Thursday, February 9, 2012

CCIRA- Franki Sibberson

Last weekend, I promised myself that I really was going to post my notes from CCIRA. I'm doing it for two reasons. First, I know that research shows that only about 5% of what we learn at "sit and get conferences" actually gets implemented in our classrooms. I'm trying to review my notes, then, so that a little more than five percent will stick. I'm also posting them so that friends who didn't get to go, will get to do a little vicarious learning.

On Friday afternoon, I went and saw one of my heroes, Franki Sibberson. I'm trying to remember how I met Franki-- either it was through mutual friends, or it was through the world of blogging. Franki was the wise woman who encouraged me to join Facebook and Twitter two years ago; I still remember her saying, "Carol, Facebook and Twitter are the tools all of the younger teachers use. If we want to communicate with them, we have to at least try to live in their world." I went home that morning and signed up for both tools right away. And while I'm not that excited about Facebook (I HATE having my picture taken, I don't feel like the whole world needs to know my business, and I hate the zillions of posts updating me on everyone's status on games I have no interest in playing), I totally love Twitter-- it actually has become one of my most important sources of professional development. Over the course of the last two years, Franki's posts on 21st century literacy have continually inspired and amazed me. If you have any doubt, check out today's post on using Ignite with fourth graders!

Franki posted her presentations from CCIRA on slideshare, so you can go there and get the read deal, but here are a few of the highlights I'm still thinking about…

Franki started her presentation by reminding us that the conversation about digital reading is not an either print or technology conversation, but rather, it's simply about opening ourselves up to additional possibilities as readers, writers, and thinkers. She compared her pre-technology reading life to her current life, saying, "I still read lots of kids’ books, read some professional books, read an occasional adult book, and read lots of magazines, but now I also read lots of blogs and read on my Kindle. Franki also reminded us that she no longer has only one or two definitive sources for information, reminding us that we are now capable of synthesizing from a much larger pool of information, “Horn Book might say a book is really good, but if five teachers I know say that they didn’t like it, I'm just as likely to listen to them." So true!

Franki encouraged us to ask ourselves, "What kinds of literacies do students need to be able to work, innovate, and communicate in the modern world?" Franki's answer, "Whatever literacies enable them to "write"the media they "read" so they can be active media creators rather than passive media consumers. Literacy has always meant being able to consume and produce the media forms of the day, whatever they may be" made perfect sense to me.

· Franki shared a variety of electronic tools and resources. Most weren't tools that were totally new to me, but over and over again, I found myself thinking, "I have got to get serious about learning to use some of these tools!" Some of the ones I really, really want to add to my every day repertoire include Evernote, Diigo, Glogster, and Tagxedo. I also want to learn to use and figure out how to integrate QR codes into my teaching.

Franki also reminded us that kids are coming to us with a much "larger" sense of story. She shared several ebook websites, e.g. Duck, Duck Moose, Mo Willems' Pigeon, Scaredy Squirrel, and also the work of Patrick Carman, who integrates print books with technology, through books like SKELETON CREEK. I have not read any of Carman's books yet, but have definitely added them to my TBR pile. Franki encouraged teachers to explore tracking their reading through tools like Goodreads or Shelfari. I'm already using Goodreads, but want to make it a more consistent part of my reading life.

Franki finished her presentation with a couple of quotes that I have been thinking about ever since…

If you are in education and you’re not feeling challenged by how these technologies affect teaching and learning, you’re not paying attention—this tectonic shift of connections has huge significance for the way we think about our roles as educators, our classrooms and most important, our own personal learning. It’s becoming more and more obvious that the longer we wait to embrace these shifts, the less prepared our children will be for their future. Will Richardson, Summer 2009

That quote is profoundly disturbing to me as an urban teacher whose students simply don't have access to computers and the internet on a regular basis.

And then, as I'm feeling totally, totally overwhelmed by what I'm NOT doing, Franki brings out a 150 year old quote from Abraham Lincoln, "The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time."

So thankful for this, because I have a ton to learn!



Linda B said...

Since I missed it, thank you so much for this, Carol. You helped me a lot by the review even though I know it isn't quite the same. I am in the whirl of using many of those apps you listed, but am struggling with helping those teachers with whom I work get started. You are not alone! And you do twitter so much more. I have got to get going on that! I really have enjoyed using Diigo with students. Hope you have fun with some of the apps no matter what you start with. Thanks again for a great post.

Franki said...

Thanks for the kind words about my session (although you could have warned me about the gigantic picture of myself!) I love that we are all trying to figure this out together. So much of what I learn comes from my Tweeps:-)