Archive for Professional Development
March 17, 2008
Today I did a workshop for LMS’s and their principals. The principals were only required to attend for 1 hour, so I divided my material up into 2 parts. Part 1 included some interactivity, and part 2 some humor. These are the cover slides, but the entire preso (for both) can be found on my Slideshare (linked below.) I wish I could publish the groups 15 minutes of fame. They did a fantastic job in what they were asked to do. I did birdwalk a bit, and so did not get to show the videos I had planned, and though Skype initially worked at the beginning, when it was time to skype in my guest speaker, John Pederson, Skype seemingly was blocked. Hmm.. Overall though, I feel it was a good workshop. Wish I had played my videos though–they were the “piece de’resistance.”
Her is Part 1:
Here is Part 2:
I am going to try to embed them again tomorrow, though it may not work. They are slide share files, located here.
March 14, 2008
Today ended the SCASL conference that I attended in Columbia, SC. It is always a rewarding experience, as being a librarian makes you a singleton in your building most of the time, so what fun and excitement all of us like minded people can have when we are all together. There was never a dull moment. Here I am setting up my Exploratorium booth and getting ready to show and tell Flickr and SCASL Blogs!
Columbia was warm and sunny the whole conference (March 12-14, 2008) and I rekindled old friendships and made some new ones.
Sitting with Susan Henley and Camillia Harris (from Charleston School District) in Larry Johnson’s pre-conference session was so much fun–We talked almost through the whole presentation! But I had my laptop so we were pulling up the links to things he was talking about, so it was somewhat related. He never seemed to get annoyed with us, but I do think we were a tad distracting. Apologies Larry!
Eating dinner @ California Dreaming with Heather Loy and Mary (from Busbee Elementary). Although the three of us come from different school levels–Heather is from a high school, Mary from an elementary school, and I am from middle–each of us seem to face a lot of similar issues in our libraries.
Sitting through Joyce Valenza’s sessions were probably the highlight of the conference. She is leading with such an awesome example of what a true 21st century teacher librarian should look like, and I have set her as my own personal role model of what I want to be. I just want to thank Joyce for raising that bar SO high. One of my friends made fun of me for sitting on the front rows of the sessions Joyce gave. I just asked isn’t that what all kiss-ups do? But I truly wanted some of her knowledge & wisdom to touch me, if not physically, than spiritually from her aura. I don’t know why, but I felt the need to be right there. I think Joyce may have been surprised at the lack of knowledge on 2.0 tools, and she even fretted to some of us after her first session that perhaps she needs to slow down or chunk some of the content for easier digestion. I said no, please keep the bar raised high so our state librarians will know what they need to work towards. Note to Joyce: While there may have been fear in some eyes as you presented, there was a spark that we need to fan into a fire on utilizing today’s tools to engage learners. Many came to my session just thelp them understand better, and I thank you for that.
The SCASL Bag Fashion Show was a hoot-and yes, I participated. I hope to get more of the pictures posted and Ida Thompson’s rather funny diatribe that was read as we walked the fashion runway!
Supper at Damon’s with Julia Davis, MaryAnn Sansonetti, and Chris Craft was a delightful way to end the day, and we have some plans underway–watch for them to be revealed soon. Collective wisdom is awesome.
