Nearly two months have passed since the conference, and though what I learned has not yet had much impact on-the-job, I have used a great many of the tools and a great deal of the information obtained during those two-and-one-half days in Biloxi, MS.
Not only what I learned during the conference, however, is having an impact on my informational and educational technology behavior. The websites to which I’ve been led and the people whom I’ve met are teaching me new ways of working (yes, and playing), and showing me new avenues of connecting with information and people inside and outside my profession. I’m sampling the various applications to see which are the best fit for my activities and my needs.
One of my primary sources for connecting with knowledgeable people in and around the information profession is now Twitter. If you say you don’t want to bother with Twitter because you don’t want to know that Bubba is going out for beer, or Susie’s baby just spit up — well, you are following the *wrong* people! Twitter, rather than blogs, have quickly become my go-to source for pertinent and current information about topics which are important to me. A lot of these folks are separating the chaff from the wheat, passing along the best to their followers.
More of my thoughts on Twitter another time; back to the conference.
Immediately after — and probably influenced by being ill during — the conference, I was convinced I shouldn’t have gone. I’m still looking for opportunities to ‘create futures through technology’ at work. For one, I’d like to do more to show the students alternatives to their flash drives (which so many of them leave behind at the library computers) and really convince them they can do good research. I’d like to encourage the faculty to embrace mobile learning and cloud-based computing — because many of their students are already “there.”
Just today, when our campus network was down and we had no access to our OPAC, a student used his phone to connect to the Internet, search our OPAC and find the call number for the item he wanted. *I* could not do that for him! Something’s wrong there … but how wonderful that *he* was able to find the information! (And he thought of it all on his own without my prompting.) Earlier, another student was, unfortunately, not so lucky. Without our OPAC, we couldn’t find our books about Dostoyevsky (browsing an LC fiction section is no easy task when you can’t recall the correct call letter).
No, we can’t do everything; we can’t employ every bell or whistle. Not everyone will see the benefits, nor will some even be willing to try. And that’s okay.
But, I can try. And I will try. Not only to teach what I have learned, but to discover which ways best suit me, my tasks, and the community of learners around me.
I’m glad I was able to attend the 2011 CFTT Conference. Seeds were planted and they are growing bit by bit.