I’m just home from a wonderful day of interacting with my colleagues from all of the Independent Schools’ Association schools at our annual Pro-D Conference and wanted to jot down a couple of thoughts as I reflect on the day.

It struck me that we have such a huge body of talent and resources amongst our ISABC colleagues and it is always rewarding to get together and share ideas.  The value in the day is the personal connections and the many little things that I always come away thinking about.  Sometimes the best Pro-D is not about getting earth-changing answers but in clarifying questions.  I went to a great round-table discussion on the CLA Leading Learning document lead by Heather Nicholson.  It is always great to talk shop with my Teacher Librarian colleagues, compare notes and learn from everyone and the Leading Learning document was the perfect catalyst for that discussion.  One of the ideas that was driven home to me in that session is that there are so many of us wrestling with the topic of inquiry and various inquiry models.  I never did get the chance to get clarification on who was using which models, but I know that the IB approach to inquiry and the BCTLA Points of Inquiry model were specifically represented.  I know that I’m delving into Kuhlthua’s Guided Inquiry model, myself.  I wonder what other approaches are being explored.

I also attend the most difficult to find but very reward session on ePortfolios given by Dave Dallman at York House.  He did a great job of balancing the theoretical and structural aspects of the York House approach with a hands-on opportunity for folks to build their own portfolios in Google Sites.  I found the description of how the school came to a common understanding of how ePortfolios should be implemented and structured in their environment.

I also want to thank all of those that showed up to my 1:30 session on Personal Learning Environments today.  You were a very supportive group and I truly appreciate your kind attention.  I hope that you each walked away with something that you will be able to use going forward.  I know that I learn a ton about my subject every time I present.  If you missed my presentation, the slide deck is here.

I wonder how many of the 1200 people in attendance today sat in rooms thinking that they’d chosen sessions because there was really nothing else going on that was of value to them.  I wonder how many of these same people would have great things of their own to share about successes, challenges or approaches used in their classes.  I would love to have a situation where the ISABC Conference organizing committee would have to start vetting presentations because there were to many eager presenters and not enough venues for them to present or maybe they had to establish a rule that one could not present in two succeeding years.  What kind of learning community would we have if everyone was that eager to share their knowledge and expertise!

Thank you to Mulgrave School for hosting and all the folks behind the scenes in organizing the day.

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