Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Thank you IASL for an Awesome Spring Conference of Leading, Connecting, and Learning!

The 5th annual Iowa Association School Library (IASL) Conference was held April 13-14, 2014 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at the luxurious Hotel Kirkwood!  This is my absolute FAVORITE conference to attend, and I am incredibly grateful to be able to attend and be a part of this awe-inspiring conference!

Pictures I took of the luxurious room I stayed in!


I have wanted to blog much sooner about the conference, but this time of the school year is crazy busy, and I certainly have been crazy busy!  Despite it has been a little over two weeks since the conference, I can't help but still continue to feel excited and inspired from this conference!  It is an absolute must-attend event!  I will do anything to make sure I do not miss the IASL conference!  The conference is a great opportunity to connect with other teacher-librarians, learn, collaborate, inspire, make friends, reconnect, rejuvenate, be fired up to finish the end of the school year, and so much more!  I am also writing this blog post to fulfill requirements towards my library media education practicum graduate course I am currently taking this spring semester.

The conference included an "all-star" line up of teacher-librarians!  Check out who presented at the conference by clicking here!

This year's theme for the conference was "Leading, Connecting, and Learning!"

It was such an honor to be among the teacher-librarians who presented at this conference!  I gave two "lightning talks" on the evening of Sunday, April 13 and one concurrent session on Monday, April 14!

On the evening of Sunday, April 13, a group of eight teacher-librarians each gave a "lightning talk" presentation.  Click here to find more about "lightening talk."  At this conference, our guidelines for the lightning talk was five minutes, one slide every fifteen seconds, with a limit of twenty slides total.  You can click here to check out what teacher-librarians gave lightning talk(s)!

Check out these totally awesome teacher-librarians who gave lightning talks Sunday, April 13, 2014!

I co-presented a "lightning talk" with my teacher-librarian friends Sandi Ellis and Melissa White, both from Dallas Center-Grimes CSD, about Iowa Goldfinch Award!  You can view our "lightning talk" on Iowa Goldfinch Award by clicking here!  All three of us teamed up this school year to co-plan and collaborate on an Iowa Goldfinch Award unit with our K-2 students!  We are passionate and enthusiastic about the Iowa Goldfinch and all it has to offer our students!

Sandi Ellis

 Melissa White

Sandi Ellis, Melissa White, and I presented a lightning talk on Iowa Goldfinch Award!

I also presented a "lightning talk" on SAMR Model!  You can click here to view the information I presented on the SAMR Model!  Thanks to being on Mason City Community School District's TI12 (Technology Integration) Committee and attending bi-monthly TI12 professional development meetings at AEA267 in Clear Lake, Iowa, I learned a lot about the SAMR model, so I wanted to share more about this amazing model!  SAMR Model allows one to implement technology in the classroom to the fullest with purpose and higher-order thinking skills.

SAMR Model Coffee Talk.png

Check out Kathy Kaldenberg's tweet about the lightning talks from Sunday evening!

First thing, Monday morning, conference attendees were blown away by a presentation given by Mr. Alan November!  He is an incredibly dynamic speaker!  I consider Alan witty, humorous, and a brain!

Alan has written books to inspire, encourage, and push educators' thinking!

At first, I was caught off-guard at the beginning of his presentation as he did not have a PowerPoint, Google Presentation, Prezi, Slideshare, etc.!  I didn't want to miss a thing and was afraid I would without some form of presentation tool!  Actually, it was quite impressive that he used Google Search Engine during the entire presentation to pull up fascinating information, various websites, thought-provoking statements, and interactive polls!

Teacher-Librarian Kathy Kaldenberg said it best in her tweet about Alan November!

Alan November shared a lot in one hour.  Fortunately, I wasn't overwhelmed, because it seems "do-able" and possible!

I spent more time tweeting and participating in group discussions and his online polls than I did taking notes in my Google Doc.

Here is a screen shot of the notes I did take in Google Docs during Alan November's presentation...

The following are screen shots of tweets from Twitter that either I tweeted out or I "retweeted others" as I thought these were main points that I agreed with, intrigued me, blew me away, would have also wrote about, etc.!





                                                                    A favorite example that really struck me as an "ah-ha" moment!
Alan November sharing an example from a classroom!  "Ask me how..." and "How you..." are great ways to communicate between students and their families!


Other tweets about Alan November's presentation that truly highlight his amazing presentation!

Loved how Alan November used PollEverywhere to make it an interactive presentation with the audience!

I even had my picture taken with Alan November!

Following Alan November's keynote presentation, he teamed up with the AMAZING teacher-librarian Shannon McClintock Miller to co-present!  Together, the two talked about connecting and collaborating with others outside of the four walls of a school building!  Shannon shared an example of how her students are using Rainbow Loom bracelets as inspiration for problem-based learning, connecting with others, and working together for a good cause.  Her can read what the Rainbow Loom project is all about it on a SMORE by clicking here !  You can read Shannon's blog posts of this project by clicking hereclicking here, clicking here, clicking here, clicking here, clicking here, clicking here, clicking here, clicking here, and clicking here!  Stay tuned to Shannon's blog for more updates on the #BandingTogether project!

I tweeted the following out when Shannon shared about the VanMeter Rainbow Loom project!

Here are tweets I sent out or "retweeted" during Alan and Shannon's co-presentation!

