At the end of March, I had the privilege to attend the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology (WEMTA) Conference. I highly recommend any librarian or technology teacher attend to gain new ideas, and more importantly, make connections.
Many schools are moving toward 1:1 initiatives, and the biggest question is always “what device should we get.” One of the main points I took away from all of the speakers at WEMTA is that there is not one magical device. The best advice is what works for your situation at school. Everyone is always looking for what's next, and being a school situation, it's really not possible to keep up with the next greatest device. However that doesn't mean that schools shouldn’t try. It is the responsibility of educators to teach students how to use technology responsibly, to make global connections so that they can be successful when they graduate from high school. They need to give them opportunities to do this.
I got to meet two library rockstars: Shannon Miller and Gwyneth Jones. Shannon Miller showed how she is able to connect her students globally and locally so that they had experiences outside of Van Meter, Iowa. What she's able to do for her students is my goal to do for mine. It's no longer good enough to know the next latest and greatest tool. We need our students to connect to the world. All of the spotlight presenters at the conference were wonderful and shared their resources. They inspire me to make a difference when I go back to the library.
The best part of WEMTA is connecting with new people and renewing connections with colleagues that have become friends. WEMTA is an awesome place to expand one’s Professional Leaning Network and stay connected on Twitter. Many of my classmates from Cardinal Stritch University were there, and we had just a fantastic time together. Connecting over social media is a life saver, but sometimes it’s nice to connect face to face. As Rushton Hurley said, the cancer of education is isolation. Keep the connections to continue developing professionally.
WEMTA 2012 Resource Highlights