This week will prove quite challenging for me. Wednesday through Friday we have our annual South Carolina Association of School Librarians Conference in Greenville, SC. There is much buzz about this conference, but I’m most excited that Doug Johnson is coming for a keynote and a few sessions! I must give kudos to our president-elect, Amanda LeBlanc, as she has tirelessly worked to make this a successful event.
Some will be missed…
With many schools facing tighter budgets and even cutting positions, I have heard of several LMS’s from our great state that will not get to attend. I feel lucky that not only am I attending, but I am getting to attend all three days! (Of course I voluntarily paid for my own expenses.) Many of my own colleagues in my district will get to attend Thursday and Friday. So I know at least in my district, we are somewhat blessed. That probably speaks to our strong leadership (David Bell) at the district level. We are lucky indeed.
This conference promises to bring uncharted ground before many of us, though. Our own SCETV is promising to capture footage to make a memory video to share with SCASL members post conference, and they have proposed to make available via video stream our annual business meeting, particularly so those who cannot attend this year due to budget cuts can at least hear updates and news of the organization.
The SCASL Information Technology committee (of which I am a member) is planning our own ways of including those who have expressed concern over their own or their friends absences. We are going to use our SCASL Ning to share three sessions, quite possibly four, via live streams, video outtakes of our own, and pictures. We will place the content we gather parking lot style on the SCASL Ning. It makes me nervous to no end that we have bitten off such a task, but I so want participate in the challenge. The sessions we share will not be the paid presenters, but instead our committees very own material. Those I know helping include Chair Anne Lemieux, Heather Loy, Linda Wasakow, and me. Here is the list:
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
4:15 – 5:15
Can We Work Together? Using Collaborative Tools
Presenters: Me & Fran Bullington
Thursday, March 12, 2009
7:45 – 8:45
Standards for the 21st Century Learner
Presenters: Suzanne Rhoten & the SCASL Standards & Guidelines Committee
Thursday March 12, 2009
3:15 – 4:15
Let’s Go Global with Voice Thread
Presenter: Anne Lemieux, SCASL Information Technology Committee Chair
We may also capture and share the business meeting too if we find out the SCETV programming will be a delayed tape playback. It is scheduled for Thursday, March 12, 2009 from 1:30 – 3:00, but only part of that is the business meeting. The other part is a keynote from Pamela Lackey, which we do not have permission to video.
The Pioneer’s Formidable Foe – Filters
Will we be successful? Only time will tell. I am so nervous, especially considering my crash and burn at the SLJ Summit. I’m leaving the “cover-it-live” alone this time though. We already have much to chew on, and once we master this, then maybe we’ll revisit the cover -it-live. Now I know many are going to still be frustrated, as live streams are for the vast majority blocked at school. Hang, even the SCASL Ning is blocked for a good many. But we are still going to attempt this. As I told our committee leader, Anne, it doesn’t matter our success or failure this time. All that matters is that we tried. We tried to include a larger audience, and we tried to meet a need from the outcry of those unable to attend this year. We tried to utilize 21st century tools for a great cause. We tried to model being forward minded. We are pioneers, I told her. We are pioneers.
Let the Journey Begin
So if you are coming to SCASL this year, don’t be surprised to see our committee sporting bonnets so typical of the pioneer women long before our time. I’m sure its going to be rough, I don’t expect perfection, and I’m positive there will be a lot of criticisms and second guessing along the way. We hope our venture will get other LMSs to ask difficult questions at school, particularly about the filters that will keep them form virtually particpating this year. We are carving a path for the future, and hopefuly more will follow in this path. I certainly hope we don’t fade away like “the lost colonoy.”