The Dynamic Landscapes Conference took place last week in Vermont. This is a conference co-sponsored by Vita-Learn and the Vermont School Libraries Association (VSLA). It was at full capacity and filled with teachers, librarians, media-specialists, tech integrators, and many others who fulfill other roles and responsibilities in our schools.
The conference covers two days, with different keynote speakers and end-note speakers each day. This year, all of them were superb! Chris O’Neal (@onealchris) and Jennifer LaGarde (@jenniferlagarde) keynoted. They were both engaging and extremely talented presenters with important messages to share. Two teachers from our schools in Williston presented workshops. Sharon Davison (@kkidsinvt) spoke about iPads in Kindergarten. She brought 5 students to help share the apps they’ve been using. It turns out they needed to do some tech problem-solving on the spot and demonstrated their confidence as critical thinkers. They stole the show, well much of it. In addition, Colleen O’Brien shared how she used Kidblog with middle school math students to share photographs and talk about how they captured math in nature.
I presented a few sessions myself, one on The Many Faces of Social Networking and another as a co-presenter about Google Apps for Beginners. I realized that I get so caught up in the day-to-day use of Google apps that it’s helpful to get the perspective that there are still quite a few beginners out there. Some school districts in Vermont are just adopting Google Apps for Education domains and there’s a some learning ahead for those educators. Hopefully we got them started.
My session about Social Networking was well-attended. My PLN made me proud when I did a shout-out on Twitter. I got responses saying hello from all over the globe. It is always powerful to show the quick response and wide reach of Twitter to newcomers. Hopefully there are a few more educators ready to dive in and build their PLNs.
Conferences are always a great place to connect face-to-face with my PLN. I love that ah-ha when you greet or are greeted by someone you feel you know, but have never met in person. Overall, the conference was uplifting, rewarding, informative, and educational for me. I wish I could have attended
more sessions. I connected, learned, collaborated, and consumed. Kind of what I do every day with my PLN!