After two full days of “sit and get” style presentations, I was worried about my own presentation on RSS Feeds. I returned to my room Thursday evening set on revamping my preso, removing the little text that I already had in it, and retooling it to be less like the “sit and get” sessions I had been in the two previous days. I tried hard to come up with interactivity, but never could formulate a plan that I thought would work. So I decided to turn to my network. I asked for shout outs at the beginning of my session, asking Twitter to greet my group and tell how they use RSS. I had 24 tweets to share, and I used them to start and finish my session. I was dumbfounded to realize that Joyce Valenza herself and Kathy Shrock, both of whom have been at SCASL before, and both in my reader’s “expert” folder, tweeted to my group. (Joyce had already returned to PA, but sent warm wishes and thanks for the fun she’d had in SC the day before.) I also got a skype chat from Tim Van Heule while presenting, which was rather funny b/c he did not know I was in the middle of my preso. Really cute and funny, and it went something like this:
Tim Van Heule
Sessions already? 8:13 AM
ready 8:13 AM
hi Tim Van Heule 8:13 AM
Tim Van Heule
What’s going on, Cathy Nelson? 8:13 AM
in the middle of a presentation 8:14 AM
Tim Van Heule
Ah… Fun… leaving you to it. 8:14 AM
bye 8:14 AM
My audience got a real kick out of the fact that I briefly chatted (using Skype chat as a text) with Tim. Since I had Skype open there was no disregarding it, so I just pulled it in as part of my preso! I had arranged to get Dennis Richards of Massachusetts to skype in, so instead of waiting for him to call (which is why i had Skype open) I just went ahead and called him. He was at the ASCD Conference in New Orleans. Using wireless on a conference connection is risky business indeed, too, but I forged ahead. It was a stop and go call, but Dennis did a fabulous job telling all how we knew each other from networking with the tools. He introduced himself as a school superintendent in his area, catching many LMS’s there off guard to know that a supt was using the tools as well. He shared that he had only been using RSS since last summer, but now thinks a whole new way about learning, particularly personal learning, now that he uses RSS. I didn’t drag out the conversation long since it was choppy, but do feel I left a strong impression about how RSS can help you develop a PLN (professional learning network) to grow and learn. In the mix I had the RSS in Plain English video as well as a video interview of Will Richardson where he spoke to the fact that educators must first learn the tools themselves before tryng to use them in school with kids. I also showed a short segment of an archived Ustream that Dennis Richards had on his blog where Sheryl Nussbaum Beach is talking about how a network can supplement your learning, and it was form the day before at her keynote at the NCAET Conference no less, going on simultaneously with SCASL–just about 175 miles up the road. Read about her keynote, and even view it here. I hope today I did teach how RSS can play a lead role in professional development, and I think I embodied the example of taking advantage of generous people in my network who helped me out. I thought this was one of the best presentations I have ever done. Of course, I’m biased too.
My audience seemed receptive to my message and now I have a TON of homework to do. I promised all the links I used would appear in the presentation link of this blog, and so I must set out to create that. I also have a 3-hour workshop to prepare for Monday. Am feeling very swamped!!
March 6, 2008
Next week, March 12-14, the South Carolina Association of School Librarians will meet up in Columbia, SC for the annual SCASL Conference. This year’s theme, Power Up @ Your Library, is very fitting, as there are some POWERFUL guest speakers, authors, and more coming to rejuvenate me! Annette Lamb, Larry Johnson, Joyce Valenza, Gail Dickinson…I almost feel like I’m going to a national level conference rather than a state level one. Our President-elect, Valerie Byrd-Fort has one a FANTASTIC job putting our conference together this year. I cannot wait until Wednesday next week!
The conference program was released today, and I have made a preliminary outline of what I want to attend–and guess what? I’m not skipping a single event. I will be exhausted when I get home Friday evening. Here is a rough itinerary (with session titles abbreviated for me) that is subject to change.
Concurrent 1 (4:15-5:15)
James Bryan – Historical Fiction
Perry McLeod- Digital Storytelling
Exploratorium and All-Conference Reception (5:30-7:30)
SCASL Blogs! & SCASL Flickrs! (Okay, so you may not know that this is my responsibility and so I will be hosting it–IT! OMG!! I have not even begun to put together a display board or anything. I better get busy!! Late supper too-shucks…Someone wait for me to go eat.
Concurrent 2 (8:00-9:00)
Joyce Valenza – Library Websites
Concurrent 3 (9:15-10:15)
Gail Dickinson NBPTS–>NBCT Now what?
Annette Lamb – PPT Sidekicks
Larry Johnson – Re-Imagine…
12:00-1:15 Meet authors/special guests
(Hob-nob with Authors Jaime Adoff, Eloise Greenfield, Will Hobbs, Alan Katz, Michelle Knudsen, and special guests Joyce Valenza, Annette Lab, and Larry Johnson!)
SCASL Business Meeting, 1:30 – 3:00
Concurrent 4 (3:15-4:15)
Gail Dickinson – AASL Standards
Annette Lamb – Re-Imagine…
Larry Johnson – RSS feeds in classroom
Concurrent 5 (8:00-9:00)
MINE-Feed the Mind w/ RSS
(Note: there were some awesome sessions planned at the same time as mine, and thankfully some of the ones going on at the same time (Like MaryAnn Sansonetti’s “Ipodabilities” and Carole McGrath’s “T-N-T” I saw previously at a different conference. The only thing I have to worry about–other than an obscene early time to present–is that everyone else might choose theirs over mine. Oh, wait, that would mean fewer people in my session, which translates to an easier preso to give. Ok, I can live with it after-all!)
