TECH Camp 2018

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A Conference within a Conference

Tuesday, April 3 in Dallas

TLA’s acclaimed TECH Camp returns Tuesday, April 3 as a preconference event for the TLA Annual Conference in Dallas with new content to equip participants with skills and knowledge to maximize social media platforms, web applications, digital content, and tech tools that wow students, teachers, and administrators.  Learn what’s hot, what will be hot, and how to master and promote these resources to build learning and collaboration at your school or public library.  This is a BYOD (bring your own device) preconference sponsored by CRT, TASL, and YART.

There are a limited number of tickets available: $75 registration for 2018 TLA members; $100 for non-members; registration includes lunch.
*Please note that you must be a 2018 TLA member in order to receive the member rate for the 2018 Annual Conference, including Tech Camp.  You can join or renew your membership HERE.


For members:

• Go to the Members Only page (
• Login using your email as the login name and your regular password.
• Click on the Members Registration link under the Meetings column.
• Select the 2018 Annual Conference from the drop down list and follow the directions for registering.

For non-members:

• Go to the main registration page (
• If you’ve registered for a TLA event before, log in using the email address and password you’ve previously registered with.
• If you’ve not registered for a TLA event before, select the New Registrant option and follow the directions to set up a log in.
• Select the 2018 Annual Conference from the drop down list and follow the directions for registering.


2018 Tech Camp Featured Keynote Speakers

Olivia Van Ledtje

Olivia Van Ledtje, (aka LivBit) is a 10 year old reader, thinker, and kids’ voice believer.  She is a passionate advocate for books and using social media to promote digital citizenship, voice and audience. Olivia’s work on LibBits has been featured all over the world including conferences in Taiwan, Singapore, and England. She was so excited to be included as a keynote speaker and voice for kids using social media at the Digital Citizenship Summit at Twitter Headquarters.  She’s been honored to present with accomplished authors at national conferences across the country including NCTE, ASCD, ISTE, and ILA. Hand-picked by Alan November, she was the youngest featured keynote at his International Building Learning Communities conference.  Olivia looks forward to more opportunities working with authors and organizations that share her drive to promote digital citizenship for kids.

Cynthia Merrill is a consultant, speaker and teacher dedicated to strengthening literacy experiences for all students. She works in diverse school communities throughout the US coaching, training, and encouraging administrators and teachers in their practices.  Cynthia is passionate about creating authentic opportunities for students to document their thinking using tech tools. She is the creator of the selfie center, a powerful help construct using video creation as a reflection tool. Cynthia is a proud advisory board member of Eduro Learning, a global team of educators, passionate about transforming learning tools to lift instruction practices.

Cynthia Merrill

Kristina Holzweiss

Kristina Holzweiss is a middle school media specialist in Long Island (NY) who shares ideas and resources about her school library and makerspaces via Holzweiss is president of Long Island LEADS (, a community effort to learn, educate, advocate, develop, and support the maker movement and STEAM education. She founded SLIME - Students of Long Island Maker Expo ( where schools, libraries, museums, nonprofit organizations, civic associations, and educational companies can celebrate creativity and innovation. In 2015, she was named the School Library Journal Librarian of the Year, the winner of the 2015 NYSCATE Lee Bryant Outstanding Teacher Award, and received the Long Island Technology Summit Fred Podolski Leadership and Innovation Award.

 2018 Tech Camp Featured Breakout Session Presenters

Gina Seymour

Author and national speaker, Gina Seymour is the library media specialist at Islip High School on Long Island (NY). Gina was named to Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers (2017) list as a “Change Agent” and was awarded the Suffolk School Library Media Association’s School Librarian of the Year in 2014. She’s currently writing a book, Makers with a Cause: Creative Service Projects for Library Youth (a Libraries Unlimited imprint) and a chapter on inclusive makerspaces for Heather Moorefield-Lang's, School Library Makerspaces in Action, both due out 2018. Gina has served on numerous committees for ALA and YALSA and is an Adjunct Professor at St. John’s University (NY).

