Tag Archives: CMLE Scholarship

Report for the DrupalCon Conference: A CMLE Scholarship

The following report was submitted by a recipient of our new CMLE scholarship program.

Submitted by Alex Jarvis

 With the generous support of the CMLE, I was able to attend the DrupalCon conference in San Francisco from April 17-22. Drupal is a free, open source content management system and framework that allows for the rapid development of websites and web services. The conference was an excellent opportunity that will have a direct impact on my work on Great Riverʼs web presence. The sessions were highly informative, giving me insights into new technologies Great River should consider adopting (such as Solr search), as well as optimizations and best practices for the online services we already provide. It also gave me the opportunity to meet with other libraries from across the country and talk with them about innovative ways of implement Drupal-based library products and services. These invaluable interactions have opened up exciting collaboration opportunities; some of the libraries I talked to have worked more extensively with Drupal than Great River has to date, and can help us improve our offerings, while others are still evaluating their options and would like to talk to us about our experience migrating a legacy site.

 Attendance at the conference will also help further Great Riverʼs goal of eventually hosting a Central Minnesota Drupal conference for libraries. At DrupalCon I spoke to several conference organizers who were kind enough to share their invaluable insights and suggestions for organizing a successful Drupal-oriented gathering.

 Overall the conference was a fantastic learning and networking experience, and I would like to thank the CMLE for sponsoring my attendance. I would also recommend Drupal to any library that is considering revamping their online presence. More information about Drupal can be found at www.drupal.org.

Report about Real Learning Workshop: A CMLE Scholarship

The following report was submitted by a recipient of our new CMLE scholarship program.

Real Learning for the Real World

Submitted by Laura Mackenthun

What does it mean to be a “librarian” in the 21st century?  How do we explain our positions and responsibilities to our administrators, teachers, public?  How do we share/collaborate with other media specialists?  How do we learn, keep up with, integrate all of the new information that is available?

At the Real Learning for the Real World workshop held in Alexandria on January 25, Buffy Hamilton, a practicing school media specialist from Canton, Georgia  suggested multiple technologies that may address these questions: podcasts, rssfeed aggregators, twitter, social bookmarking, social networks, wikis, blogs, flickr, ning, video/webstreaming—-most are free or minor cost.

One of her strongest suggestions for media specialists is that we create a Personal Learning Network—using Google Reader/iGoogle–to collect resources to from which we can find information, resources, and inspiration from the many people who share their “worlds” online.    With the Google Reader or another rss reader, one can find multiple perspectives from many diverse voices for anytime, anywhere learning.  When others update, among other things, their blogs, web pages, or wikis, the Google Reader will aggregate all of that information into one easy to read location—taking out the time it takes to go out and check for newly added information.

Buffy’s web site provides a vast array of information on ways to get started building ones own Personal Learning Network and also ways to consider integrating Personal Learning Networks for students.  http://theunquietlibrary.libguides.com/pln

Her web site also lists many options for creating Research Pathfinders for use with students/classes.  These allow a variety of types of online information to be displayed on one page.  Some of the online resources presented to use as Information Portals were Pageflakes, Google sites, and netvibes. Examples and instructions for each of these are also available at Buffy’s web site.

Reports about TIES Conference: A CMLE Scholarship

The following two reports were submitted by the first two recipients of our new CMLE scholarship program.

Attending the TIES conference, which is held in Minneapolis every year, is a goal that every media specialist should have.  This technology conference offers wonderful keynote speakers who provide much food for thought about the potential impact of technology in the classroom and how education needs to change to best meet the needs of employers, individuals, and society in the 21st Century.  In addition to these speakers this year there were over 125 general sessions that covered topics as diverse as the ipod Touch in the Classroom and the legal ramifications of cyberbullying for schools.  There are sessions for all levels of technology expertise and interest.  While some sessions are specifically applicable to particular curricular areas or specific applications like SMART technology or Moodle, Jing and Podcasting, others are more general in their focus like 21st Century Learning, social networks and staff development.  Between these sessions, you can enjoy visits to the Exhibit Hall where you have an opportunity to view, play with and discuss some of the latest technology tools that are being used in classrooms.

 While I enjoy every aspect of the conference, I always am on the lookout to find applications, tools, or practices that will enhance the teaching and learning in our school.  I think that is why a media specialist is the ideal candidate for this conference since our job spans all of the curriculums and encompasses all of the teachers and students in our buildings.  The sessions that I felt gave me ideas for immediate use in our school were the ones on Google tools (lots of free stuff that provide so much functionality for the average teacher and classroom), the free Minnesota Online Resources (a wealth of reference material at our fingertips) and the WEB 2.0 tools (lots of fun and useful applications to turn up the interest in the classroom).

If you attend this conference and don’t come away with new ideas, renewed enthusiasm, a bagful of free goodies and the absolute conviction that technology enhances and changes education, then you weren’t paying attention. Don’t miss this opportunity next year.

 Cheryl Whitcomb, Media Specialist, Becker Middle School

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The TIES Conference, held at the Minneapolis Hyatt Hotel, was a great conference to attend.  I learned a great deal about web 2.0 tools.  Certain sites that I found easy to implement are Blabberize, Animoto, Voicethread, and Glogster.  I found that session to be very informative. 

I also found the 1:1 discussion panel very interesting.  I listened to the challenges that arose when implementing a 1:1 program in a school.  There were many different things to take into account when implementing a 1:1 program that need to be thought out beforehand.  This panel was from some of the bigger schools in the state like Stillwater, Hopkins, and Edina.

Some of the best information I found was through presentations by vendors.  I found new technology and low cost technology that I can easily implement in my school.  I found a product through LANSchool that allows a teacher to control the lab of computers to help instruction.  I also found new wireless slate products and software that we already have access to in our school.  All of these tools will assist myself and my staff in teaching.

I found some new and exciting things at the TIES Conference. It is a very worthwhile conference and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in implementing technology in their school.

 Mark Krueger, North Jr. High School, St. Cloud, MN