A Voice from the Library, final post by Shannon Miller!
Many of us will soon be together in Philadelphia for ISTE 2011. We will connect in presentations and meetings, meet up in the Blogger’s Cafe, and at social functions. It will be a crazy few days but one filled with amazing learning, collaborating and connecting with others from around the world.
Mark Moran and I presenting at ISTE 2010 in Denver.
Last year was my first ISTE conference and I couldn’t have loved the experience more. I met people that I had gotten to know through Twitter and other social networks. I learned from individuals that I respect and look up to. I had the opportunity to be involved with my amazing Geek Tribe in the SIGMS presentation and present with my dear friend Mark Moran CEO of FindingDulcinea. And the best memory…I got to ride the Amtrack for 16 hours to Denver with my superintendent John Carver, principal Deron Durflinger and teacher friends JoEllen Wesselman and Ann Volk. Okay, I have to admit…..it might not have been the best part and actually it was a little bit miserable at times. But it is one of those memories that I will never forget with people who mean a lot to me. 🙂
This year I am involved in three presentations, one panel and several meetings. I will also be involved in activities with Edmodo as a Featured Blogger. I am going to the SIGMS breakfast and fun functions in the evenings. On the Saturday before ISTE, I am going to EduBloggerCon and TedXPhillyEdu and traveling around Philly with my friends for a couple of days before and after.
It will be a lot different from last year because of the activities my schedule already holds.
However, here is one thing that I will still do the same.
One thing that I definitely will not forget to bring.
I will come armed with a couple of great, innovative and perhaps a little over the top ideas for something that I would love to try next year…..a few connections that I would love to make.
Last year I spent a lot of time connecting with my PLN In the Blogger’s Cafe. It was the first time I had met most of them face-to-face, yet it seemed like I had known them my entire life. I talked about my family, Van Meter, my library and the conference. I asked a lot of questions and soaked in ideas.
And then there were those special connections that I made where I knew almost immediately something incredible was going to happen.
Like meeting Nick Provenzano from Detroit. Nick and I started talking right away about our schools and brainstorming ideas on how we could could connect his freshman English class with ours. I was right with this one, since Nick and Shawn Hyer from Van Meter successfully produced an online, modernized Romeo and Juliet between our schools this spring. It was amazing. And just think, it all started with our connection at ISTE and bringing the idea back to Van Meter and Grosse Point South to make it happen.
And how about connecting with Steven Anderson, who is @web20classroom on Twitter. Steven and I became great friends after ISTE and even went to NTCamp with another friend Kyle Pace later in the summer where we met up with lots of other friends like Mary Beth Hertz, Jerry Blumengarten, Hadley Ferguson and Bill Brannick.
I have invited Steven into my classrooms several times throughout the school year, he is followed by our students at Van Meter on Twitter and has become another resource that can help them in their learning. I have planned activities with Mary Beth as we connected our Title 1 teachers in her school in Philly and mine in Iowa.
And Bill and I even taught a Web 2.0/PLN Class together with students at his school Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School school in Philadelphia and at my school in Van Meter. In October, a team from Van Meter even went there to conduct professional development and I got to meet my other students face-to-face. It was such a special visit for me and one that I will never forget.
From bringing a open mind, energy and a few ideas….I was able to make a difference in how teaching and learning took place over the last year.
So BRING IT to Philly….
Bring that spark, that urge to connect. Bring those ideas with you. Bring your passion for wanting to try something completely out of the box.
Because all it takes is that one connection with someone else to truly make a difference in not just the lives of your students, but also in yours!
I want to say THANK YOU to Edmodo for involving me in this wonderful project over the last few months. As we all get ready to head to Philadelphia in a few days, I am excited to think I will be spending time with the Edmodo team and the other Featured Bloggers.
I am honored to have been part of this project. It has been empowering to read what Andy, Bret, Liz & Bianca write each week and has given me so many incredible ideas, thoughts and conversations.
Thank you Edmodo for giving all of us the platform to share, connect and learn with others around the world.
Shannon McClintock Miller is the district teacher librarian and technology specialist at Van Meter School in Iowa. You can find her on Twitter at @shannonmmiller and blogging at Van Meter Library Voicehttp://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/