Saturday, November 15, 2008

Good morning from beautiful sunny Hollywood, FL. We finally had a chance to go for a walk on the beach last night after dinner and when we went out there all the access points to the beach were locked and security guards were patrolling. Guess that was good, but I wanted to walk on the beach. Maybe this afternoon, after your final sessions.

The SLJ Summit has been incredible. So much new information about technology and how children's and teens are digital natives. They grew up with multitasking with technology. Marc Aronson was talking about a young college student who had her e-textbook in one year and music in the other. How different is that from my reading the print text with music playing behind me? I did that all the time when studying.

The cell phone is such a bit part of their lives - they want to stay connected at all times. They IM and text more then actually talk to their friends. I need to get a new phone so I can check my email as well as start my "cell phone" book on QuillPill. Lots of cool phones being pulled out by people at this conference.

Another comment Marc made was a very telling description of how teens interact with each other. A high school principal told him - Adults have relationships, teens are their relationships. That is so true.

National Geographic now has a personalized Atlas for kids. There were some questions from the audience about privacy issues, but schools wouldn't be buying them - family would be. How cool to start with a child's home location, out to the street, town, state, region, country, hemisphere, etc. That interconnectively with the world. I may buy one of them for my granddaughter and son. Ally is in Kindergarten and her teacher has asked the students to have friends and family to send postcards from where they live/visit. I have one in my purse for her from here and sent her one from Nashville a week ago. You enter the child's information online with National Geographic and in a week or so you'll get the personalized Atlas. Cool Christmas present.

Eliza Dresang moderated an great session on how Print has changed. But, all agreed that books are not going anywhere - they will always be a part of life. I agree - some recreational reading content does not work well in non print format. But, all the cool sites that go along with the books - author sites, fanfiction sites, sites specific to the book or series - that extend the reading experience. The session made me think about the book and author sites I love. The one that immediately came to mind is the site for Angie Sage's Septimus Heap series from Scholastic. First books Magyk sets the scene for a young boy - the 7th son of a 7th son to learn he is a gifted magician. I love the swamp area they spend time in. Very different from HP as this is a loving family. I love to go back and check it out periodically. There are four books in the series and will help quell some of the HP withdrawal with the tween fantasy readers. I want to take the rest of the on vacation with me and just wallow in them.

Anastasia GoodsteinYpulse Founder and Editor was our first session speaker - what a bundle of energy. I shame-facedly admit I have little knowledge of all the social networking sites and options that teens are using. She rattled them off so fast I felt like I was listening to a foreign language. She refers to herself as being in a "constant state of arrested development"! I can relate to that - I keep my inner teen alive and well with YA lit, but I realize I also need to become more informed as to their e-world. We received a copy of her book - Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens are Really Doing Online It is going on my professional gotta read book stack. All of this is a bit overwhelming, but I am brain storming ways of integrating what I have learned into my children's and YA literature/materials courses. They cover more than print resources and I need to expand a bit more.

We received an audiobook version of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick I have heard great things about the audiobook and I am anxious to listen to it as I can't imagine an audiobook version of this highly illustrated book that feels like a movie if you flip through the illustrations. This piece is missed in the audiobook.

Today is National Video Games Day. Not sure I can expend my concept yet of families playing games to the video game environment. I had too much fun playing Rummy and Scrabble with my brothers and mom growing up. I guess it could be done online, but I loved sitting with them at a table and all of us being together and teasing/talking to each other. But, my paradigm is slowly shifting and conferences like this help a great deal. We can't very well stick our heads in the sand and avoid what is happening around us, much as we'd, especially me, like to at times. I am a book-arian style librarian so this is a stretch for me, but a much needed one.

All for now. I'm multitasking and need to check email too.