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My First Presentation at a Professional Conference October 31, 2010

Posted by fafeeley in Uncategorized.

Yesterday, on Friday, October 29, I presented at the Illinois School Library Association’s annual conference at Pheasant Run Resort in Saint Charles, IL. Here is the description of the presentation as it appeared in the conference program:

Web 2.0: Have No Fear!
Francis A. Feeley, School Librarian, Inter-American Magnet Elementary School
Successful curriculum projects using online tools will be showcased with student work products. Web 2.0 tools featured include VoiceThread (digital storytelling), Glogster (interactive digital posters), Wallwisher (online bulletin boards), Wikispaces (wikis), and online data collection (Google Forms). Connect these tools to your curriculum. Find out how easy it all is!                                        Room: Turquoise A                    Level: K-12

I submitted that description last spring before I had any real idea of what I would actually present. As the first quarter middle school project progressed I realized that if I covered the various tools utilized in the project and their  integration I would have plenty of material. And it worked out just fine. As a first-timer I didn’t really expect much of a crowd, but the ISLMA volunteer who served as a host at the presentation counted 70 attendees in total. I was stunned when I walked in the room to find it full already. I didn’t expect to be nervous, but I have to admit that I became a bit nervous when I saw a packed room. I am used to demonstrating technology tools in front of my students, but it was another thing to do it in front of colleagues.

The presentation consisted of overviews of the features and functions of Wikispaces.com, Voicethread.com, and Glogster.com. I demonstrated how to create wikis, voicethreads, and glogs and then showed samples of student work from last spring. I demonstrated how I am utilizing wikispaces to host a school library website. And I demonstrated how I am integrating the three featured tools in my current middle school project. I stated at the beginning that I didn’t have complete knowledge of all the functions and features of the demonstrated tools but that I would share how I have used them to support my projects and teaching goals. I received quite a few questions about details of the tools that were beyond my knowledge or experience at this point, but I felt comfortable enough in those moments to simply say that I didn’t know. I managed to  convey most of the major concepts I was hoping to get out there. Here is a link to the presentation handout.

In the afternoon I participated in a presentation about the Project Technology Elite (Empowering Librarians to Integrate Technology in Education) program given my Lisa Perez along with four other Project Elite grads. Lisa gave an excellent overview of the goals, rationale, and execution of Project Technology Elite. I had glanced through her excellent presentation (created using Prezi.com) before the presentation, but listening to her speak during the presentation I gained a better appreciation of the big picture of the program. The part that really struck me was that the selection of technology tools was driven by the following factors: safe, free, no downloads, uses available technologies (such as computer equipment that we already have in our schools), and supports teaching and learning. Those factors really put the E for Empowerment in the program. We were given tools that we could utilize with or without the involvement or support of other professionals. I was frankly amazed that we covered as much as we did in such little time. Lisa described the program as “technology boot camp,” and it really was!

Many thanks to Lisa Perez of the the Chicago Public School Department of Libraries and the Chicago Public Schools Professional Library for encouraging me to submit a proposal to present at the conference. I am suddenly very enthusiastic about presenting to other school librarians. At Lisa’s suggestion I am also drafting a proposal to present at the American Association of School Libraries’ annual conference in October 2011 in Minneapolis. The proposal submission due date is this Monday, so I will have to create the whole thing tomorrow. I started this school year by giving a presentation with my fellow Project Technology Elite grads at the CPS Department of Libraries conference. I gave presentations about online tech tools (including my library website and the new online library catalog) to my students’ parents at a recent family literacy night. I am presenting this Tuesday at a class taught by Toby Rajput at National Louis University (where I will give the same presentation I gave at ISLMA). I have also submitted a proposal to present along with the computer teacher at my school at an event called Tech Talk hosted by the Chicago Public Schools technology department on December 3.

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Fran Feeley’s Blog by Francis A. Feeley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.



1. leperez1 - October 31, 2010

Fran: You did a GREAT job. You are a natural conference presenter. I wish you every success in your future presentations.

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