The CASL CECA 2022 Conference is organized by the Boards of Directors of the Connecticut Educators’ Computer Association and the Connecticut Association of School Librarians. This year’s conference recognizes and celebrates the confluence of educational technology and the preparation of our students for the future with a focus on literacy, social emotional learning, and 21st Center Skills. CASL CECA gathers technology integration specialists, library/media professionals, educators from all walks of life, and IT support personnel who share their ideas, news, expertise, products and productions. The conference provides a wide variety of professional development and activities in the form of: presentations, hands-on workshops, round-table discussions, speakers, exhibitors, and our annual recognition awards.
Here are 5 key take aways from this rich conference:
- Social Emotional Learning is front and center. Valerie DiLorenzo presented on “Libraries, Literature, and the Counseling Connection.” With her students, DiLorenzo created engaging, eye-catching posters to grab students’ attention and get them to want to read high interest books that tie in with neuro diverse, social/emotional, and/or mental health topics. She showed participants how to provide satellite “libraries” throughout your school community (physical and virtual) that connect students with potential life-saving and/or life-altering literature. Teq presented 3D printing with Tinkercad and lesson ideas for Social and EmotionalLearning (SEL) where students can create models that represent their emotions.
2. New Literacy is Essential. One of the biggest challenges facing our students today is how to navigate in a world of misinformation. Creation of a news media literacy curriculum in collaboration with Social Studies and English teachers is a way to enhance students digital citizenship and critical reading/thinking skills. Newslit.org and Checkology provide curriculum for educators to utilize with their students.
3. Passion Projects are Still Relevant. Personal Interest Projects PIPs are opportunities for students to explore something THEY are interested in and practice key skills like creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving. Students and teachers rave about these projects because they allow students to de-stress, utilize maker space and interact in the library. Using a scaffolded curriculum that supports students through the phases of designing, doing and sharing their projects Westport HS Librarians shared how these PIPs are opportunities for students to meet up, learn about different cultures, and ideas through their making and time together.
4. Go beyond Essays and PowerPoint’s for students to showcase their learning. Are you tired of students submitting GoogleSlideshows and Powerpoint presentations anytime you assign a project? Different options for student-guided projects such as BookCreator, NearPod, Google Earth, and more choices allow students voice and agency to take center stage in the classrooms. I presented about hyperdocs at the conference and shared multiple examples to help educators consider hyperdocs for more personalized teaching time and less lectures also providing multimodal learning opportunities and lots of choice.
5. Educators and Librarians working together is vital. Now that we have updated the library standards you will see how critical information literacy is for everyone. Explore the standards, familiarize yourself with the standards and you might already see how you are addressing these standards with your students because there is overlap between disciplines.