Sniff Out the Sessions You Missed

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June 18, 2017 by Dr. Robbie Barber

As my friends and colleagues are gearing up for ISTE and ALA Conferences, I thought I’d share something remarkable from a smaller two day conference, GLMA (Georgia Library Media Association) Summer Institute.  Summer Institute was held in mid-June on a Monday and Tuesday offering board meetings, keynote speakers (2!!), workshops, sessions and an exhibit hall.

I did present a session called “Fake? Or Alternative Facts?” which was about teaching middle and high schoolers about fake news and methods of dealing with it.  But here is what is so cool.  During my session 4, there was another session I really wanted to attend.  Jennifer Lewis and Stephanie Gauthia presented on Digital Breakouts.  I have never done a breakout session – though I had read about them.  But the concept of digital breakouts blew me away.  But I could not go.

Jennifer and Stephanie talked with me for five minutes outlining how they’re doing it – garnered from another conference (GaETC).  They are using OneNote to password-protect sections of a notebook.  Solve one section, enter the password for the next and continue learning.

This has sent me down a rabbit hole that will consume the rest of my summer.  Yes, library orientation will be using digital breakouts.  I’ll introduce the basic rules about checking out, passes to come to the library, digital citizenship and even a mini-lesson on how fake news works.  The excitement as I plow through this is palpable.  I’ve got a lot of work to do it but I don’t mind.  My teachers and students will hopefully have a blast with my latest orientation.

All from a session I didn’t attend.  Keep that in mind as you head to the big conferences this June.

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