WEMTA 2009 Recap

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 | | 1 comments »

WEMTA was a good time. Meeting up with some members of my PLN again was great. Meeting some new faces is always interesting. Having dinner with some people I've never met f2f with and others I've only briefly met was nice. I guess it helps that I felt I knew them more due to plenty of communication over the last year. The sessions I went to were beneficial and I'm looking forward to changing how I do a few things for the better. I hope to go back next year and learn more in The Dells.

With all of that being said, here are some thoughts....please share your thoughts as well!

I spent the last couple of days in Madison, WI as WEMTA, our state library and technology conference. At first, I was planning on driving back to Milwaukee (about 75 miles) each night, but decided on staying over to enjoy the nightly networking opportunities, if you know what I mean. It was a good choice. I think this is my fourth or fifth time attending this conference. The first few times I attended, I was a classroom teacher. In fact, I think the first time I attended we were still living in the 1900's! The conference obviously has changed since then with the boom in educational technology - both hardware and software. There weren't flip video cameras, nearly as much wireless technology, and of course, no web 2.0.

Last year and this year, I attended the conference coming from a different perspective. Not only has my job changed from a classroom teacher to a library media specialist, but I don't consider myself a ed tech newbie anymore. I've immersed my self in more learning about educational technology the past couple of years more than ever. I attended NECC last year and am going again this year. I feel I have a decent grasp on PLN's, video conferencing, Twitter, blogging, etc and how I can use these tools to help myself and my students. By no means am I an expert, but I do think my level of knowledge might be a little more than the average conference attendee these last few days. I love the fact that the tech knowledge at the conference varied widely. I attended some sessions where the presenters where sharing different web 2.0 sites that they are using with their students and several people were experiencing VoiceThread and others for the first time. People are still dipping their toes into 21st century teaching and learning and that's great. I feel I'm already in up past my knees. In fact, on some days, I'm in over my head, but that's another story. I was chatting with a colleague who has much more tech knowledge and experience than me. I can't remember the exact wording, but she commented that she's been at other conferences where the learning went much deeper and the session options offered more advanced stuff. I don't know if she's right or wrong or whether I agree or not, but I think I understand where she's coming from.

I've learned quite a bit over the last several years so I feel my expectations for a conference like this have changed. In the past, I'd be satisfied walking away with one or two things I can use with students right away. Not anymore. There are always going to be great minds sharing new things, and I still want that, but my expectations are a little more now. I want to learn how to bring people along with me on this ride. I want them to see how fun/exciting/scary/rewarding the ed tech adventure can be. Since I'm not in my own little classroom anymore, I want to find ways to collaborate with teachers and improve what they are doing. I want to build my library program to a point where it's not seen as a separate learning space. I want it to be an extension of EVERY classroom and I want the students to view me as another one of their teachers. The technology can help me and the knowledge I've gained and will continue to gain can assist me in building better relationships with my colleagues. I think the people I work with view me as a leader in the field of educational technology in our building. I feel they value my knowledge, but for some reason, aren't buying into the "Let's work together" piece. Some are, but not enough. Attending WEMTA and networking with my friends and colleagues can help me work towards my goals. If I walk away with a cool new website or tool, great - but at this point, I'm going for more.


  1. keshley // March 26, 2009 at 1:02 AM  

    Nice blog I like your idea.. Hope you post more regarding this.. Keep sharing! Thanks..
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