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Laura Phelps

Thumbnail : Pandora’s Headset: The Ethics of VR in Education

Pandora’s Headset: The Ethics of VR in Education

This session was easily the most uncomfortable session I’ve ever attended at a conference, for a variety of reasons (the primary one has already been covered by Cree in his blog post). That said, it came around for me by the end and I left with some new perspectives on VR and AR in education. […]

Thumbnail : Ready to Code: Libraries Supporting CS Education

Ready to Code: Libraries Supporting CS Education

One of the sessions  I attended today at SXSWEDU was  “Ready to Code: Libraries Supporting CS Education.”  I was really interested in learning more about this because the little bit of CS ed I’ve done in my libraries has always felt like just a small taste of something that could really nourish our students as […]

Thumbnail : Cultivating Critical Consciousness at SXSWEDU

Cultivating Critical Consciousness at SXSWEDU

By accident, I started and ended my day with the same theme of critical consciousness (and enjoyed several tech-related sessions in between). This morning’s keynote by Michael Sorrell (which Mary has already written about) was so inspiring and his keys to creating a movement are so powerful: (Sorry for the bad photo) The last session […]

Thumbnail : What Do Early Childhood Teachers Want From Tech?

What Do Early Childhood Teachers Want From Tech?

This was a panel discussion with the founder and CEO of, Charles Best, and three early elementary teachers who won  the DonorsChoose innovation challenge. Best surveyed over 300 early elementary ed teachers and found that 90% of them wanted to be using more tech in their classrooms, and 60% wanted to find ways to […]

Thumbnail : 21st Century Competencies

21st Century Competencies

SXSWEdu is so full of amazing thinkers and educators, it is seriously difficult to decide which sessions to attend because attending one means not attending another.  I went to several fabulous, thought-provoking sessions today, but the one that left me with the most “hmmmm…” thoughts (as in, it raised questions that I’ll be pondering for […]

Thumbnail : ACTEM 2014

ACTEM 2014

I thought a word cloud of my notes from ACTEM would be a good visual representation of the conference.  I love ACTEM because I always find the solution to a problem, or discover a new idea that I can use right away, or find another educator that I can add to my PLN.  This year […]

Highlights from TCEA So Far

I have been so impressed with the quality of the sessions I’ve attended at TCEA!  Some of the highlights for me so far are: Groovy Graphics in the Classroom with Lisa Johnson: This was an excellent session about ways to use graphics and comics in the classroom.  I have all sorts of ideas about easy […]

American Association of School Librarians National Conference

Last week I attended the American Association of School Librarians National Conference in Hartford, CT.  It was amazing to be surrounded by so many librarians and to have the opportunity to hear some of my favorite authors speak.  While the primary focus of the conference was on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, […]

Thumbnail : ACTEM 2013

ACTEM 2013

Last Friday I attended the ACTEM Maineducation conference in Augusta.  I look forward to this conference every year and always come away inspired and rejuvenated.  This year the conference felt especially relevant as I eagerly await the arrival of student iPads at the elementary schools. ACTEM organizers always seem to do an amazing job choosing […]

TechForum Boston

On Friday I traveled down to Newton, MA. to attend TechForum Boston.  In exchange for co-facilitating a roundtable discussion entitled “The Library/Media Specialist’s Perspective on Critical Thinking, Web 2.0 Tools and More” I was given free admission to the conference.  It turned out to be an excellent deal! My favorite session of the day was […]