Concurrent 6 (9:15-10:15)
Debbie Keenan/Margie Edgerton – Flexible schedule
Julia Davis – Google Lit Trips
(I need to go to the Keenan/Edgerton session for ideas on a different preso I’m giving…but I want to go to Julias–how will I ever decide?)
Concurrent 7 (10:15-11:15)
Donna Shannon – Building a Knowledge Base in Reading
Andi Fansher – Moviemaker Magic
Awards Luncheon, 12:00 – 2:00
Eat with my Horry County LMS colleagues as we wait on the edge of our seats for the announcing of this years’ SC Book Award Nominees.
Okay so everyone can see that I have a jam-packed conference planned for myself, and still have many decisions to make. I’m carrying my laptop, and with free wifi, I plan to be connected to my network everywhere I go. Any of you loyal readers, would you like for me to “Ustream” anything? I have found out in the past I cannot “coveritlive” very well or even semi blog during sessions. I have to reflect and post. So I definitely could Ustream some. I’ll be taking a lot of pictures too, and will be posting them to the SCASL Flickrs photostream. So if you are not coming, you can virtually attend compliments of me. Let me know.
March 3, 2008
For the last few years I have asked annually three times during the school year to attend Alan November’s Building Learning Communities Conference. I would ask in August near the beginning, just before Christmas break, and again in March. Each year I was turned down due to lack of funding. I didn’t overly complain b/c one, it is expensive, and two, I feel the conference concept best benefits a group from the same school or district. It takes more than one person to return and help formulate and then cast a vision. Many of my readers know I changed school districts this year. Again, I began my tactic of asking about the BLC conference. Being new, I had to describe it, share my knowledge of what it offers, and really sell the idea that a collective group could really bring back a lot to share. I spoke to my principal and media coordinator on the district level in August. I planted that second seed in December. Today, before I could nourish my little planted seed, I was told that a a sprout had fomulated as a group from the district office was going (just that it did not include me.) When I expressed shocked indignation (yes, lots of pouting out loud!), I was then told that a few principals around the district are putting together small groups of educators from their schools, and that I should inquire with my principal. My principal is not only supportive of me attending with the groups from the district, she is recommending I take one other teacher from our school–someone who can help cast that vision. I did ask her to go with me, but she feels it should be a teacher. I even (shock, i still can’t believe I did it) suggested that instead of me, she send two teachers who are leaders but not necessarily totally bought-in to 21st Centruy Learning, and she said no, you deserve to go Cathy. W00T!
I am extremely happy. Now our school will totally benefit from this, as will my district. And I really feel no one–not one of us–would be going if I hadn’t pushed it.
So I will have my brain so totally tickled this summer! Here’s how my summer is breaking down:
- June 16-20, 2008: South Carolina Association of School Administrators Summer Leadership Institute, presenting Schools & Dealing with Social Networking, Myrtle Beach, SC
- June 25-26th, 2008: Upstate Technology Conference, Greenville, SC
- June 29-July 2, 2008: ISTE’s NECC 2008 in San Antonio, Texas; presenting with panel of experts on School Library Web 2.0
- July 16-18 , 2008: BLC 2008, Boston, Massachusetts
Yes, my brain will be so totally tickled this summer. Who needs vacations when this much fun & learning can be had?
January 28, 2008
My youngest son (17yo) objects heatedly when I talk at the table about friends I’ve connected with. He always asks “real” or “virtual,” as he does not agree that the people I network with using 2.0 tools can be anything more than people somewhere else that you really don’t know. Well I beg to differ, ESPECIALLY after this weekend.
Educon 2.0 was everything it promised to be and more. It was really surreal to see the people that I network with from blogs, chatrooms, wikis, podcasts, nings, and Twitter in person. But it was not like how Alex Russo described educators at conferences (my take on his reference was that we are somewhat like “8th graders at a dance”–very unsure of ourselves.)
From the get go, when Liz Davis met me at the airport in Philadelphia, there was an instant connection. We even hugged like long lost sisters. That was true for most of the day as I met in-person for the first time the people I network with. There were many, many spontaneous hugs.
