Thursday, November 21, 2013

AASL13 IdeaXchange Recap

Every national conference I look forward to the booths of the  IdeaxChange.  There are so many great ideas buzzing in one place and I collect tips, hyperlinks, brainstorms, and pre-tested wonders to bring back to all our local librarians.  If you didn't get the opportunity to attend AASL 2013, please mark your calendar for Columbus, Ohio in 2015.    Listed below are just a few of the great ideas shared during this fabulous conference:  

  • If you are wondering where to get started with LIBRARY CENTERS,  then you will want to check out this website from the 'Centered School Library  This group presented how they are committed to library centers as a way of learning in their space.  
  • The John Hersey High School, outside of Chicago, developed an Academic Resource Center to support academic success by providing space, resources, a store, help, technology, etc.   Why not check out their page or drop them a note and ask questions.  Come up with a "name"  to make what you already do "visible"  and take it to the next level! 
  • A few librarians from Boston Arts Academy demo'd an App called "Nearpod"  which was interesting.  This App enables teachers to use their ipads to manage content on students' ipads, ipohone, or ipods.  I guess this is virtual device sharing?!  
  • The Heifer International Group was there with a booth suggesting that they are utterly a great "action" cause for classrooms who get a "call to community action."   While speaking in Arkansas, I had the opportunity to see the Heifer International Headquarters and was impressed.  This is such a worthy cause and I made contact with our state representative who will come and do in-building connection and provide ideas for curriculum integration.  It so happens that in NY, some "exemplary" curriculum has just the "spot" for this endeavor.  We will be rolling out this beautiful bovine idea locally, hopefully, this winter.  
  • Two Connecticut librarians  shared their idea of using Library Pals - shared blog to connect with primary grade students.  I loved this idea of getting kids used to "contributing" (presenting knowledge) early in their educational career.   There link: 
  • Songbird Sue Kowalski and her bullhorn,  proclaimed the merits of her IStaff student tech team in Syracuse NY.  Not only is Sue always smiling and funny, but she is known for her unique student integration programs.  If you haven't seen the merits of her student IT training, you should contact her.
     This highly acclaimed student-empowering program is easily replicated and helps all teachers in her building.  Her website is:   
  • Digital Citizenship was discussed by a couple of booths, and here's one link for your perusal:  Don't miss it. 
  • Long-time library friend and publisher, Hilda Weisburg was there with her recently released fantasy novel: Woven Through Time - Don't miss this award winning new book.  And...the cover is lovely.  We librarians know that books are often chosen for their cover! This is on my must-read list. 
  • DO NOT MISS  this wiki which is a wonderful resource of Mentor Texts! 
  • Stacey Ratner presented her "mock" Newbery program which successfully picked Ivan last year.  Even her students will tell you this is not "mock"  This is serious business. This too is easily replicated in your library.   
  • IF I HAVE MISSED YOUR IDEAxCHANGE, please leave your links and message in the comments and share those with all!  We'd love to see you showcase your great idea! 
So mark your calendar for the next AASL conference and plan on attending to bring home many great innovations to your space.   

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