It’s my second day back to work after the summer break and I’ve spent a large part of both days reporting to colleagues on, completing reimbursement paperwork and submitting registration paperwork for past and future conferences and meetings.

So far in 2011, I’ve attended four conferences: Creating Futures Through Technology in March, Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival in April, American Libraries Association Annual Conference in June, and the Northeast Mississippi Community College Mobile Learning conference in July.*

I did finally get the CFTTC blog posts written and published — in late April — and two brief presentations given on campus, but the rest of my experiences are still whirling dervish in my poor little brain. I have multiple draft posts sitting over in the Admin side of this blog, and at least four more presentations in various stages of preparation.

Next week will be conference number five: Mississippi State University Libraries’s Summer Conference (MidSouth eResource Symposium and Emerging Technologies Summit). I’ve been hoping to get to this event for about three years! Then, in October, I simply must get to the Mississippi Library Association annual conference since I’m on the State Author Award Committee, to say nothing of missing the last two board meetings of the Society of Mississippi Archivists (as well as that conference) — wow! How’s a girl supposed to have time to go to the beach? <snap>@eeboyd

See any pattern? Okay, beyond the books.

I’m *happily* drowning in educational technology and mobile learning, especially as applied to libraries.  While Erin wonders how to be cutting-edge, I’m just trying to keep up — an impossible task!  There is so much available to instructors, to students, and there are fabulous, creative, and effective innovations for learning being made by both. Unfortunately, decreasing budgets and increased workloads sometimes makes implementing innovative ideas difficult, yet at each of these conferences, I’ve seen examples of how much can done with very little.

Not every school can equip incoming freshmen, or all upperclassmen with iPads. And we all know the “digital divide” is real and often most affects those who also most need equipment, instruction, and access.

One wants to rush in headlong, but the reality is that kind of approach can create an environment of rejection when good ideas don’t quite work out as planned and those up and down the chain question are less than impressed with our efforts. Many of us know that trying and failing, or trying and not quite achieving our goals, is to be expected, and should not be a reason to shut down future attempts.

Fear at all levels — self, supervisors, students — can cripple innovative ideas. I’m hoping small efforts will lead to bigger things. Our students deserve nothing less.

*In the midst of it all, too, this long-time Microsoft Windows platforms user (ALL the way back to PC- & MS-DOS and the PC jr.), switched to Apple products: Macbook Pro, iPad 2, and an iPhone 5 as soon as I can get my hot little hands on one.