Sunday, March 28, 2010

Actual conference participation

This week's post will reflect on the recent SLAWNY Spring Sharing event I attended. Overall, I enjoyed the conference and felt I learned useful information. However, I felt that I was out of my element. In my career I have come very close to working in the K-12 commuinty, but it has always been just out of reach. My initial interests involved developing educational multimedia for young children. I continued my interest in education and pursued a dual masters degree in communication design and education. I had vast exposure to the needs and desires of young learners. In my early career at UB I was closely involved in K-12 endeavors through my affiliation with the Graduate School of Education. Lately, my career has rarely involved K-12. I explored applying to the SLMS program but instead chose to pursue an MLS. The reasoning for this was that after nearly ten years at UB it's best to stick it out on the path that I'm currently on. Much of my life is invested in SUNY and I have a large accumulation of benefits and a sense of security that is very rare these days.

There are a lot of similarities between teaching in a K-12 environment and teaching in higher ed. A large portion of what I'm learning in this class is very applicable to the needs of a college classroom. However, there are many differences when considering learning and instruction in higher ed. I realize that life can always take unexpected turns, and who knows what might be around the corner. I'd like to be prepared for a possible unexpected turn. Will the road I'm on branch towards the libraries or to K-12? Time will only tell.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Virtual conference participation

I enjoyed the experience of taking a virtual travel trip to an online conference as a mid-semester break activity. Considering that virtually all my department's travel funds have been eliminated with a tight budget, it's good to know that there are plenty of very well done online conferences and professional development opportunities available. The K12Online conference was a great mix of presentations focusing both on technical aspects and non-technical aspects of the day-to-day aspects of integrating instructional technologies. I often view and listen to a number of online professional development presentations. This is one way to keep up with the ever changing landscape of instructional technology. My department at UB has also created and posted a number of online presentations. The presentations through the K12online conference had some post-production processing added to enhance the presentations as compared to the raw presentations that are often posted on the TLC website. The enhancement through the added use of visuals, and in some cases digital storylines, enabled their presentations to have an edge that successfully captured my interest.