AASL News from Charlotte

I’m taking just a moment from the conference to make an on-the-spot blogpost (since today is my normal posting day).

The pre-conference meeting called Treasure Mountain just wrapped up.  In this one-day meeting focused on SLM research, scholarship, and innovation, we talked about several interesting things:

  • Ross Todd gave a presentation last night, boldly asserting that we need to find better ways, more evidence-based ways, to show our impact on student learning.  He’s advocating ten new principles for organizing our work – be on the look out for these.
  • Valerie Diggs described her media program, which has been designed as a Learning Commons. If you look for her on GALILEO, you’ll find a fascinating article about how a traditional program can become  a learning laboratory and learning space with never an empty seat.  I really enjoyed what she had to say, and wondered how her ideas might translate into elementary programs.
  • Had a Skype visit from Peter Cookson, who talked about his Learning Sphere idea, recently published in Educational Leadership.  A centerpiece of this design is a big real-world problem, collaboratively attacked by learning teams distributed over the world (supported by technology, of course) – with the possibility that big problems could actually be solved.  He named John Dewey as one of his inspiring theorists, and I was reminded of the Creative Problem Solving model created by E. Paul Torrence at UGA.  The school library could become a resource center full of the tools, information, technology, and coaching needed to support such an idea.
  • A couple of questions came up with sometimes heated discussion.  First: what are the dispositions media specialists need to be effective, and how do we support those through the process of professional preparation?  Second: what should we call ourselves these days?  Consensus is not forming around any one label, although many are being used all over the world.

This is the kind of stuff we’re doing here in Charlotte.  I hope to hear many more ideas over the next two days!

Mary Ann Fitzgerald

University of Georgia

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Posted on November 5, 2009, in Conferences. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Sounds intriguing! Can’t wait to hear more about the dispositions discussion. As for the label, I like teacher-librarian myself. I know it doesn’t exactly trip lightly off the tongue, but it’s the best label I’ve come across. Especially when it comes to cutbacks–since the teaching part is often forgotten by people outside the profession.

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