Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cheapskate PD for Librarians and Inforgraphics

I am currently attending the Texas Library Association Annual Conference this week in San Antonio, TX. Attended two great sessions yesterday. One on PD and the other on Infographics.

The PD session was presented by a group of six librarians. They challenged themselves to use a presentation method called Pecha Kucha which limits each presenter to 20 slides in less than 7 minutes. Lots of info in a short period of time. They discussed building a PLN, connecting to colleagues on twitter, subscribing to podcasts, connecting to live experts, viewing webinars, and reading blogs. All of their suggestions were available anytime, anywhere and free. The presenters were Sharon Gullet (@sharongullett), Sonja Schulz (@sonjaschulz), Sandra Carswell (@sandracarswell), Michelle Cooper (@_michellecooper), Marsha Edney (@EdneyLib), and Sue Fitzgerald (@sue_fitz).

This session was especially interesting to me because I provide PD for librarians and teachers. Since the school budget massacres of 2011 in Texas I have seen a huge decrease in the number of people seeking my services. In fact, I have canceled over 80% of my face-to-face workshops this school year. Many schools have really restricted PD travel, but we should always be learning new things. I hope my librarians are seeking PD on their own through the avenues these great library ladies suggested.

The other session I really liked was on infographics. I love them and think there are many ways to incorporate them into classroom instruction. The presenter Leslie Barrett (@lesliebarrett13), who is in the same position that I am in but at another ESC, made some great points about allowing students to construct infographics and not just be consumers of the information. Our visual learners, which so many kids are these days, will gravitate to these sleek visual representations of data. 

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