As I continue to try and wrap my head around how special this conference was, I try to find the words to write. What made it so special? There was not one minute where I was not interacting and talking in conversations, and that includes sessions and fun activities, both scheduled and spontaneous (like the Franklin Institute, boxed lunches, a catered Philly cheese steak supper, an impromptu supper at that Asian Cafe that was so good we went back Saturday evening LATE, and they almost had to ask us to leave so they could close!)
Educon 2.0 was like no other conference I’ve ever been to (and that includes EdubloggerCon In Atlanta, which was more of a pre-conference un-conference idea.) There were no powerpoints or slide shows of bullets in sessions, only educators who served as facilitators to lead the discussion on how to make learning more engaging, more authentic, and how to get beyond the obstacles. There was a lot of discussion about NCLB and filtering, and educators who are not up to speed with the students we teach, who design lessons like it’s 1950 and not 2008. But it pleased me immensely to discuss these topics with the most powerful educators I know, and together strive to find a solution to these obstacles.
What struck me as odd?
There were ALL kinds of educators attending (200+), and they included 2.0 teachers, administrators, instructional technology directors, tech integrators, teacher librarians/media specialists, students, college professors, and more, and strangest to me, a broad range of technology and 2.0 skill base in using the tools, including absolute beginners to seasoned veterans. Many had heard of the conference from the tools we use, but others got it simply by word of mouth. It was great mix of our stakeholders. The only missing piece was parents, though many of these are parents too, so perhaps that was covered as well.
“Touch them all.” David Jakes
NECC is a showboat compared to this. (Can’t remember who said it.)
Supper with the girls (me, Joyce Valenza, Carolyn Foote, Liz Davis, and others). We nixed on two restaurants Friday evening, writing them off due to crowds (after all, Friday is a date night.) We settled for the Asian restaurant, and shockingly enough, befroe we knew it, we had nine at our table. Then right after we ordered two more groups came in, and because the tables were somewhat close, the conversations continued well into the evening–by the end our crowd included close to 75 people. (See my pictured table!)
What I found MOST surreal
My RSS reader was walking around with me, and many were calling me by name. Yes, I do mean Chris Lehmann, Will Richardson, Joyce Valenza, David Jakes, Christian Long, Patrick Higgins, Jennifer Wagner, Woody Delauder, Glenn Moses, Ryan Bretag, and, well, I could just keep going here, but the I would not meet my goal of brevity…
Tons of time to connect!
I will probably blog some more about the conference, but I did want to leave this food for thought. I know it was an immense challenge that Principal Chris Lehmann of the Science Leadership Academy pulled off, but he pulled it off extremely well. But this is the first conference ever that only cost me $50 and included so many well established gurus. There was no exhibit hall, no badges or bags (though I did win a prize, a mug with the Educon Logo), and no frantic schedule of sessions w/ no time to talk between. This was by far the best conference I have ever attended, as each session was designed to be a conversation, with a full 90 minutes that more often than not allowed the participants to really connect, debate, and learn from each other. Many of them had some kind of interactive component (our session had participants draw a traditional library vs. a 21st century library, and then describe them; another session had the participants create a poem or lyric to share about the topic.) Then each session allowed 30 minutes to get to the next discussion, which allowed you to continue the conversation should you choose to. All for $50. WHAT A BARGAIN!!
My Personal Blonde Moment
Sunday morning I was to ride from the hotel with Liz Davis , since she had rental car and our planes left relatively close together. We would ride to the airport form SLA together. But I misunderstood the time, and thought she had left without me (and I was wrong i later found out!) But Will Richardson and Ryan Bretag were riding in Will’s car (a Prius!!) and Will offered to take me and my luggage over. So I hopped in. Will remarked that he really wanted coffee, and I told him if he would take a right there was a Dunkin Donuts and a little convenience store right there. So he drove up to the curb, quickly threw the car in park, and was out of the car I thought before it came to a halt. I swear it rolled about 6 more inches. I about freaked out! I was asking very excitedly to Ryan is the car stopped, is this car in park?? Now mind you I was in the front. Ryan answered yes, but asked to get out (the child door locks were engaged.) At this time I’m still not sure the car is actually in park, so I still a wee bit nervous. I’m trying to unlock his door, while inside panicked about the motion I know I detected. Ryan basically had to say (and as politely as he could muster,) “No Cathy–you have to open my door from the outside–the child locks are engaged.” Talk about a BLOND moment. Oh well, at least I can laugh about it now.
