Monday, December 5, 2016

A recap of the December HVLA + NYCIST meeting

Since 2014 HVLA has partnered with NYCIST (New York Consortium of Independent School Technologists) to host meetings that bring our two groups together. Collaboration between librarians and technologists is increasingly vital for any school that wants to innovate and remain current with the constantly changing information and technological landscape. These meetings have been a wonderful way for our two departments to share and learn from each other outside of the busy school day. Our most recent joint meeting took place on December 1st at my school, LREI - Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School. Saber Khan, Director of Educational Technology at The Browning School and current NYCIST President asked our library and ed tech department invited us to host and we planned an a quasi-unconference style afternoon.

Before I give you an overview of the meeting, some background: Karyn Silverman, High School Librarian at LREI and I led a workshop called, "It's LIT: Librarians and Tech Integrators in the Future" at last January's NEIT (NYSAIS Education & Information Technology) Conference. Our goal was to have a productive brainstorming session to understand where we are now in order to map out the future. We came away from that hour with a Venn diagram of our roles in the education ecosystem of our schools.
The "beautiful" Venn diagram we created during "It's LIT" at NEIT16.
Those of us who attended this session felt like we had created a solid foundation for future conversations about collaboration between library and ed tech departments. This was the first thing that came to my mind to frame our conversations on December 1st.

The next step was to gauge what attending members wanted to discuss. In the RSVP we asked, "Librarians/Technologists what would you like to discuss with technologists/librarians?" We also wanted to know if anyone had stories of successful collaboration that they wished to share. Based on these answers, I created a word cloud to visualize our questions and ideas.
As it turns out, "research" was the word that bubbled up as the most cited topic for discussion. Using the word cloud, as well as the full responses from members, we came up with four main discussion topics that seemed to address the various interests of attendees: research, information/media literacy, STEAM and design thinking, and equipment (1:1, fixed resources, etc).

After some snacks and mingling, introductions and announcements, we broke out into four groups to discuss our main topics. I joined the information/media literacy group and we had a great conversation that generated ideas as well as questions and resources. Matthew Moran, Director of Technology and Innovation at Dwight School created a Google doc with our notes. Feel free to take a look, use and/or add resources.

Before we parted ways, we had a quick share to wrap up. Listening to each group, I was struck by how we all approached these topics with various professional experiences, but we were meeting on common ground because both librarians and technologists have roles to play in developing curricula and programs for these issues. As Sarah wrote last month, our departments are stronger when we learn together and from each other. Keep an eye out for future meetings with NYCIST and please invite your ed tech counterpart if they aren't already on the NYCIST listserv. The upcoming NEIT conference at the Mohonk Mountain House is also a great opportunity for professional development with fellow librarians and educational technologists from New York. 

—Joy Piedmont, LREI

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