Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reflections on a Season of Professional Development Part 2

Better Late than Never!

In October I joined over 3,000 librarians attending the American Association of School Librarians conference in Minneapolis. This was a much broader conference, and Steven Carr (the author if The Shallows) and Mimi Ito's ideas were almost pitted against each other. Their keynotes were the beginning and the end of the conference, respectively. I helped just a bit with the Learning Commons, an area where people gave more impromptu talks which were streamed live. For a couple of hours I acted as PR and host for this area, and I got to enjoy some of the presentations as well. I also watched the live streaming of Wendy Stephens' presentation from my hotel room as I rested one afternoon, which was great!

I attended several thought provoking sessions. Realizing  that everyone is in the same fuzzy space regarding ebooks, ipads, ereaders, and that we are all grappling with how to interpret copyright issues with regard to multimedia in schools, I am now more comfortable in that muddy space. Now I just am more clear about how we are in the middle of a state of change, and nobody has all the answers. I just have to decide how and when to dive in.

More satisfying were the sessions I chose to attend about teaching research and increasing true inquiry and scholarship.
  • I attended 4 hour pre-conference workshop on meaningful senior projects.  This session gave me a lot of ideas for new programs at my school.
  • I am inspired to use Stripling’s Method of Inquiry to engage learners and provide structure to the messy road of research - help the kids define the chaotic road by using the same method, 7-12. The Big 6 method used by our lower school doesn’t resonate with me, the Stripling method does.I am hoping I can find ways to incorporate it for next year.
  • I want to explore the notion of transliteracy - what does that mean for our students and our research curriculum.
  • I want to encourage MultiGenre artifacts as objects of creative synthesis of information in order to increase the opportunity for creativity at school.
  • I am more knowledgeable of current research on teenagers as Internet searchers, and have ideas on how to incorporate this research into my teaching.
  • I enjoyed Informal learning with friends and mentors who are leading the profession, and persuading me to continue my blog and to get involved in professional leadership through ALA, writing for professional publications again, or speaking/presenting at more conferences.
All in All, AASL was a real treat. I learned, engaged, enjoyed, and was inspired. This is a not-to-be-missed conference. Start planning for the next AASL in 2013 (November 11-13, 2013, Hartford, CT) now!


  1. Hi,
    We teach Big6. I'm a fan. You've probably seen this as it's been around forever, but just in case take a look:

  2. I like this version of the stripling model:
    "The Stripling Inquiry Model has six phases; however, it's not a linear process but rather a recursive one in which the learner might revisit a previous stage to ask additional questions or organize information, as the need arises. Each phase involves critical thinking skills that empower young people to learn on their own and develop the thinking skills to be independent, lifelong learners. The phases are as follows:

    Connect: observe, experience, connect a subject to self and previous knowledge
    Wonder: predict, develop questions and hypotheses
    Investigate: find and evaluate information to answer questions, test hypotheses
    Construct: draw conclusions, arrive at new understandings
    Express: apply understandings to a new context, share learning with others
    Reflect: examine one’s own learning and ask new questions (Stripling 2003, 8).

    But I haven't taught it yet..just thinking about it.

  3. I wish we could go to AASL. It's always when we are so busy. I know I am missing out.