Our discussion focused on MAME and who comprises our professional network (our peers) in the world of school libraries. For the sake of being on a public blog, I'm just going to say we had a very frank discussion about how we felt. I agree that our peers are those in our class, the newer wave of school librarians who, I think, are riding the tide of education reform and the AASL standards for 21st century learners. People of my generation and just a bit younger are frustrated with the state of the world, and with the state of education. I've had countless conversations with friends from high school who have worried about sending their kids to public schools because educational standards are just not cutting it. My own personal feelings reflect this as well, we are not providing the kind of education our students need! This is why I'm in the field of education though, because we can make it better. What we can't do is jump the gun and expect it all to be fixed overnight.
So, let me be honest, I think conferences as they were are dying, and they should. They should give way to a richer learning experience, with workshops and hands-on. The educational experiences we want for our students should be what we have for ourselves. Yes, MAME this time did incorporate that, but was that only because we (meaning Kristin) made sure that's what we had? I guess the bottom line is (for this argument and for education and the world in general) that the world is changing, we can either acknowledge that and do our best to work through it, or we can be like the man who turned his back on the Tsunami.