When I submitted my proposal, I really did not think about the fact that the big reveal for 2012 wouldn’t have taken place yet. So, alas, I must feature the 2011 winners, and make a big push for the pending announcement of the 2012 winners. No worries, though, as I’ve prepared with awesome material. I could have used last year’s SpiceyNodes preso, but I decided to do my own featured in this post. So my vehicles for “re-presenting” the 2011 winners are two presentation programs, one to start on and midway through leave it for an alternate program, then come back to the first. I know–how confusing! I’ll just call it mulitmedia mashup.
To start off
The first one featured here in slide share will be the one I use to begin with. We will start with a history of sorts and how the program has grown and evolved over the years since the first one in 2009. We will then have a memory slide from both 2009 and 2010, reminiscing on the tools featured that we loved. I want to see how many in the room are still unfamiliar with these, but also reassure them that not every tool will appeal to every person, and how it’s okay to give the sites a look or try and then pass. But I do want to encourage my friends in my session to share broadly with their friends about the various tools discussed and showcased.
Time to get actively engaged
Once we are finished with our walk down memory lane, I will invite my session attendees to visit the 6 posters (representing the BWTL categories) with Sharpie and Post-it in hand, and add tools to the different categories AASL recognizes in this program. The goal here is to get the group talking about their favorite sites and see if they can introduce unknown sites that are wonderful for students to each other! (Secretly I HOPE to see some of THIS YEAR’s winners prominently featured on these charts. Never the less it will be a fun activity.)
Sharing the winners…of 2011, sigh
Once we have everyone back together, I will then move on to another slide program to showcase the 2011 winners. Upon completion, I will remind them that they can nominate a site ANYTIME (and highlight the AASL BWTL nomination site as the “go to place for nominating their favorites) and encourage all to check back with me here, or Twitter (hashtag AASLBW12), or the AASL site the morning of June 23. Well, that’s the plan, anyway. Wish me luck. I’ll report back here if it goes extremely well…or really badly.