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Monday, August 13, 2012

What I Did At The E-Literacy Conference (from my other blog)

First published in our staff newsletter March 23 2012

Back in March I had the privilege of attending what may be the best conference I have ever done, run by the School Library Association of Victoria. I am still getting my head around all the wonderfully useful information I received and the notes I took; I have been downloading teaching apps on my iPad and started following teacher-librarians i met there on Twitter, though that's blocked on our school network. Pity - it's a useful tool. (And I encountered and started following a tech-loving ESL teacher in Canada, who shares information in his tweets).

Attendees were encouraged to use their devices – laptops, phones and iPads. I had my iPad with me and I was able to go online in the conference’s wifi connection. As the speakers shared their web sites and software information with us, I went on-line, checked and bookmarked some sites we can use in teaching. We were able to tweet on the conference’s special Twitter session; some used it to take notes, others for comments on the session. I came away with a couple of new followers and teachers I am now following.

We had a demonstration from Mill Park Secondary College, a school which had been part of a program that enabled students to use various bits of software and hardware to produce a science presentation that went way beyond the usual PowerPoint. There were also speakers from VCAA.

Dr Ross Todd of Rutgers University in New Jersey was our keynote speaker. Dr Todd had done a survey of New York school libraries and chosen twelve that had the most positive attitude towards their libraries and library professionals, considered part of the curriculum team to improve student outcomes. These were schools like ours, with very little money. They were prepared to put it into their libraries and the teacher-librarians running them. (Actually, the sentence he used was "the schools where the principal had the guts to invest in their libraries did the best". That didn't go into my school report, I'm adding it here.)

His talk was very inspiring, as was the entire day, and I rushed off to check out all those new sites. I've used some since then and run PDs using them.

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