Monday, October 26, 2009

Media Professionals-- In or out of the Loop?

I recently gave a presentation on digital anthologies at the Michigan Association for Media Specialists annual conference (MAME 36). Some reflections:

* As a classroom teacher I was concerned about focusing too much on the nuts and bolts of how the anthology was set up with Google Docs and Moodle. But the media specialists were determined to see howall this worked.

* I received a very positive response when I suggested that media specialists were under utilized in classrooom collaborations. I proposed that besides identifying resources, media specialists should rightfully be involved in culling specific materials and recommending assessments. (Boy, di I hit a chord on this one).

* I noticed that my audience was particularly likely to take notes when I mentioned free resources. I was surprised that most seemed unfamiliar with iTunes U. They also were interested in public domain resources at the Library of Congress and the National Archives. Attendees also piped up with other free resources.

* As with my audience at Madonna University, they were eager to see actual student work. I was grateful to have several my AP students' permission to show our blogs on vlogs. I'm planning to integrate such demonstrations int both Apple presentations at MAPSA, next week

* My only regret was that time constraints prevented me from engaging in some brainstorming on how the digital anthology model might apply to collaborations in their schools.

The Bottom Line: Presenting at MAME 36 was intellectually engaging. I received as much as I shared about the practical uses of educational technology. I will go forward, advocating that teachers take advantage of collaborations with talented specialists like the ones I met at MAME 36.

Sincere thanks to MHS specialists, Katy, Cheryl, Larry for supporting my presentation. I'll be asking them for a guest post on educational technology from the perspective of the Media Center.

"The In
finite Loop" Flickr Creative Commons photo by kurafire


CherylCorte said...

Actually, in response to your recent post in Larry's Opinion, thank you, Larry! Thanks for taking the time to commit, drive, present, engage, inspire, challenge and share pertinent resources - as well as encourage! Your Digital Anthology presentation for those in attendance at MAME36 was just outstanding!!!

Even though there was sincere interest as to the nuts and bolts of how, where & what you use as sources, the background that brought you to the point of 'discovering' the endless possibilities of digital anthologies while developing it into your current e-Text, was truly inspiring. You're a testimony not only to Media Specialists, but to their staff of how digital sources can be integrated into their classroom! Actually, it's rare that teacher's come to share at our MAME conference, not to mention having you, one of our own, share such an informative, exemplary presentation! This digital journey is sure to take flight - thank you for giving it wings!

K. Koskela said...

Of course, it was thrilling for Cheryl and me, as MAME members, to be able to listen to your presentation at our state conference and say "He's one of OUR teachers." A woman next to me asked, "Are all of your teachers like him?" I'm sorry I arrived late and didn't hear most of your presentation. (That seemed to happen frequently at the conference as I monitored the organization Gift Booth which was my responsibility.) Attendees seemed very engaged when I got there as evidenced by the number of questions and intent faces.

You are correct that there was immediate interest in any resource that looked promising and is FREE. Many of our colleagues have lost budgets, clerical &/or technical help, have had to cover multiple schools as staff retire and are not replaced, or have been forced back to the classroom replaced by paraprofessional staff in their libraries. We are generally a VERY under utilized resource. Since money seems to frequently "talk louder" than many other statistics, current media specialists are always on the lookout for wonderful resources to use or pass along that involve no cost.

Hope you'll become a regular at the conference! Next year we are in Dearborn. Any of your readers that feel they have something to offer our organization are definitely invited to submit a proposal next year to be a presenter. Contact MAME at for additional information.

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