Musings, PD Courses, and Applying to Present at Conferences


What a sad, frightening, and demoralizing few weeks we have experienced. Our democratic process was challenged by insurrection and intimidation. Members of Congress questioned valid ballot verification, and insurgents terrorized the House and Senate. Conversely, we also witnessed members of both the democratic and republican parties unite in condemning the insurrection and confirming Biden’s victory. Many members in the House and Senate soundly condemned the malcontents that stormed the capital. Media literacy lessons are extremely important now, so we can help students make sense of this turmoil. Thank you, David for sharing Media Literacy lesson ideas last week.

Professional Development

There are so many wonderful Professional Development opportunities available to help us update our curriculum. Last summer, I participated in a three-week course through KQED/PBS that focused on new techniques for teaching some areas of media literacy, such as: lateral reading for resource evaluation, reliability, bias, media production, evaluating images, and more. Evaluating data and images with Javin West was probably my favorite section of the course. KQED offers Media Literacy PD courses throughout the year. Their instruction focuses on helping you create curriculum.

Professional Development courses can help us stay current, and abreast of the latest education and library research and techniques.

Conference Applications

We can share our knowledge we glean from Professional Development by providing PD for others through speaking at conferences and writing articles.

This year, I was on the ALA summer conference committee as a conference program reviewer. I graded conference applications using a reviewer’s rubric. There are a few suggestions/observations I would like to share with you.

  1. Have someone check your work.
    1. Members of the publication committee are available to help you proof and critique your application.
  2. Check you work for grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes.
    1. These types of mistakes will affect your grading on the reviewer’s report.
  3. Read the directions for each section “carefully,” before filling in the required information.
    1. For instance: Writing about how great your presentation content is doesn’t address how your presentation will benefit others. 
    2. Or, If you have chosen curriculum as a category, focus on how your idea will fit in the school or library curriculum. Provide examples of lesson plans, or curriculum collaboration.
  4. List your qualifications to present with the topic in mind.
    1. If you are presenting on distance learning list your experiences/expertise with distance learning.
      1. Example: I have been teaching online classes since March 2020 and have been attending courses through Explo Elevate and KQED on distance learning teaching techniques and strategies.
  5. Include specific examples about how you will interact with the audience
    1. Conferences are looking for presentations that will be engaging, and interactive.
      1. Plan an activity that supports the presentation concept.
      2. Mention current tools and techniques.
        1. Provide time to let the audience experience these current items.
  6. Is your proposal creative and innovative?
    1. You are unique, and your presentation should reflect how you uniquely apply the topic in your classroom curriculum, PD for teachers, etc.
    2. Do a little research before you apply to present.
      1. Look at what other schools are doing.
      2. List how your approach is unique and innovative.

Don’t hesitate to contact publication committee members. We want to help you with your writing and presentations.

The Publications Committee Members

Debbie Abilock

Tasha Bergson-Michelson

Sarah Davis

Christina Karvounis

Cathy Leverkus

Alyssa Mandel

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