At Annual Conference in Orlando YALSA and YOUmedia co-sponsored a program titled, “The YOUmedia Network & YALSA Forum: Connecting around Connected Learning.” The focus of the event was to bring YALSA members and the YOUmedia community together to learn about each other and discover ways to connect and collaborate. K-Fai Steele, the point person for the YOUmedia Network at the National Writing Project, and Jack Martin, YALSA Past President, facilitated the conversation.
After a short introduction to the program the conversation began with participants talking about what skills they had that they would be able to share with others AND what they would want to learn from someone else. One of the things I loved about this conversation was that it quickly demonstrated that among the group there was a lot of knowledge and skill and there were many opportunities for learning together and from each other. To me this was a great example of one way that connected learning can manifest itself. Anyone of any age may have an interest and/or passion that they want to learn more about it. That person can connect with others that have similar interests and through that connecting each person can learn from and with each other. We saw that happen among the people at this event.
This was also demonstrated by the final interactive component of the program. After some information was presented about YALSA and about YOUmedia, Jack and K-Fai facilitated an activity in which participants were asked to write down a question that they had related to libraries that someone in the room might be able to answer. The questions were written on post-its (shown above) and then posted on the walls of the meeting room. Participants read the questions and then volunteered to answer any for which they had expertise.
It was inspiring to read the post-its and to see the participants join forces talking about and answering each other’s questions. The post-its covered a range of topics from budgets to school public library collaboration to creating activities for teens to finding out how to get involved in the YOUmedia network. Some people’s questions were extremely concrete while others were more big-picture focused. All were relevant to serving teens successfully.
Stay tuned for more from YALSA on how the activities and connected learning that took place at ALA Annual Conference 2016 will lead to more collaboration and connected learning between YALSA members and the YOUmedia Network.