This Wednesday, October 22, 2008, SCASL (South Carolina Association of School Librarians) is sponsoring a Twilight Webinar for the SCASL Members! it will begin at 4PM! I am excited because as a member of the Instructional Information Technology Committee there have been times where I felt our committee was in name only. Our website is hosted/maintained elsewhere, and our duties over the last few years have been less and less. The year I was the head of the committee, I think the only accomplishment I could claim was getting the many vendors lurking and posting to our list to back off to lurk status only.
Anyway, this year the IT committee chair asked what would be a good project for a basically non-existent committee. I suggested exposing SCASL members to streaming content, and maybe even getting some of our conference streamed out to school librarians who cannot attend conferences–yes there are many out there in our state who will not be able to attend. And with imminent budget cuts due to the current economy, my fear is this may be the lowest turnout for our conference in years–no fault of conference organizers. (I do confess and maybe even profess that if my district won’t pay my way, I will fork out the dough from my own pocket. I have before and I will again. I WILL NOT miss Doug Johnson at this year’s conference.)
So anyway, we have organized our first webinar, with the topic of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight! Hosted by Richland One and Kershaw County’s media specialists Susan Mcnair and Karen Faulkenberry (Lugoff-Elgin High School LMS’s), the SCASL IT goal is to promote literacy and reading, give school LMS’s ideas for using the popularity of this YA book, AND expose LMS’s to live streaming content. Although this webinar is considered professional development, my hope is that many who join will also see the potential of the streaming tools we use (for this one Macromedia’s Breeze, compliments of Richland One) as a means for instructional purpose in the classroom or library.
We are in the planning stages for other similar webinars using other tools, to possibly include Elluminate and Ustream, among others we are exploring. For the first time in years I feel like SCASL is on the cutting edge! Congrats on your wonderful leadership, SCASL Pres. Valerie Byrd-Fort and IT Chair Anne Lemieux!
I hope many SCASL members (and non members alike) will join us for this froward step into the 21st Century. As my own district’s library media coordinator said last week at one of our own in-house explorations into video streaming with the library folks, we are pioneers! Plan to join us if you are an SC librarian. (For those not from SC, I suppose you can lurk, and if we can swing it we’ll invite you into the interactive mix later during the webinar.) But truly this first one is targeted to SC people. I hope by our association modeling the willingness to share content through the tools, other library organizations will do the same. We’ve already seen this modeled effectively through Educon 2.0, NECC08, and K12 Online. I’m proud to be associated with all of those (each one highly successful despite offering freely flowing content) and this too. I <3 SC!