MICDS – Reinventing the Media Centre

Today I presented at MICDS, St. Louis. It was a half day session for Teacher Librarians about how we can reinvent the Media Centre (what we’d call the Library in Australia). The outline for the session was this;

Working as a Teacher-Librarian has always had its challenges, but today, maybe more that ever, there is a need to respond to the changing nature of the world we are living in. Communication mediums have changed; this represents opportunities for Teacher-Librarians to rethink their role in their school and rethink the traditional library, both the space and delivery of information.

Resources supporting the session are embedded in pages on my Wiki. There are five pages there that you are welcome to explore;

How do you become a change agent in your school?

How can we deliver information using new tools?

What is the future of books in a digital age?

Library Spaces -how are they changing?

Forming a Personal Learning Network for Professional Learning.

There was a lot of lively discussion amongst the participants; some agreement, some disagreement. All healthy discourse as we try to grapple with the changing nature of the job and what being a Teacher-librarian looks like today. I’ve tried to include plenty of links and embedded content so that you can read and ponder for yourself some of the issues and discussion around the topics.

Elizabeth Helfant and Patrick Woessner have been wonderful hosts at MICDS. Tonight, Elizabeth accompanied myself, Dean Groom and Andrew Churches into the city centre of St. Louis. Andrew and I took the funny little bubble elevator up to the top of the famous St. Louis Gateway Arch and took in a wonderful view.

My body clock still hasn’t adjusted to time over here. I keep waking up at 3.00am and toss and turn until I finally give up and just get up! Hoping to sleep well tonight and get ready to fly out of St. Louis tomorrow headed for Denver and the ISTE Conference.

Thanks once again to Elizabeth for being such an obliging host and inviting me to present at the MICDS Summer Teacher Institute. I’ve enjoyed seeing your beautiful school and having the opportunity to share some thinking with you, Patrick, Amy, Al, Dean and Andrew.

Onto Denver!

Sheryl’s visiting Australia (and Toorak College!)

If you’ve been following this blog you’ll have some inkling that I’ve been helping Sheryl Nussbaum Beach and Will Richardson set up an Australian arm of their Powerful Learning Practice initiative. This group is going to be global in scale including schools from the United States, New Zealand and Australia. I’ve been working at getting schools here in Australia to join this initiative and am pleased to report that we have schools from New South Wales and Victoria across all sectors; Independant, Catholic and Govt. Schools.

Some of the people leading these school teams include those writing blogs. Dean Groom, Judy O’Connell, Frances Manning, Rhonda Powling and Tania Sheko. Three of those names are Teacher-Librarians. Great to see them at the helm of change in their schools.  It’s going to be very exciting leading our schools through what we all hope is going to be something transformational for our colleagues who are taking the leap with us. I first started reading about Powerful Learning Practice in December of last year. I could see that it had the potential to shift my school and it’s teachers towards an understanding of the power of these technologies to reach out and make a difference to the learning environment for our students. We start the program on Sept. 8th. Our United States participants will be having a fact to face meeting at Freidricksburg Acadamy and we’ll be joining them via ustream. I’m excited to see that there are names I am already familiar with from our United States and New Zealand participants. Elizabeth Helfant, Alex Ragone, Lenva Shearing and  Jane Nicholls.

What is really exciting for me is that tomorrow I am finally getting the opportunity to meet Sheryl. She’s in Melbourne to keynote at the Expanding Learning Horizons conference being held in Lorne. She’s visiting my school tomorrow to present to the staff here about 21st Century learning and Learning communities.  I hope the people I work with realise the status Sheryl occupies in the Educational Technology sector and pay heed to the message she delivers. I’m sure her visit is going to make an impact; I feel very fortunate to have been able to work with Sheryl and get to know her during our Skype chats. It’s going to be wonderful meeting her face to face at last!