2015 MSLA Conference Session Ah-Hah’s

Did you miss this year’s conference, or were there sessions you would like to have attended but you couldn’t be in two places at the same time? Well here’s some good news for you: a few generous members of the MSLA Board agreed to write up short blurbs on the real “ah hah!” moments from sessions they attended. This is by no means an exhaustive list — just enough to give you a flavor for a few of the sessions. For more detailed information on each session you can check out the conference program and handouts on the MSLA website.

Education by Design:  Connecting With the Mobile Generation with BiblioBoard
Presented by Carolyn Morris, BiblioBoard, Emily Tordo, Phillips Academy, and Tricia London, Avon Middle/High School
Ah-Hah’s contributed by Laura Gardner

  • You can catalog and include all your school’s yearbooks on BiblioBoard!
  • It’s possible to customize eBook holdings on BiblioBoard to restrict to elementary or elementary/middle school content
  • There are lots of primary sources already on BiblioBoard — even music!
  • The more teachers/librarians add content to BiblioBoard, the richer the content becomes
  • Some schools are using primary source materials from BiblioBoard instead of textbooks

Great Books for Teens
Presented by Terri Grief, McCracken County High School, Paducah, KY and President, AASL
Ah-Hah’s contributed by Anita Cellucci

Staying current with the latest teen books can be a challenge for us all and so anytime I can hear about best new books, I’m there!  Great Books for Teens took the edge off of the fact that I can’t read every book that is published, even if I would like to.   Terri gave recommendations for several genres. Look for her handout of the complete list on the MSLA website.

Fill your Students’ Toolboxes Using Creative Technology Applications and 20% time.
Presented by Christine Steinhauser Coolidge Middle School, Reading, MA
Ah-Hah’s contributed by Ellen Brandt

What if you gave students time during the school day to pursue their own interests, with mentoring and support from the librarian and technology specialist, and access to a variety of technologies and materials?

You end up with students who:

  • Discover new passions
  • Have pride of accomplishment
  • Become mentors for peers
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Practice conflict resolution
  • Learn to take risks

Chris and the ITS at Coolidge Middle School developed a new elective course for 8th graders: 20% time.

The class meets every other day throughout the year. Students work on a project of their choice*. They research, learn, experiment, create, share..and blog about their progress. Not all students reach the goals they set out to meet, but what is important is the skills, passions and confidence they gain along the way.

*Students fill out a proposal at the beginning of the year where they list their goals, resources and milestones. The teachers have project ideas and templates for those who are not yet ready to be completely independent.



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