So many choices, so little time! Traveling to attend an AASL Conference is always an adventure for intrepid travelers who come from all over the US and other countries, too. For those who make it a priority every two years, the anticipation builds for the events that cater to school librarians who talk the talk, and walk the walk. And so AASL 2015 in Columbus, Ohio gave us an overabundance of special moments to treasure, and opportunities to talk shop and to gravitate to new and exciting ideas.
The concurrent sessions once again offered many choices on themes that resonate in the transitional times in which we live-hence the theme of the conference-e-experience education evolution. Since the other co-bloggers this month have featured several stellar sessions, I will add a couple more to the list of takeaways that have enriched my teacher librarian toolbox. I will include some links to share with you. Some of the sessions have handouts that are available through the AASL eCOLLAB. If you are a member of AASL, you can access that list and see which ones are available for you to download-a good reason to become a member. Even if you could not attend, you may find some gems that you can use in your own practice. Take a look! Some of the sessions were recorded and will be available for registrants sometime soon. Even if you are not a member of AASL, check out the link and look for complimentary information that is there for anyone to access.
Student Data and Privacy
In the session, “Help Me Figure This Out!” (Saturday, Nov. 7), the presenters addressed several ethical dilemmas around social media policies, (Karla mentioned this last week), copyright and fair use, and student data and privacy. We live in a data driven world, and we have to be vigilant about data that is collected on our students, and in extension ourselves.
Digital footprints lead everywhere and we can’t be ostriches. Educators, administrators, and parents have to be informed about access to student information that is collected by the learning management systems and technology platforms that are used in our school districts. Often, technology applications allow for data mining, and school leaders and individual educators have to read the fine print carefully when they agree to use or purchase a platform or application for student use.
There is a constant drumroll for new apps and many are terrific educational tools, but we have to model evaluation of sources in real time! Fortunately there are organizations and leaders who are there to guide the discussion. Annalisa Keuler, one of the presenters at this session and a school librarian from Alabama, raised an awareness of this hot topic issue, and curated resources to help.
Believe it or not, we can make a difference if educators demand that we will only use web resources and platforms that pledge not to mine student data. Let us make sure to support vendors and companies that have signed onto the Student Privacy Pledge. Take a look at the list of vendors-who is missing from the list? Those who sign it are legally bound to the commitments in the Pledge, and it can be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and State Attorneys General.
If you want to use an new technology tool for education in your school, read the fine print, and if the company or vendor is not on the list, contact them and encourage them to sign this pledge and you will happily use their resources. Check with your administrators and technology directors and see if they have a data governance policy for the district. If not, raise the issue for the safety of your students. Student privacy is a huge problem in these transitional times.
As libraries transition from traditional models to new active learning spaces, teacher librarians have ongoing dilemmas and angst about collection development for materials in multiple formats, and digital and virtual information. What should we do with all the stuff???
There were several choices for sessions that tackled how library collections are evolving, and the session led by Michelle Luhtala, Brenda Boyer, Shannon Miller, and Joyce Valenza focused on the connection between curriculum, collection and curation, and instruction. “Transforming Libraries in Transitional Times” (Friday, Nov. 6), was jam packed with ideas and application tools to transform the development of appropriate resources that support learning in physical and virtual spaces. As they moved through their ideas very quickly in the hour long time slot, it was almost TMI. I am so glad that the presenters provided access to the slideshow so that I can absorb the amount of information they shared at a more leisure pace. Here is a link to the slides, that even without their lively narration, can offer tools and ideas that can be useful. I plan to incorporate some of the information into a course I am teaching next semester. Great professional development for me, and you, too-Yay!
If you would like to have an idea about other sessions and outtakes led by these presenters and others, be sure to take a look at Joyce Valenza’s Neverending Story Blog that has highlights from #AASL15.
“Knowledge not shared remains unknown.” Grabenstein, 2013
As November closes, and the holiday season quickly approaches, BACC bloggers wish you all a safe and and happy Thanksgiving!
Abilock, Debbie, Helen Adams, Annalisa Keuler, Jole Seroff, and Dee Venuto. “Help Me Figure This Out! Thorny & Thought-Provoking Ethical Dilemmas for School Librarians.” AASL Conference 2015. Ohio, Columbus. 7 Nov. 2015. Presentation. <http://libraryschool.libguidescms.com/content.php?pid=675677&sid=5672334>
“AASL ECOLLAB.” AASL ECOLLAB. American Association of School Librarians., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. <http://www.ala.org/aasl/ecollab>.
Grabenstein, Chris. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. New York: Random House, 2013.
Luhtala, Michelle, Brenda Boyer, Shannon Miller, and Joyce Valenza. “Transforming Libraries in Transitional Times.” AASL Conference 2015. Ohio, Columbus. 6 Nov. 2015. Presentation. <https://docs.google.com/presentation /d/1fJKL03hRXNK85NozVbk2wdZrVmbG2w45rf3kUFU2G6A/edit#slide=id.p.>
“Signatories – Currently 202.” Pledge to Parents Students. Student Privacy Pledge, n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. <http://studentprivacypledge.org/?page_id=22>.
Valenza, Joyce. “My #AASL15 Story.” Web log post. NeverEndingSearch. 9 Nov. 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. <http://blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch/2015/11/09/aasl15-my-story/>.
Compass Rose: http://mt-st.rfclipart.com/image/big/ee-b7-aa/compass-rose-Download-Royalty-free-Vector-File-EPS-2054.jpg