Randy Rodgers

Randy Rodgers is the Director of Digital and Innovative Learning for Seguin ISD. He is Member Services Chair for the Texas Computer Education Association and has been an active proponent of innovative learning tools and strategies at the state legislature. He has been a public school educator for 27 years and was secondary teacher of the year for Birdville ISD in 2000. Randy has presented and spoken on learning technologies at dozens of conferences over the past decade, including TCEA, ISTE, TLA, CAST, TASCD, and more. His writing has been featured in publications and websites including TASA Insight, TechEdge, Amplify, and others.

Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson has 14+ years of educational experience ranging from teaching HS English & MS Math to developing international curriculum and supporting educational technology in the K-12 sector. She holds a Master's Degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology, was featured in the latest publications "iPads in Education for Dummies” and “The Missing Voices in Ed Tech” and has co-authored the international hit “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” that has garnered 20,000+ downloads. Apple Distinguished Educator, PBS Lead Digital Innovator, and Edutopia Blogger, Lisa's enjoys "cooking up" purposeful, engaging, authentic resources to meet the needs of a diverse population of educators.

Stacey Rattner

Stacey Rattner has an MSIS from the University of Albany and has been the "leaping librarian" at Castleton Elementary School for the past eight years.  She has video chatted with dozens and dozens of authors, illustrators, librarians, students, journalists, monorail conductor, towboat captain, and more from all over the country.  With an almost non existent budget, she has been able to make connections nationally and bring  the world into her library to meet her K-5 students.  You can find her on Twitter @staceybethr and follow her as she tests the blogging waters at

Nancy Watson

Nancy Watson is a former early childhood teacher and middle school librarian, and is beginning her 12th year as an Instructional Technology Specialist. Her twin passions in education are digital citizenship and digital literacy. She is  proud to have been a panelist at the Digital Citizenship Summit in October 2016 and to be an associate of the Digital Citizenship Institute. Additionally, she will serve as co-chair of ISTE’s Digital Citizenship PLN for 2017-2018 and is one of two authors of ISTE’s new PD Curriculum for the Digital Citizen student standard.

Additional 2018 Tech Camp Breakout Session Presenters

Cynthia Alaniz

Cynthia Alaniz is an elementary librarian at Cottonwood Creek Elementary School in Coppell ISD.  She is a blogger, children’s literature enthusiast, and the AASL 2017 Curriculum Champion Finalist.

Heather Aston

Heather Aston is the library media specialist at Coppell Middle School East.

Mindy Albert

Mindy Albert is the Richardson HS Librarian in Richardson ISD.

Naomi Bates

Naomi Bates is certified librarian, state and national speaker, TWU adjunct instructor; and Follett consultant.

Tina Berumen

Tina Berumen is the Head Librarian, Town Center Elementary in Coppell ISD.

Crissy Casey

Crissy Casey is the middle school librarian at Hunt Middle School in Frisco ISD, passionate about all things library.

Sharon Eckert

Sharon Eckert is a life-long learner. She has been in education for 26 years, 16 years as a middle school math and science teacher, and the last 10 years as a Digital Learning Coach in Frisco ISD.

Jamie Eikenberry

Jamie Eikenberry is a library/media specialist at Truett Middle School in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD.

Denise Enriquez

Denise Enriquez is the Lake Highlands Junior High Librarian in Richardson ISD.

Connie Lippenholz

Connie Lippenholz is the librarian for Brandeis High School in (San Antonio) supporting 2,700 students and 180 instructional staff members. She is a leader for the Library Makerspace initiative within her district.  Connie has previously presented at TLA, ISTE, TLA District 10 mini-conferences, ESC Region 20 Library Resource Round-Up, Northside ISD Camp Tech/eNgagement Academy, and Northside ISD Administrator Institute.

Jamie Parker

Jamie Parker is the Library Media Specialist at Wilson Elementary in Coppell ISD

Lucy Podmore

Lucy Podmore has served as a school librarian for 10 years and is currently the  Clark High School Librarian in Northside ISD in San Antonio. Lucy has presented at various district, state, and national conferences on library tools and roles, including the annual conferences of ISTE, TCEA, and TLA. She was named as Hector P. Garcia Middle School Educator of the Year in 2010 and was named as TCEA’s Library Media Specialist of the Year for 2014-15. Lucy co-moderates #txlchat, the weekly Texas Librarians Twitter Chat.

