A few weeks ago I attended Reading for the Love of It in Toronto. Years ago, when I worked in International Schools in Europe all the big teacher conferences had sessions that addressed all different subject areas and aspects of school. When I returned to Canada I was surprised to see that most conferences seemed to have a single subject as their focus. At first I found this really limiting but have grown to really like the chance to focus on just one subject area at a time and consider what’s new and interesting.

Reading for the Love of It, unsurprisingly, focuses on literacy. I tried to attend as many of the tech-related sessions that I could but the rooms were often too full by the time I arrived… apparently there’s big demand! But, even as a technology integrator, I recognize the need to teach students to read all types of text and, hopefully, develop an appreciation for the printed word whether it is in book or on a screen.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4BK_2VULCU]

In the end, I attended to following sessions:

The Future Is Digital
Participant product from IB-PYP Reading and Writing workshop – Las Vegas 2014

Moving Beyond the Printed Page – this session run by Apple was all about using iBooks Author and I was really surprised when we were asked not to tweet about it. I really wondered why not… iBooks Author is a great tool and I was happy to be reminded of it. Why wouldn’t Apple want people talking about their session?

The Reading Workshop with Sharon Taberski – her tips for teaching reading were useful and made me miss teaching in the regular classroom.

Reading the World Through Content Literacy with Janet Allen – this workshop was recommended to me by my co-presenter in Las Vegas and I am really glad that I went. Her tips were useful and logical and could be applicable to many different ages and contexts. I was really impressed!

Opportunities Abound for Digital Authors with Tony Vincent – at the end of the day it was good to be in a session with an energetic speaker who went through many different digital tasks and apps. I had heard of most of them but the reminder is always good and I picked up a few new ones.

I am grateful to live in a city that constantly offers learning opportunities for teachers and in a school that allows us to take advantage of these opportunities.