My favorite quote from Alan November when describing Shannon McClintock Miller is, "she is as good as it gets in terms of being globally connected!"  How extremely true!

After the morning keynote presentations, we took a ten minute break and headed to concurrent session #1.  There were so many awesome presentations to select from to attend!

Due to my individual professional growth plan goal focused on technology, I attended Shannon McClintock Miller's presentation "How to Be a Connected Leader!"

Shannon "packs a lot of punch" into one session!  It helps me to follow her blog, tweets, Instagram accounts, LinkedIn, etc. throughout the year, as I am not as overwhelmed when she presents the incredible things her students learn and do with technology!  Check out the following screenshots of a Google Doc of notes I took during her presentation, as well as tweets I either wrote or retweeted from others!





Shannon and me after her presentation!

Conference attendees were definitely in for a treat at the luncheon!

While I learned a lot from the luncheon speakers, I have to admit I was more into indulging my yummy lunch and even more eager to hear who the winners are for this year's Iowa Book Awards, which explains the lack of notes and tweets during this time!  You can read a previous blog post I wrote about the winners of the Iowa Goldfinch Award and Iowa Children's Choice Award by clicking here!

    Iowa Goldfinch Award Winner 2013-14                            IA Children's Choice Award Winner 2013-14

As soon as I heard the winners, I immediately tweeted out the results!  I was pleasantly surprised to receive a tweet back from one of the authors!

Following the luncheon, it was time for me present "iPossibilities with iPad" during concurrent session #2!  You can view my presentation by clicking here.

Last year at 2013 IASL Conference, Van Meter CSD K-12 teacher-librarian and tech integrationist Shannon McClintock Miller and I co-presented "iPad Imps and Apps: Implementation and Applications."  We focused on how ipads are implemented in our school buildings and a shared a few apps.  This year I wanted to expand upon that presentation by focus solely on sharing a wide variety of apps that can be used across a wide range of grade levels and subject content areas.  This presentation was a mixture of apps I use, as well as apps I have either personally researched, read about on various blogs and educational technology-related websites, or received recommendations from colleagues.  Next year I hope to present on actual examples of various apps I use with students, both in the library and in the classrooms.  Hopefully those who attended my presentation walked away with a plethora of apps to use!

Next year I hope to present and expand upon the two iPad presentations I have given in the last two years!

Following a break that involved table talks, vendors, and time to chat with fellow-teacher-librarians, it was time for concurrent session #3, the final presentations of the day!  As mentioned earlier, my individual growth plan for this school year focuses on technology, so, of course, I attended another presentation given by Shannon McClintock Miller on 10 Digital Tools and Projects for Your Library and Classroom!  I knew I would be in for a treat to hear about all the incredible digital tools and projects that Shannon and her students use and create!  While it is one thing to read about all the awesome things that Shannon and her students do at Van Meter CSD with technology on her blog and twitter, it entirely takes on a whole new meaning and is easier for me to understand and not be as overwhelmed when actually hearing Shannon present, in person, about how her students use digital tools to create projects in both the school library and general classrooms.  Click here for notes I took during her presentation!

Check out the tweets I sent out on Twitter about Shannon's presentation...

There are two points that I took away from this particular presentation!

  • It is one thing to have knowledge of digital tools, websites, and apps, but it is even more important to be just as "well-versed" and experienced in using digital tools, as well as actually implementing them with students.  It really resonated with me especially after reading this blog article, "Are You a Tech Ninja or Tech Samurai?" This explains why I want to do a better job of showing personal experiences and examples of how students and I use digital tools, websites, and apps, in both the school library and in general education classrooms, in future presentations I give.
  • I have always known it is possible to "layer" different apps, and combine them together to create one powerful project, but Shannon's examples and experiences she shared during her presentation really "hit home" with me.  It is my goal to now use multiple digital tools to combine into one project for students to illustrate their learning!
While I enjoy every minute of listening to keynote speakers and presenters at this conference, I love connecting with other teacher-librarians within our state!  It is incredible how much I learn just by the talking with other teacher-librarians during breaks, meal-times, in between sessions, and at the end of the conference.  I have formed many valuable friendships and relationships because of the moments we get to chat, socialize, and share during those "down times."  Each conference I attend, there are new friendships formed.  It is amazing how we can see each other once a year, at this particular conference, and pick up right where we left off last time.  When, us, teacher-librarians are together, we feel validated, supported, encouraged, motivated, inspired, and so much more!  I truly believe #iowatl is one powerful group of teacher-librarians!  This conference proves even more why we play an integral part in the school building!

To sum up this conference,  Solon CSD K-12 teacher-librarian Kathy Kaldenberg did it best by creating a Storify about the conference!  Check out the Storify https://storify.com/scsdmedia/iasl-spring-conference-2014 and YouTube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUQMgqL7bnk!  They truly portray the inspiration, encouragement, motivation, connecting, sharing, leading, learning that takes place at this incredible conference!

I look forward to IASL Conference 2015!  There is no doubt that next year's conference will be just as amazing and inspiring!

I am going to leave on this note with a tweet I sent out at the end of the day regarding the conference and how excited I was about this amazing IASL conference experience!

I highly recommend you check out #iasl14 on Twitter to follow all the excellent conversations, thoughts, and main points learned throughout the conference!

An extra special shout-out and thank you to Solon CSD K-12 Teacher-Librarian Kathy Kaldenberg, who organized this amazing conference!