Tag Archives: CMLE Scholarship

TIES 2016 Conference Summary: A CMLE Scholarship


Reflection on TIES Conference
Brad Scherer
Instructional Technology Specialist
Sartell Middle School

I love going to the TIES conference! It is so refreshing and helps motivate me to constantly be pushing forward for our students.  I have two main takeaways. The first being more about paradigm than practice; I need continue to strive to bring joy to my job and the school.  I want to get to a place where, as Dean Shareski (Monday Keynote) stated, ‘Learning is a joyful act all by itself!’ Shareski points out that this can be done by living in constant wonder, embracing play, and eliminating busyness. I love these tips, as they seem such practical steps to making life more joyous. I have already tried to implement this. We have embraced place in the Makerspace and have even upped the use of Spheros in curriculum since TIES!

My second takeaway is learning about the use of drones in education. This is really fresh and new technology. I learned how some schools are using the drones to teach coding and also explore other applications: videography, photography, agriculture, and more. I plan to explore this more and see how we can incorporate this into our Makerspace and other areas of curriculum. I think there are lots of opportunities to engage students with drones and potential for them to explore this new technology.

I am grateful for the opportunity to attend TIES! Thanks to CMLE for allowing me to go and connect with other passionate educators and better my practice!

ARSL Annual Conference: A CMLE Scholarship

Reflection on 2016 ASRL Conference
Kirsten Vaughan
Chisago Lakes Area Librarian
East Central Regional Library

This fall I attended the annual conference for the America Rural and Small Library in October. It was a fantastic conference, and I recommend it to any small library that struggles with “doing it all” with limited staff and time.

A session that stands out to me is the first I attended, which was “Top Tips for Patron Technology Training,” which was led by Crystal Schimpf and Cindy Fisher. I chose this particular workshop because I struggle with finding a balance with my patrons. At times I cannot keep up with the technology my patrons want help with, other times I am too familiar with the technology which results in my explaining the tech quickly.

Here are the three tips Crystal and Cindy provided that I found the most helpful:

1) Self-Identify as a Technology Trainer—this means you should be intentional about seeking out opportunities to interact with technology on a regular basis. This way you add to your knowledge base just a little at a time rather than all at once.

2) Take Slow Deep Breaths– when a patron asks you an overwhelming tech question, or you don’t have the time to assist the person step-by-step. Slow breathing will help you stay calm and keep your explanation of the tech at a reasonable speed.

3) Focus on Quality, not Quantity- When it comes to one-on-One training it is OK to find the “teachable moment” which is the one thing the patron needs and concentrate on that. Sure the patron will not have all the information, but they will have gained one piece of information they did not have before whereas if you provide the patron will all the information, they may retain none of that training.

TIES Conference Summary: A CMLE Scholarship


Reflection on TIES Conference
Katherine Vinje Stark
Pine Meadow Elementary, Sartell, MN Instructional Technology Specialist
December 14, 2016

The TIES 2016 Conference was a success. It fulfilled my expectations in that I went with the hope of more tools for our 21st century learners, including maker space and to feel better equipped for more job embedded professional development in our school. The keynote speaker on Monday could not have stated better, “Do not postpone joy.” Too often we are stuck in the rush of life and forget that we need to have those joyful moments if not extended periods of time to truly soak it all in and learn. If we are joyful we can retain so much more and if we make learning joyful, we are putting everyone first.

The first session I attended was to get to know and exchange experiences with other tech coaches in the Midwest. This session helped me gauge where we are at here in Sartell and I felt that we are on track. We were able to share philosophies and missions of districts and bring back feedback/ideas to ours. This was a great takeaway as it helped me get a feel for a support group in the area as well.

Another very valuable session was on flipped professional development. A school district in Wisconsin started to flip their professional development after they noticed teachers were very disengaged. They talked about PD and how teachers need: active engagement, voice, choice, collaboration, effective use of time, teacher centered meetings, meaningful application to take back with them and put into practice, modeling, teacher leadership, and a personalized agenda. I definitely feel that I can put this into practice here at Pine Meadow Elementary. I’m excited to start the conversation with my administration.

This is a very brief summary of what I soaked in. Thank you so much for supporting our library by allowing me to attend and become more in awe and wonder as to how we can get our maker space up and running (fresh maker ideas were out yesterday helping to embed STEM and language arts) as well as continue to educate our teachers, students and community.


Amanda TIES Conference Summary: A CMLE Scholarship

Amanda Holstrom
Sartell Middle School
Instructional Technology Specialist

At TIES this year I was exposed to many great things and returned with more ideas than I can count. The two things that come to mind as great takeaways are: the importance of giving children choice and makers spaces are not just for technology gadgets. Buddy Berry talked about surprise and delight with education including giving children the choice to find their own educational path. This thinking amplifies the needs for free learning and exploration in schools. The session on Makers Spaces opened my eyes to the importance of incorporating non-tech items into the Learning Lab. This need was highlighted over and over again throughout the presentation. Makers Spaces are about making, not just working with electronics.

In our Learning Lab this year we have done many robotics and coding items that take some level of patience and background knowledge. I plan to incorporate crocheting into our Learning Lab and link it with coding to provide that needed background knowledge. Reading a crochet patterns is a “code” that needs to be followed in order to reach a desired end. I feel that bringing that into out Learning Lab will teach and highlight a skill many do not have as well as provide background knowledge for those not experienced with coding. By bridging this gap in our lab I hope to reach more diverse students with the desire to learn hands on and gravitate towards our space. I am very excited to see what other ideas we come up with to add to our space that are non-tech. I think the students will be excited to build and take things home.

CMLE Featured Service: Scholarships!

273/365: 09/30/2013. Money, Money, Money!
Apply for a CMLE Scholarship


Did you know that CMLE offers scholarships? Since our main priority is helping libraries be successful, we know that sometimes additional money is required to make that happen! We want to help you get the professional development you need in order to bring some new ideas or skills to your library or media center.

CMLE offers scholarships of up to $200 per fiscal year per individual for staff affiliated with any type of library in Aitkin, Benton, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright counties in Central Minnesota. The scholarships can be used to attend workshops, conferences, library meetings or task forces, and other library-related activities to promote engagement and/or professional development. We encourage you to use the scholarships even if it can’t cover all of the costs. And, if you use our scholarship to help with costs, tell your administrator that you have used our program!

Keep in mind that two great library and technology conferences are quickly approaching: the annual MLA conference from September 29 – 30th in Duluth and the ITEM conference from October 13 – 15th in Brooklyn Park!

Whether it’s a conference, workshop, a way to learn new skills or teach others, being able to interact with your peers can be a great way to increase your energy and excitement about the library world. CMLE wants to help our members and their libraries or media centers continue to learn and grow. For full details, see our Scholarships Page for our easy (really, we promise!) application.

Need ideas for professional development? See our Continuing Education Page or visit the MN Library Continuing Education Calendar.