Real Life / Virtual Life
Well I attended the presentation in Second Life given by David Loertscher tonight. No small feat considering I worked all day, had a 3 hour staff development after school from 4-7PM, and then had to drive home. The presentation began at 8PM. I managed to login (for the first time in 4ever) and complete a required upgrade to Second Life to get in just in time to find a seat and a friend (Anne Lemieux) named DeeDee Plutonium (or something like that.)
Let’s Reinvent Ourselves
The speech and presentation, aptly titled Reinventing School Libraries and Computer Labs: The Time Has Come!, was informative and charged with excitemen, learning, and yes, even frustration. Loertscher did a fantastic job of cmapring libraries of yesterday and today to Microsoft vs. Google. He talked about making our spaces common and our collections elastic and stretchy, and for us to think beyond the print resources we warehouse.
BMW Club-my trap
Lisa Perez (aka SL Elaine Tulip) did a fantastic job facilitating conversations as we were frequently invited to text in our thoughts. It was wnderful to talk with many librarians and technology educators from all around. But I did find myself falling into a trap of belly-aching–belly-aching over filters and their impact on the services we can and cannot offer to our patrons. Joyce Valenza (aka SL Joyce Story) kept trying to chime in with glass half full comments, but I think filtering is a trigger issue that gets me really hot under the collar. I apologize if I used the session to vent too much. I found though that I was not alone. Oh, what is a BMW Club? Ask me privately.
Despite the filter…
One person–SL Edna ____ (I can’t remember her last name) wanted me to share about an upcoming event I have planned at school. I am sponsoring a parent event that students will be conducting, and a few of the sessions will require my district to relax the filter for the evening. My kids are going to be sharing with our parents, teachers, and other student solutions to not having access to expensive software programs like Microsoft Office or Microsoft Works. We are still very much in the brainstorming phases of this, but we plan to show Open Office and Google Applications (docs, spreadsheets, presentation) particularly the ability to collaboratively work on projects. Our district generally blocks google accounts, though we can search google. Kids cannot neccessarily login in and use all the features. So we are excited about the possibilities.
I solemnly promise to…
Anyway back to the preso. I solemnly promise to STAY POSITIVE next time I’m in SL. I think because we school library media specialists are “singletons” in our buildings, networking opportunities like tonight’s session allow us to compare stories and fairness issues. I think I really got bent out of shape about how testing drives curriculum (and where I come from, computer purchases) and then filtering restricts our ability to learn and facilitate learning. Sigh. I look forward to more professional development opportunities in SL. I need to reinvent more than my library–I need to reinvent myself in that virtual world to a significantly more positive glass half full person.