The panel discussion, where the panelists all sat at the table each with their laptops (Gary Stager, Will Richardson, Sylvia Martinez, Joyce Valenza, Chris Lehmann, and David Jakes–gosh I hope I didn’t leave anyone out!) Each panelist was using a Mac, all except David Jakes. Jakes began by mumbling “What is this, a Mac commercial?!”
Final thoughts–much of Educon was Ustreamed and so if you want to hear the archived conversations, be sure to visit on channel “EduconTV.” Oh well, back to my original question, are they real or virtual. If I was not sure before Educon 2.0, I know for absolute sure now. These friends are REAL!
January 20, 2008
Do Ostriches really bury their heads in the sand when frightened? According to “Phrase Finder” this is a myth. Ostriches basically when frightened lay down and flatten their heads along the ground, so as to disguise themselves from possible predators. But this reminds me very much of how our schools and IT deal with content they block at school.
I really, really, really try NOT to write about filters and blocked content so much. After all, I am a mother of one teen-aged son, and one young adult son in college. Living w/ guys you kind of know what their world revolves around, and how easy it is to be sidetracked by less than academic content, especially online.
But it is infuriating to know that I cannot access the Nings set up at school, even though many of my PLN resides there. I must wait until I get home to actually partake of the plentiful servings of rich content and collaborative opportunities that are there! Why are they blocked? They are classified as a blog, a social network, and a forum. I am getting ready to participate in a collaborative project, and yes, I want TOTAL access 24-7. I don’t want to wait until I get home from school. This opportunity could actually lead to GLOBAL projects for classes at my school, and egads, yes, during the school day! I belong to several nings, including Classroom 2.0, TeacherLibrarian, and most recently Powerful Learning Practice for Teachers and Students. These are NOT risqué, profane-laced sites, but rather places where I can learn more, and pass the learning on to students and teachers, even at my own school. If there was ever a place to see authentic 21st century learning, the Nings I am a member of are it. And best, its members are ready to open their arms and welcome all, and can answer JUST ABOUT any question.
This has been nagging me for some time, but it has become really frothy and ready to fizz right over. You see I tried to network w/ another friend, and low and behold she wasn’t getting any of my emails b/c her email filters out all incoming mail from gmail. Now what’s with that? I know many of the EXPERTS in the field use GMail as their primary email for professional contacts. Is this district making the implied statement that only pedophiles, rapists, child-killers, and prostitutes use gmail? What about parents who use email and want to contact their child’s teacher?
Well, very soon I will be participating in a learning/leading excursion and will be charged with leading a group of newbies into the fray we know as web 2.0. Our main portal will be a Ning (called Powerful Learning Practice for teachers and students,) and my goal is to hopefully generate some collaborative projects for my school and students, and therefore we will need that portal (Ning) open. Yes folks, its time to approach IT about loosening this clamp on Nings. All blogs, nings, wikis, and social networks are not bad for kids.
Let us be the professional and offer guidance into sites where we can teach our students to evaluate situations and circumstances and exhibit making good choices–what an authentic teaching scenario—instead of sticking our heads in the sand, like the fabled ostrich.
January 11, 2008
Today for my weekly drive home, once again I listened to the ipod. When I first got in the car, I put on the ear buds, fired up my ipod to my “1daysdriveplaylist” and then became a wee bit (almost) profane when I realized I did not synch up my new list! No matter b/c the Sean Hannity radio show was recapping the Myrtle Beach Republican Presidential Debate from Thursday (a local event that TOTALLY snarled traffic around town), and so I listened to him as he did a lot of candidate bashing! Note if you haven’t seen the sand castle debate pictures, click here. That was the biggest traffic nightmare of them all!
When I finally lost the radio show, I carefully navigated the steering wheel of my car and the navigational wheel of my ipod, deciding I’d just listen from the podcasts, ABC order, whatever was new.
So today I listened to a short book podcast by New Zealand’s Allanah K‘s year 4 students in their podcast Appleby Airwaves. She has a great resource to help understand how her kids are able to do this.
The next podcast alphabetically available was Bob Sprankle’s Bit by Bit. But JOY-JOY-JOY it was one I had pulled into my “1daysdrive” playlist that I forgot to synch. It was the last of the sessions he attended and podcast from the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference 2007. The featured speaker was Dr. Tim Tyson, and his topic was “The Blogging School.” I enjoyed this one, especially since my principal has just gotten the blogging bug, and wants help beginning hers. YEP. I plan to share this one with her too.