Stefanie Sanem

Stefanie Sanem is an Art Educator for Frisco ISD. Mrs. Sanem works with her librarian to provide an academic enrichment program called STEAM that allows students to work hands on with technology while strengthening their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Sarah Thommason

Sarah is a Secondary Librarian at Eaton High School in Northwest ISD.

 Session Information

9:00 – 9:40 am Opening Keynote

The Future is Me
Liv Van Ledtje and Cynthia Merrill, The Literacy Consortium
@TheLivBits & @cyndisueboo
Our tween keynote speaker will share 5 key ideas that matter for connected learners. Hear how her work as a “book activist” has gone global and be inspired by how she has come to know her place in the world through technology creation and connected learning opportunities.

9:55 – 10:50 am Session 1 Breakouts

Makers with a Cause: Developing a Service Program for Youth (Part 1)
Gina Seymour, Islip School District, New York
Programming that includes service-based projects can nurture philanthropic qualities and instill an empathic mindset in library youth. Part 1 of this session will focus on developing a philanthropic maker program. The presenter will discuss a MakerCare initiative which empowers young people to #make a difference by creating authentic items to donate to charitable organizations. Learn how to build community partnerships and develop numerous project ideas from simple low cost crafts to 3-D technology. (Part 2 of this session is at 11:00am.)

Getting Connected with the Global Read Aloud!
Tina Berumen and Jaime Parker, Coppell ISD
@tinaberumen & @jparker6
Each October millions of readers from all over the world participate in The Global Read Aloud project created by Pernille Ripp. The Global Read Aloud combines all the things librarians love most: quality literature, read alouds, lively book discussions and best of all global connections. Learn how to promote GRA to your readers, locate and connect with partners, plan activities, and kick off your Global Read Aloud for 2018.

WebQuest 2.0
Mindy Albert and Denise Enriquez, Richardson ISD
Remember the WebQuest of the 90's? Well this isn't it! This hands-on session will take the best of WebQuest principles and merge it with the new Google Sites, hyperdocs and the latest web creation tools to create authentic learning experiences that teachers and students will love. Google Sites + WebQuest Design = Research Perfection

Full STEAM Ahead
Crissy Casey & Stefanie Sanem, Frisco ISD
@crissycasey & @sanemsartroom
A librarian, tech facilitator, and math and art teacher collaborated to create a STEAM program on a middle school campus. Learn about the collaboration, how it was funded and marketed to students, and the monthly activities based on different themes that went beyond art projects and just tinkering on computers. Leave inspired to begin your own STEAM program.

Cultivating a #DigCit State of Mind
Nancy Watson, Plano ISD
Discover ways to incorporate digital citizenship into every lesson and convey a #digcit state of mind in all you do. Become a digital culture change agent through your persistent #digcit advocacy!

Redefining Research with Digital Design
Naomi Bates, Texas Women’s University & Follett Learning
Research is essential, but research design is fluid. This program will share how to shift from a traditional research paper to one that mashes different web tools to create a dynamic research designed project built on the same foundation as the traditional project or paper where student choice impacts learning.

11:00 – 11:55 am Session 2 Breakouts

Makers with a Cause: Developing a Service Program for Youth (Part 2)
Gina Seymour, Islip School District, New York
Librarians can lead the way in empowering youth in our communities to be the change they wish to see in the world. Learn about a maker program that empowers young people to #make a difference by creating authentic items donated to charitable organizations. We’ll examine youth volunteers through research data, learn to develop community partnerships and set up a makerspace. Part 2 of this session focuses on service projects including hands on projects.

Books, Bytes, Swipes, & Likes: Crafting Digital Identify with a Global Audience
Liv Van Ledtje and Cynthia Merrill, The Literacy Consortium
@TheLivBits & @cyndisueboo
In today’s connected world, it’s no longer a question of whether or not students are going to be using a device; it’s about helping students create, reason, and connect responsibly. In this presentation meet 10-year-old Olivia (aka LivBit) and hear how crafting a digital identity gives deeper purpose to her literacy journey.

