Monday, May 18, 2015

Thing 30: Final Reflections & What’s Next?

I definitely learned a lot again this year in my third track of this workshop.  In reflecting on the nine posts I published this year, though, I would have to say that some lessons were more pertinent to me than others.  I especially think Thing 26 was the "biggie".  We all need to keep a finger on the pulse of our population so we can adapt to what is needed or wanted from us.  I think I had the most fun with Thing 27, though, where I stumbled upon and played with Creaza.  Likewise, Thing 24: Infographics, definitely inspired me with my 6th graders.  I built an entire project around infographics where the students each picked an ancient Egyptian ruler to research and document in a custom infographic.  They organized their research in NoodleTools and found graphics that were relevant to their topics.  They presented both their infographic and bibliography during class, and I was impressed at how responsive they were towards each other's work. 

I would like to echo what I said in my last post, though: each assignment definitely required more than 1 hour to explore and reflect upon.  I think 20 hours PD credit would have been far more fair for the time and effort required.

I already somewhat addressed an example of how I used my new knowledge by describing my Ancient Egyptian Ruler Infographic project.  I also employed my new knowledge of Resource Guides (Thing 22) in January when I was compiling materials for Black History Month.  Another outcome from this year's workshop was the creation of a brand new Library Advisory Committee in my school.  Right now I'm focusing the efforts of this group on getting to know our stakeholders and assessing our programs and services (Thing 26).  Obviously this will be an on-going process, so that's one thing definitely on my personal horizon.

Finally, let me conclude by saying once again how much I like these online, at-your-own-pace workshops.  I know some people really miss live interaction, but this format works incredibly well in my busy schedule.  I'm sure I would learn even more if I made the time to read more of my colleagues' posts, but that may have to wait until summer. 

I'm thinking this third track will be my last track of Cool Tools.  I'm ready to explore something different.  Last Fall, I tried an on-line post-graduate class from SUNY Buffalo, which was interesting.  I'm not sure what I'll find to keep me busy next year, but I have no doubt, Jen Cannell at Questar will provide lots of options :-)