Visit the podcast here:
So in any event, what is on my ipod in straight ABC order is great stuff too–of course it is, I handpicked the podcasts I subscribe too. So anyway, I’ve got two more drivers to add to my driving list: Bob Sprankle and Tim Tyson…“Baby You Can Drive My Car!”
January 11, 2008
Okay so I’m reveling in being mentioned in a blog today as a woman who has a voice in the blogosphere. And to see the excellent company I have there, many of whom already fill my reader daily. I hadn’t thought, though, about one comment Janet Clarey (Brandon-Hall Research Blog) made– that of there not being a bevy of female keynoters. I certainly don’t feel qualified, though I do love sharing knowledge through workshops and presentations. I have heard Joyce Valenza as a keynote address, and I’ve seen to many women speakers who were spotlight sessions at NECC and other conferences. Many may even have their travel and lodging paid for, and receive a stipend of some kind too. (I can say that from my experience presenting at the state level here in South Carolina, anyway.) Some may get all the perks I listed, but many simply opt for the ability to participate in the conference as an attendee as well. I’m not complaining, though, I’m celebrating as I have very much enjoyed hearing the likes of Joyce Valenza, Kathy Schrock, and Leslie Fisher, which at the moment is all I can think of.
Let’s not forget the ones who had INTERNATIONAL voice in the K12Online Conference too, as women were maybe half the presenters there, and one of the MAIN organizers, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, is really quite established too. I do beleive she could carry a keynote as well.
So what do you think? Who else? What other women do you know could draw a crowd for a keynote?
Image: ‘Balboa Theater‘
December 30, 2007
One of my favorite edubloggers (who resides in a folder for Experts in my reader) has set up a new location for his blog. That’s right friends, David Jakes, expert at Digital Storytelling Guru (just to name a few of his many educational tech skills/expertise) has created a new web presence and moved his blog The Strength of Weak Ties to a new home. Gone is the unforgiving blogger tape across the top, as he is no longer using the blogger service. It’s now a WordPress theme and hosted under his own domain. Quite impressive. Some of you know I’m looking to relocate too, so I’m especially watching others who are doing the same thing. I will get to talk shop with David Jakes, whom I consider a friend (right now only in the virtual sense, but soon–@Educon2.0 January 25-27–I’ll be able to say he is a friend in the truest sense.) W00T!! Jakes is coming to South Carolina in June for our Upstate Technology Conference in Greenville, SC, and I almost feel like I am the reason he is coming. Well not really just me but allow me to explain. You see, some of the organizers of that conference were at SC EdTech back in October, and they were asking for a presenter who might consider being their (Greenville, SC Upstate Technology Conference) keynote. Since I’m on the planning board for SC EdTech, I was at the information desk when that conversation took place. Knowing those folks fairly well, I joined in the conversation. Tim Van Huele and Jeff McCoy asked if anyone had an idea of who might would come, and I suggested David Jakes. I told them to research him, and that I knew for a fact that Jakes did keynotes and sessions at many educational technology conferences. Well what do you know, but Jakes is coming to SC! I don’t know how big a part I played in him coming this June, but I will take some of the credit. I hope to see him face to face there too. So now I’ll have at least three opportunities to hang out with Jakes: Chris Lehmann’s Educon2.0 in Philadelphia, Greenville’s Upstate Technology Conference, and NECC in San Antonio. Maybe I can get the goods on how to select a host for my online presence.
I first met Jakes at EdubloggerCon in Atlanta. He led some of the conversations, and really challenged my thinking about digital storytelling among other things. Then I befriended him in Twitter, and discovered he had worked early in his career less than a year here in SC, down in the lower state. I sort of rode on his coat tails virtually during Alan November’s Building Learning Communities Conference during the summer, blogging about it several times. I also blogged about joining him virtually at New York’s TechForum. You can read those posts here, here, and here.
You meet all kinds in the bloggospher and twitter. (See the screenshot of a few o my Twitter friends?) They could turn out to be life-long friends, some of ‘em, even if only in the virtual sense. Okay, so this one was too long too. I’m working on it. And it is still not Jan. 1 so I have another couple of days before I must adhere to my personal goal of shorter posts. Some things just can’t be shared in brief posts.
