Welcome to AASL 2015 in Columbus, Ohio! As co-chairs, we are looking forward to this opportunity to Experience Education Evolution with you at the only national conference devoted to the needs and interests of school librarians. We are excited that you are here to learn and network with us as we all seek to become proactive leaders in the constantly evolving education landscape. Speaking of excitement, “value-added” is one of the phrases being used to describe AASL 2015. Here are some of the special events you will not want to miss:
- Thursday afternoon starts with the First-Timer’s Orientation and the IdeaLab (think poster session gone multimedia, focusing on topics like blended learning, STEAM, Next Generation Science Standards, STEM, flipped classrooms, media literacy, 1:1, and more). Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Executive Director of the Curriculum Mapping Institute and President of Curriculum Designers, Inc., is launching our exploration of the changing educational environment with the Opening Keynote. The Exhibits open Thursday evening, and the night continues with the Storytelling Festival and a special event about service learning and social action from The Harry Potter Alliance. The evening’s official events wrap up with Hack the Association. This new event is perfect if you want to find out how to get more involved in AASL–whether you are a veteran or are new to the profession and to AASL.
- Friday morning begins with Administrators Empowering School Library Programs featuring members of Follett’s Project Connect Panel, sharing an open discussion on administrative needs and expectations for school librarians and programs. Then, be ready to dive into a full day of concurrent sessions, featuring technology, authors, curriculum connections, program management, and more. Also, take time to visit the Exhibit Hall and Makerspace. In the afternoon, make sure you visit Authorpalooza! The Author Banquet rounds out the day and is followed by Unconference.
- Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck, opens another day of exciting concurrent sessions with the Saturday morning general session. Authorpalooza and the Makerspace will be back on Saturday. Eszter Hargittai’s Closing Keynote will wrap up the sessions as she takes a research-based look at the myth and reality of the digital native. AASL’s traditional Closing Celebration will be the perfect time to relax and enjoy a truly “Columbus Experience” when we all gather at The North Market.
- The Sunday morning Author Breakfast starts the day and winds up conference.
This conference is being brought to you by an amazing and dedicated 2015 AASL Conference Committee and AASL Staff. To identify the conference committee, look for people wearing white scarves adorned with conference logos; staff are wearing red fleece vests. Please, join us in thanking them for doing a wonderful job of planning what we think will be a tremendous opportunity for all of us to learn about doing more than just negotiating the ever-evolving educational environment. It is our intention that we all leave conference feeling empowered and better prepared to actively advocate for students, teachers, and learning in the face of education evolution.
We are looking forward to seeing you all at conference. Enjoy!
Deb Logan & Kathy Lowe