Building Competency with Student Base Camps
Lisa Johnson, Eanes ISD, Austin
How do you ensure that all students successfully experience the iPad’s legitimate instructional functionality, and achieve a technical baseline of skills? Experience an iPad Base Camp and learn what it is, and how to conduct one. Attendees will leave with a toolkit that supports various types of iPad Base Camps as well as logistical tips and structures for communication, process, and organization for delivering large scale professional development to secondary students. (A fully charged and updated iPad is a must).

Smashing the Research Project
Sarah Thomasson and Jamie Eikenberry, Northwest ISD, Fort Worth
With the rapid changes in technology, research is in a constant state of transformation, and educators must focus on new ways to facilitate and promote student-led discovery learning. Librarians, using a variety of Internet-based tools and apps, can help students curate and discover information, cite sources, and create accurate research projects through smashing sites and apps. Learn about a host of sites and resources, including new ways to search the Internet on a deeper level. Explore Google Research and Drive, and discover new ways to create digital projects in partnership or in lieu of a traditional research paper.

Programmed to Succeed
Randy Rodgers, Seguin ISD
Demand for graduates skilled in computer sciences continues to soar with the need for graduates who can create original programs, web tools, and mobile apps leading the way. While not every student in our will become the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, every student can benefit from, and should be exposed to basic computer coding skills and principles. Gain hands-on experience with several free basic computer coding and computer science teaching tools, and ideas for implementation in your school curriculum.

A Piece of the Future Ready Pie: Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment
Naomi Bates, Texas Women’s University & Follett Learning
Using part of the future ready librarian framework, this presentation will revolve around curriculum, instruction, and assessment with a focus on the importance of curation and empowering students as creators.

12:00 – 12:45 pm Lunch & Learn NEW!!

This year, there will be up to 6 optional lunch & learn sessions lead by sponsoring vendors.  More information posted in mid-March.

12:55 – 1:50 pm Session 3 Breakouts

The Inclusive Makerspace: @WeNeedDiverseMakerspaces
Gina Seymour, Islip School District, New York
Welcome the rich diversities of gender, ethnicity, social status and ability into your makerspace. We are ALL makers! Acquire practical advice on creating a hands-on learning area with activities for students of all grade levels and abilities, including English Language Learners and students with disabilities so incorporate inclusive library programming through maker activities.  These activities go across all areas of the curriculum, can be self-directed, create an environment of collaboration and communication and promote confidence in special population students.

Notable Note-Taking: Into the Notebook…we Go!
Lisa Johnson, Eanes ISD, Austin
I’m just a normal girl. That sank when I went digital. My notes need to be paper. No Evernote, #scrapnotes rule. Without washi tape and Paper Mate pens… I can’t remember a darn thing. Maybe notes could be Instagrammed?  Do you like to share and inspire away?  Do you lose things in Evernote and Google Docs? Do you lament when you can’t sketch note with actual pens, paper, and washi tape? Do you need a better way to organize your thoughts, ideas, book summaries, and notes? Then this session is for you. Let’s go analog and learn how to life and productivity hack your note-taking practices. But wait, there’s more- you can take the analog and digitize it too! Bring your pens, paper, and iPad and dive in to the world of notable note-taking!

Digital Breakouts
Sarah Thomasson, Northwest ISD, Fort Worth
Forward thinking librarians are focused on new strategies to promote dynamic library lessons and programs. One idea is to digitize your breakout activity and take the entire process online. Whether it’s an orientation activity, a school-wide scavenger hunt, a research project, or information on a new resource, an online Breakout will engage all participants in a unique learning experience. This informative presentation will share how to create an online Breakout activity and share Digital Breakouts, explore a host of tools, and provide ideas for using Google applications to produce these creative online activities.

The Student Maker
Randy Rodgers, Seguin ISD
The maker movement celebrates the spirit of individual creativity, imagination, and inventiveness. Schools are now embracing this trend that is only slightly about the “stuff” created, and more powerfully about the cognitive and social skills involved in innovating and making something new: design, prototyping, product testing, problem solving, revision, etc. Explore options for promoting the maker mentality and providing maker opportunities for students, and strategies to get maximum benefits out of these experiences.