Image: ‘Down on the corner‘
December 13, 2007
What a difference a week makes! Saturday the Edublogger awards were announced, and I was so sure I did not win, I did not even go into Second Life to hear who did, nor did I tap into the many portals made available live (like Edtech Talk, Skype, and others…) You see, as I told all my friends, it was enough to be nominated. I even went out of town on a shopping spree Saturday, and around the time the awards ceremony began, my family was sitting down for a wonderful afternoon (early supper) at Carrabba’s. It was divine, and far more enjoyable. I had a few friends and family asking on Saturday, and they were shocked and dismayed that I wouldn’t stay home long enough to at least log in and see. I assured them my Twitter Network and RSS reader would keep me well informed, so well in fact that I need not worry about it all, but instead enjoy my family. I was not let down.
Congratulations to all the winners, and especially the library blog category, I’m especially pleased it is once again a school library blog. I need not have sour grapes, you see, I know what my authority and rank were in Technorati BEFORE the nominations, and I know what it is now after the nominations, and I know how many commenters I’ve had on my blog, and these statistics (which you can find out yourself with a little work) tell me a story that stands on its own, so there is no need for a pity party about the “loss.” My assistant, another colleague at school, and my sisters were all furious that I would not campaign to win, soliciting for votes from all my networks where I am plugged in and connected. But sorry folks–that is not how I operate. I’ll say it again. It was enough to be nominated. It filled me with immense pleasure and is rewarding all on its own. Wonder how I should put that on my resume?
So I returned to work Monday, doing my thing. I worked two basketball games this week, and made two keepsake memory videos for teachers to document and reflect on school performances. I included students in the second one, having them edit for me, select some pictures to go at the beginning and end, and pick out music to add. I think they learned a lot, and I teased them unmercifully, saying I didn’t like giving out all my secrets—pretty soon they would stop thinking I was amazing!
Anyway, to make this week so very jam up for me, yesterday I received an email invitation from Karl Fisch to participate in an exciting event he will be having at his school in January and February. I have not seen it twittered or posted on his blog, so I’m not sure I’m at liberty to say much else. But know that it is truly a reward for be connected to highly successful educators in the blogosphere. I suppose details about his project that I am joining in will be forthcoming soon, but I don’t mind saying it revolves around Dan Pink’s book A Whole New Mind. I am considering asking our 8th grade teachers to use it as a novel study to go along with Karl’s project. My brain is on OVERTIME! (Side Note: There was a cool DEN Webinar tonight w/ Daniel Pink that was AWESOME!!)
As an added bonus this week, today I get the pleasant (although somewhat embarrassing) surprise of getting mentioned in Doug Johnson’s Blue Skunk Blog where he is answering questions about a former blog post (where he had just opened his OLPC XO.) It is such a novelty, a lot of people are expressing their curiosity by asking questions via his comments. So Doug chose to answer them in another blog post, and what do you know but my DUMB comment is at the top—as I tease about his cat in the picture, and tell a gushy tale of how cute my cat is. <BLUSH> Okay, so not my best side, or even story. But Doug mentioned me none the less. W00t!
This evening I get the email from Joyce Valenza, exclaiming that our panel discussion session for NECC has been accepted! Joyce’s email began like this: “Good news, friends! We’re on for NECC.” Our session will have a panel of “experts” (I can’t believe I’m saying that!); our session title: Feed, Tag, Research: Remixing for School Library 2.5; session description: School librarians are leading learning and instructional change. Discover how we are re-visioning reading, research, and “library” for 21st century students on the Read/Write Web. And I can honestly say we collaborated for days on the topic and description alone. The group panel includes Joyce Valenza, Carolyn Foote, Diane Cordell, Kim Cofino, Anita Beaman, and me. After hearing from Twitter some of the big names who have been turned down, I feel amazed and honored to be with a session that was accepted.
Oooy, my head is getting so big. Don’t put a pin near me, or I might pop. Tomorrow is Friday, and I can’t imagine what kinds of good things it might bring. No time to be sad or depressed though, as I have so much to be thankful for in this week alone! I suddenly feel SO CONNECTED, not only on a local, state, and national level, but also a global level. Daunting, but exciting.
I don’t want to whoop too soon, so just let me end with a tee-tiny “w00t.”