Reflection on the AMLE Conference

My time at the AMLE conference was interesting.  It’s been a long time since I went to a conference where the focus was not technology.  A number of participants came with paper notebooks and no device.  While the conference itself was very informative, I had some difficulty with the presentation styles of a number of the sessions that I attended. Some of the presenters wanted to make sure that there was participation in their sessions – everything from sort yourselves into groups and complete X to periodic movement activities as though we were middle school students.  

 

Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot…but I wasn’t comfortable in all of the sessions. I think the assumption that everyone wanted to be up and active and talking to people they don’t know, didn’t take into consideration different learning styles.  Yes, I am one of THOSE participants.  I want to learn, but I am not a joiner. I was OK by day #3, but the first day was rather brutal…

 

Some highlights of the conference included:

  • Hearing Rob Furman talking about reluctant readers in person – I’ve followed him on social media for a while and have seen some of his presentation materials, but had never had the chance to actually go to a session he was presenting – there are always so many scheduling conflicts at conferences…learned about Plotagon – that was a bonus.
  • Listening to the folks at Cultures of Dignity.  I still can’t believe that I had never heard of them in all of my research of social media with school aged kids.  Their message of understanding what social media is to kids is amazing. Factoring in this point of view makes everything much more clear.  They stay hyperconnected because they are guarding their persona – watching for attacks, waiting for validation…I finally understand why my goddaughter used to make those facebook posts I could never understand before. I had no idea…it has to be exhausting.
  • Todd Block (@blocht574) did an awesome job of explaining how social media can change a classroom.  He uses the real deal with his kids. I think it’s a gutsy move, but it seems to work for him. I’ll have to dig into this more if my ISTE proposal is accepted.
  • The session on using primary source materials was interesting.  I could see a number of ways that we could use technology to accomplish similar activities. I’m definitely going to need to revisit the materials for that session.
  • Went to a session on leveraging social media comprehension to get at reading comprehension.  These two gals had come up with an annotation system to use with their students that used hashtags. #Innovationanyone

 

My notes are here if you want to see them…

 

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