This past week, I read the following comment on Facebook, “… don’t ya just have to chuckle sometimes. Educators go to a conference in New Orleans or wherever but you never hear about that part much, but you do see 4-5 restaurants and pubs posted with close-ups of glasses of wine and wonderfully displayed food”.
Now, although I can’t imagine that this was a personal attack (it was exactly one year ago that our Literacy team attended the International Reading Association conference in New Orleans), the comment was an effective prompt for me to reflect on how visible we have made our learning from that particular conference.
Guilty as charged… in looking at my Facebook Page, I did post this pic collage, which in New Orleans
During the conference, we captured our initial thoughts, strategies and wonderings in Tweets that we shared. Following the conference, each team member wrote a blog post on their new learning and posted it to our Literacy Matters site. But what have we done since that initial reflection?
At the conference we were exposed to a Collaborative Inquiry survey which school teams could use to measure individual and team dynamics in terms of how well they have embraced a collaborative culture. We referenced that survey twice in the last year and posted it to our website but I’m not sure that we shared with our participants that the source was the IRA Conference.
At the conference team members met several of the authors whose work we regularly reference, such as Kittle and Layne. Once you’ve seen someone in person and listened to them, you feel a connection to them that you can’t get from just reading their material. That connection definitely adds an authenticity and additional depth to our presentations, but I’m not sure that we shared with our participants that the source of the depth and authenticity was the IRA Conference.
At the conference, we took part in sessions where participants demonstrated examples of their students using social media tools as a back channel to capture student connections to texts. In our sessions this year, we used Twitter Feeds to capture the thoughts and wonderings of our participants, but I’m not sure that we shared with our participants that the source for that idea was the IRA Conference.
So, here we are one year later! What evidence do we have that attending the conference has had an impact on our work with teachers? Have we done enough to share our learning?
How do you capture your learning during a conference?
Come write with me….