The following was submitted by a CMLE scholarship recipient.
Submitted by: Laura Mackenthun, Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School Media Specialist
With the help of a scholarship from CMLE, I was able to attend The Library Technology Conference at Macalaster College on March 14 and 15. As a middle school media specialist, I found this conference filled with opportunities to discover ways to consider and implement technologies for use with students and staff. Furthermore, because this conference was intended for people from all library types, it also provided an opportunity I don’t have often–and that is to consider how my media center and the students with whom I work today are part of a bigger system of libraries, information technology, and media literacy.
The keynote speakers Andrew McLaughlin, Chad Mairn, and Larry Johnson (I’d suggest doing some research on these speakers and their thoughts!) provided “big picture” views of technology and how the world may look in years to come. Our library patrons–of any age and from any library type—live in a world filled with technology. People are active consumers, users and creators of technology, technology is more accessible, and technology has potential beyond what we can envision.
The conference sessions provided opportunities to learn how information literacy is being taught, new technology tools for use in libraries, and online safety.
The balance of “big picture” thinking and “day to day” practical information that this conference presented was definitely valuable. I came back to working with my middle school students and staff with ideas to implement and investigate further.