When I had the privilege of attending AASL11 two years ago in Minneapolis, one of my favorite parts was IDEAxCHANGE, also known as the Exploratorium. It's a chance to talk to librarians from across the country and find out what neat, innovative, groundbreaking things they're doing in their libraries, learn from them, get ideas, get inspired, and go home ready to try something new.
This year was no different. There were 36 tables, and I stopped by at least 5 that had a MSLA member, so go us! We are out there on the forefront doing amazing things and teaching others, and I think we should be really proud of what we're accomplishing in the field. Just to give you a small taste of the presentations I walked by: library centers, featuring Newton library teacher Jessica Lodge and her partners, Cari Young from San Antonio and Carolyn Vibbert from Dumfries, Virginia, Library Pals, an online, virtual penpal partnership between Newton library teacher Jennifer Reed and a librarian in Minnesota, Boston Arts Academy/Fenway High School Library Director Deborah Lang Froggatt's presentation on using iPads to enable free agent learning, tables covering how to teach copyright, responsible digital citizenship, writing mentor programs in the library, Common Core connections, using picture books to teach civics and current events, a new filing system that combines non-fiction and fiction together using new subject headings, and so much more.
It can be almost overwhelming at times, but it's also an energizing, exciting moment because you walk away buzzing with ideas. I've already jotted down at least ten things I want to try when I get back to school on Monday - even though I know some of them will take a lot of time! The IDEAxCHANGE was phenomenal, and I can't wait to see what tomorrow and Saturday's concurrent sessions bring. Best of all, I don't have to agonize as much as I did last time about which sessions to attend, because 70 of them will be recorded and hosted on eCOLLAB by AASL (all handouts and materials distributed at the IDEAxCHANGE are also available there), which is free for all AASL members.