Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CALCON 14 Wrap-Up

The Colorado Association of Libraries Conference (CALCON) was held on October 16-18, 2014 in Loveland. The conference highlighted a cross-section of the trends and themes of librarianship, with a special focus on Makerspace and DIY, creative collaboration between libraries, and engaging programming for children and teens (with lots of zombies, of course).

Boulder Public Library's bike-mobile outreach program

The overall mood of the conference was one of positivity and creative problem solving, despite (or because of) major changes happening in our profession. Friday’s keynote speaker, Corinne Hill, executive director of the Chattanooga Public Library, embodied this spirit of radical change while still being grounded in the overall mission of libraries as institutions of knowledge and information. As Corinne put it, “We’re librarians. No one is going to die if we make a mistake, so get out there and innovate.”

This year’s conference was a showcase for many librarians across the state to present on special programs and initiatives happening in their libraries. Here is a small sampling of sessions:

  • Convergence: a dauntless approach to collaboration
  • A library bike bespoke for you: innovative outreach
  • You can do it! Create digital content
  • Light bulb to launch: getting your new ideas to happen
  • Media labs on the cheap: free and open source software
  • Robots loose in the library!
  • Play is serious business
  • Partnerships and collaboration: connecting with other libraries
  • Leading from where you are

Check out the entire conference schedule here.

Several teacher librarians and library leadership represented BVSD at CALCON this year.  Beatrice Gerrish co-facilitated two sessions: Dewey or don’t we? Transitioning to the bookstore model, and Reject the fears and embrace a balanced future: creating libraries that are the heart of their schools. Amy Bland and Nannette McMurtry also led two sessions: It’s all about choice, baby! Flipping the professional development model for librarians, and Going Google in the library.

A conference shouldn’t end with the closing keynote. The whole point is to share and apply what you learned when the conference is over. We shared our learning in several ways: we collected our conference notes in this shared folder that any teacher librarian can access. We also tweeted the conference using #cocalcon14 (hint: you can follow any conference this way, even if you don’t attend—just follow the conference hashtag). If you are interested, we encourage you to check out those resources to see how other Colorado librarians are growing and leading.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Google Apps Summit at Monarch High School a Huge Success!

Over 350 educators from across Colorado attended the Google Apps For Education Summit on October 11 & 12, 2014. The conference featured keynote speakers who shared inspiring stories of how technology can empower young people. Ken Shelton articulated why technology matters by sharing the story of Michael, a boy with autism who uses technology to communicate to the world. Molly Schroeder inspired us to forget perfection and “live in beta”. She shared how technology and 3D printing created new arms for children suffering from the wars in Sudan. These speakers pushed us to embrace moonshot thinking, to redefine how we dream, and to forge ahead into the age of digital learning.
GAFE participants gather outside to check in.

Throughout the rest of the summit, we attended hour-long sessions taught by educators and leaders in educational technology from around the state, Google Apps Certified Teachers, and BVSD teachers. Many of the resources are linked on the schedule, so if you could not attend, please check it out.

Kelly is excited to start a weekend of learning.
We had over 100 BVSD teachers and leaders attend the summit. I would love to hear your reactions to the summit and respond to my Google Plus post or to this blog about your top two takeaways from the summit.

If you were one of the attendees, you might have been inspired to become a conference presenter yourself. We encourage you to submit a proposal to present at the 2015 InnEdCo Conference (June 23-25). The 2015 conference has a lot of flexibility for presentation styles, not just the traditional “sage on the stage” session. It’s a great conference for first-time presenters, and we are confident that many BVSD teachers are ready for this next step.
Luci and Art helped our technology run smoothly.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2014 Colorado Google Apps Summit

We are gearing up for this weekend’s Google Apps for Education Summit Colorado. Workshop sessions include exploring innovative learning spaces, discussing how to implement Chromebooks in all levels of learning, exploring resources to increase critical thinking, and more!
Twelve educators from Boulder Valley School District will be presenting at this conference, in addition to presenters from around the state and country.
BVSD Presenters @Google Apps for Education Summit
  • Amy Bland, Ed Tech
  • Megan Cosmos, Superior Elementary
  • Dave Crowder, Louisville Middle
  • Bobby Lehman, Ed Tech
  • Nannette McMurtry, Ed Tech
  • Lisa Norton, Casey Middle
  • Jason Oliver, Centaurus High
  • Nathan Paul, Peak to Peak
  • Shauna Polson, Boulder High
  • Kelly Sain, Ed Tech
  • Jeffrey Sanders, Southern Hills Middle
  • Mindy Williford, Southern Hills Middle

There is still time to register for this amazing event. See the information below!

We invite you to join us for the third annual EdTechTeam Colorado Summit featuring Google for Education to be held at Monarch High School on October 11 & 12, 2014. This high intensity two day event focuses on deploying, integrating, and using Google Apps for Education and other Google Tools to promote student learning in K-12 and higher education. The program features Google Certified Teachers, Google Apps for Education Certified Trainers and practicing administrators.