TLD 2014 Recap

We Made New Connections at TLD 2014, Did You?

“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday TLD!”

Yes, thanks to Two Geeky Teachers Michelle Pearson and Laura Israelsen’s contagious enthusiasm, we all sang “Happy Birthday” to Teacher Librarian Day during the conference. This year marked the 10th anniversary of TLD, so we celebrated with a big birthday cake. The event was made even more memorable because of our co-host, the History Colorado Center in Denver. Other than the Library of Congress itself, there probably isn’t a better venue to host an event like TLD. We were surrounded by primary sources!

TLD Birthday
Laura Israelsen, Michelle Peterson, and Peggy O’Neill-Jones Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of TLD.

In addition to inciting us to sing “Happy Birthday,” Michelle and Laura engaged us with their list of their top 10 tech tools. We listened with rapt attention and scribbled or typed notes as the duo described apps and websites such as NearPod, Dumpr, Storybird, Tellagami, VideoNot, and Newsela. They provided handouts with QR codes for some of the tools. As in past years, many of us left the event with an arsenal of new ideas and tech tools from these Two Geeky Teachers.

Mary Johnson Showing Her Appreciation for the New Library of Congress Features

“Two thumbs up for the Library of Congress! They are working for teachers,”Mary Johnson said as she explained many of the new Library’s website tools and features. Mary explained how we can benefit by following the LOC’s Twitter feeds and learn about lesson plans, new exhibits, current events, and many other features of Library of Congress primary sources. She also showed us the TPS Teacher’s Network, an online community designed specifically for educators. Dozens of TLD attendees have already joined.

Mary was one of many presenters who discussed how social media tools can help teachers and provide new learning environments for students. David Lyons gave an informative presentation titled, “Social Media Networks: the Scary, the Awesome, & the Scary Awesome.” One of first things David said was, “Don’t let the fact that there are scary and dangerous things on social media deter you from using them.”

David compared social media to controversial books found in a library, stating that we don’t prevent students from accessing the library just because they might stumble into something questionable. He also covered several social media tools and platforms and explained their value and use in a classroom setting. “I really enjoyed David Lyons because I find social media is an excellent way to connect parents,” and “David Lyons sparked ideas for social media use in my classroom” attendees said.

“Marc Chun was fantastic. His advice and tips were relevant and useful,” was one of many comments heard about Marc Chun’s presentation. Marc enlightened and entertained us with his presentation titled, “Give My Regards to Broad Pedagogical Ways.” Who knew that planning theater performances has a lot in common with planning classroom projects? Marc outlined 10 tips he’s learned from the theater. Marc’s tips included “choose what’s most important, but oftentimes it might not be what you think is important, it’s what the students think is most important,” and “use foreshadowing wisely.”

Stephanie Hartman and Erin Cole gave fascinating talks about using personal primary sources and stories to bring history alive. Jason Hanson entertained us with the history of beer and how unexpected connections between historical events can foster new insights. Slam Poet Ayinde Russell enthralled us with his poetry and perspectives on how poetry creates connections because of shared experiences.

Many of our presenters have presented at multiple TLDs and we appreciate their continued participation. Stevan Kalmon challenged us to describe a thinking classroom and explained how the appropriate classroom culture builds a learning community. Leslie Maniotes showed us how to engage students’ curiosity and engender better questions. By the end of the TEDTalks-style conference, we heard 16 presenters share innovative ideas and challenge us to new ways of thinking.

One of those 16 presenters wasn’t physically in the room or even in Colorado. For the first time, we used Google Hangouts to see and hear 18-year-old Nikhil Goyal share interesting insights in his talk on the “City as the School.” We also pushed the technological envelope in other ways this year. We incorporated YouTube Live Events to stream TLD to anyone who could not attend. Many of our friends at the Library of Congress watched from their desks in Washington D.C.!

We also launched a social media campaign prior to the event, sharing video snippets of past presenters on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ under the hashtags #TLD2014 and #10yrsofTLD. Twitter users even  tweeted during the event using hashtag #TLD2014! These are just a few examples:


TLD 2014 was a day filled with helpful information, new connections, and a passion for sharing knowledge. Forget something you heard or want to share with others? The live stream footage is available on YouTube!

We are already looking forward to TLD 2015!

Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make this our strongest year yet!