Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Students Taking The Lead At The Arkansas Association Of Instructional Media Conference

It seems that our entire library staff (myself, Mrs. Misti Bell, Mr. Ray Borel, and Mrs. Peggy Schaeffer) are constantly asking, "what if?" We have had success with student led lunch programming and student led classroom collaborations over the past two years. At the first of this year, our big question was "What if we invited student leaders to present about the power of student led presentations with us at the annual Arkansas Association of Instructional Media Conference (AAIM)?" The more Mrs. Bell and I thought about it, the more we liked the possibility. Our administrators also thought it was a great idea! We decided to make this one of our professional goals for the 2014-2015 school year.

It was difficult to decide which programs to highlight, but we finally decided on seven. We picked student led sessions on Linux, Show your Talent, Black History Month on Martin Luther King, Jr & Michael Jackson, 3D Printing, Teach The Teacher, Sophomore Shakespeare Day, Sophomore Africa Day, and Book Clubs.

We prepared by creating a Prezi, and we shared the outline with the student leaders we selected. We wanted each student leader to be sure to share the following points:

I. What they did in their program
II. How it affected their peers
III. How it affected them personally
IV. Tell why they recommend student led programming

We practiced in the library right before spring break.
The AAIM Conference began right at the end of our spring break, so we made sure to get the students together for a practice session before vacation started! Our practice session went great. All of the students had wonderful responses to all of the points we had prompted them to cover in their presentations. We merely coached them on basic public speaking techniques and explained the type of crowd they would be addressing (teachers, library media specialists, technology coordinators, and administrators from around the state of Arkansas).

The big day finally rolled around, and we made sure to get to the presentation area an hour early. I wanted to make sure all of our technology worked correctly and also give the students a chance to get used to the room. We had plenty of time for a practice run! As an added bonus, one of our 2014 graduates showed up to present with us! He was one of our first student leaders in a collaborative program last year. It was so great to have a Lakeside graduate take his own time to come present with the other students! Yet another testament of what can happen when we empower students!

The actual presentations went great! All of the student presenters performed like professionals! Go here to view the "Students Taking The Lead" Prezi. We had several educators come up and meet the students at the end of the session. It was a great day!

This article describes how two students helped me present a 3D Printing session at a state technology conference.

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