I am finally getting a chance to reflect on the past two months of PD that I have been exposed to and let me say it has been an amazing experience.
At the end of September I was honored to be asked to attend the School Library Journal Summit which is two days of learning and sharing from the school library leaders. The conversations that occurred at the tables and in the sessions challenged my thinking and helped me make some decisions about how I want my library to look and feel. It was because of the discussions at this conference that I moved to generfication of my fiction area. And I am so happy I did.
I then participated and spoke at a number of technology conference around NJ including Edscape & NJAET. I love Edscape and I loved the group of educators who were a part of it. George Couros's keynote was funny, inspirational and very thought provoking. The panel discussion on connected educators that I was part of turned into such an amazing discussion on PD and being a connected educator. I loved hearing all the different views and thoughts and was honored to be on the panel with Thomas Murray, Joe Mazza, Rich Kiker, Jeff Bradbury, Dana Sirotiak, Melissa Butler, and Bill Krakower. I also loved being able to see so many of my friends and PLN. Eric Sheninger always puts on a amazing discussion and it was fun to be a part of the it.
NJAET brought me Layar! I had been using Aurasma for a year to do Augmented Reality with my students but did not really love how complicated it was to do. I was sitting in a session with Countney Pope and she showed us Layar and I have never looked back. Layar is much easier to use and does not require users to follow a channel like Aurasma.
AASL was another amazing conference where I learned so much from so many great librarians and half the learning occurred not in sessions but from conversations. It is also great to see so many of my friends and PLN. Finally getting to meet Nikki Robertson in person was so great!
I end up my two months of learning with Edcamp NJ. For the second year a group of administrators and teachers got together to lead of free day of learning to teachers. Edcamp has no agenda or sessions. People propose sessions when they get there and people volunteer to lead them. You can be in one session where a superintendent is telling teachers what he looks for when hiring teachers and in the next session a retired teacher is taking about storytelling. I love this type of PD so much. It is truly choose your own learning.
I am a huge fan of PD and believe that it is what helps us grow as educators. The world is changing, education is changing and it our jobs as educators to change and adjust to it. The internet is not a fad that is going to go away. You need to embrace it and learn how to grow and conference like the ones I attended help to make that happen.
Elissa Malespina is the Middle School Teacher Librarian in Somerville and a Presenter, Author and much more. The views are my own. Find my full resume above.