Wednesday, November 11, 2009

AASL Conference

Barbara Eilertsen, LMS at LLS, and I attended the AASL (American Association of School Librarians) conference in Charlotte, NC. We also took part in a pre-conference School Library Think-Tank called Treasure Mountain, the 15th event put together by David Loertscher (our keynote and workshop leader in the first ITL Summer Institute in 2007).

Treasure Mountain focused on the changing role of the school library media specialist/teacher librarian and the new environment that is being envisioned for a flexible, inquiry-based, real and virtual library. David Loertscher calls this new space the Learning Commons, and he has written a book about it with Carol Koechlin, and Sandi Zwaan. Carol Koechlin was at Treasure Mountain and engaged all of us in a final "Big Think" to synthesize the learnings from the workshop.

Other presenters included: Jean Sausele Knodt (author of the book Nine Thousand Straws: Teaching Thinking Through Open-Inquiry Learning ), Valerie Diggs (the LMS and founder of the first High School Learning Commons in Chelmsford, MA), Dr. Violet Harada, professor in the Dept. of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Hawaii (author of many books for educators focusing on the role of the school library media specialist) and many other university professors and practitioners working in information and library media professions.

The actual AASL Conference started with an Exploratorium, where practitioners from around the country set up tabletop presentations on a wide range of BEST PRACTICES in SCHOOL LIBRARY MEDIA CENTERS (see the entire list) including redesigning your high school library media center to resemble a popular book store to using T.R.A.I.L.S., a free online information literacy assessment program. The conference opened with "the high priestess of social networking," danah boyd and closed with a presentation on digital media in the classroom by Marco Torres. During the conference we attended workshops on web 2.0 applications, the new AASL 21st Century Standards, information problem solving processes, and many others. We followed our now traditional conference note-taking routine and created a wiki: .

We did the same thing for the recent CECA/CASL conference that I did not write about in this blog -- but there were many more people who attended, hence -- more notes! .