I am an elementary school media specialist (librarian) and a new mom. My daughters (born 12/27/2010 and 6/27/2013) are teaching me all kinds of new things every day. One thing they have taught me is that sometimes, there just isn't room for much else besides learning. If you're not sleeping, eating, talking, blogging, or whatever, it might just be because you're TOO BUSY LEARNING!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Raising Achievement & Closing Gaps Conference: Day 2

What I really want to do is post about American Idol, but check me out on Twitter for that story. Moving right along...

Session #1: Establishing Relationships to Raise Academic Achievement of All Students

I really loved the presenters because they were a husband-and-wife team nearing 80 years old, and they were very passionate about it. And I was very excited about the material at first. It had to do with identifying personality types, which is something that makes a sucker out of me every time; I love that stuff. However, the more I thought about their presentation, the more I thought that it was really just a lot of best practices repackaged in a cute format. Now, if cute is what it takes to reach students, I'm all for it! But basically what they were saying is that we need to build relationships with kids and teach for multiple learning styles. Got it.

Session #2: Warnings, Warnings, Warnings... How Many is Enough?

Bordering on excruciating, the presenter was basically giving a 45-minute sales pitch for her discipline program. And the thing is, her "program" is just a rather clumsy conglomerate of a bunch of strategies we all learning in undergrad classes. The program might be good for lateral entry folks though. Maybe. One who shall remain nameless was sitting near me tweeting presentation "don'ts" throughout.

Session #3: Engage Students Using High-Tech and Low-Tech Tools for Teaching Visual Literacy

My favorite of the day. A couple of staffers from LEARN NC showed us some cool resources and talked a bit about visual literacy in the classroom. I haven't been a big LEARN NC user before now, but I may have to start.

Some Links I Need to Explore:

Especially in the last session, I heard about some really cool stuff. Here you go:
  • The Commons on Flickr: Really awesome photo database pulling from organizations like The Library of Congress (only Flickr is a lot easier to use than the LC web page, believe me).
  • Wikimedia Commons: Another free database, this time for all media types.
  • Instructify: A blog by the LEARN NC people that looks fairly promising. Focus on instructional technology, and looks like some good tech hacks for the classroom.
  • The Dream Teacher: This is really from yesterday, but it's a link, so I'm putting it here. This is Cindi Rigsbee's blog.

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