Video Conferencing with Elementary Students: Going Beyond Skyping Grandma
Stacey Rattner, Schodack Central School District, New York
How many times do you FaceTime or Skype Grandma or other family members? Do you ever wonder if those tools could be used to enhance your curriculum? They can. Second graders studying transportation as part of a collaborative inquiry based project were able to meet a bookmobile driver, a monorail conductor, a tugboat captain. Other students have chatted with students in distant states, authors and illustrators from across the country and more! Twitter was the key to these projects’ success. Bring the world to your students from the comfort of your classroom and library at no cost, but with great rewards.

Get Noticed: Social Media as Advocacy
Lucy Podmore, Northside ISD, San Antonio
Social Media posts that contain visuals are more likely to grab readers’ attention that posts without a visual. Learn to use four tools that will help you easily create dynamic graphics to use for social media posts or flyers promoting your library program.

2:00– 2:50 pm Session 4 Breakouts

Long LIV Books: Creating Books Bits That Inspire Readers & Thinkers
Liv Van Ledtje and Cynthia Merrill, The Literacy Consortium
@TheLivBits & @cyndisueboo
Meet Liv, a true book activist! Hear how creation of simple video Bits can become powerful tools for reflection in literacy areas. She will demonstrate the key ideas around creating a Bit, show how to craft reflection through hashtags, and explain the power of feedback from a global audience.

Nurturing the Neglected C
Lisa Johnson, Eanes ISD, Austin
According to many of today’s employers, communication is the most valued of the four C’s (communication, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration). While there are a great deal of resources available to support creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration, very little content is available to support communication skills. How can secondary teachers better prepare their students for the future? How can oral, written, visual, and nonverbal communication skills be nurtured? Discover the secrets of nurturing the neglected C within a curricular context using a wide range of activities from email etiquette and positive interdependence strategies, to critically evaluating social media, curation, and digital portfolios.

Sketchnotes and the Digital Learner
Naomi Bates, Texas Women’s University & Follett Learning
Students learn at different levels and in varying degrees. Taking notes is necessary skill and sketchnoting is one way to create and teach effective notetaking skills. Learn tools, basics of sketchnoting, and the impact of sketchnotes on student learning and engagement

Thinking and Making in 3D
Randy Rodgers, Seguin ISD
3D printing is becoming more commonplace as the market grows, applications expand, and prices fall. The potential benefits of these devices for learners are only starting to be understood. This session will look at tools and resources needed to begin a 3D prototyping program, and examine ways such a program can foster critical student competencies, such as creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Just Right PD
Lucy Podmore and Connie Lippenholz, Northside ISD, San Antonio
@lupodmore & @clippenholz
Learn how to provide different Professional Development models to serve your staff, ranging from long term studies to quick, one-time PD sessions. Presenters will share how these ideas have been implemented successfully by librarians in collaboration with technology coaches at two San Antonio Northside high schools.

Breaking Out & Breaking Through
Tina Berumen, Heather Aston and Cynthia Alaniz, Coppell ISD.
@tinaberumen, @heather_aston, &@utalaniz
Breakout of those old tired library orientations and standard curriculum research units and give students real critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills with Breakout Edu. Whether you have the official kits, want to go completely digital, or are thinking of a hybrid of the two, three librarians will share how they created their own breakout experiences, learn how you can too. Come ready to breakout and make some breakthroughs!

2:50 pm-3:10 pm

Refreshment Break sponsored by Mackin

3:10-4:00 pm Closing Keynote

The Power of “Yes, AND…”
Kristina Holzweiss, Bay Shore Middle School, New York
Learn how the concept of “Yes, AND …” can help school librarians develop and deepen relationships to offer instructional opportunities that may not have been originally considered to students, faculty, administrators, and community members.  Create moments and memories that will last a lifetime.

A special thanks to our Tech Camp sponsors:

Britannica Digital Learning logo Mackin logo

 Follett | Baker & Taylor logo

Gale, A Cengage Company logo Mackin logo  

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Cindy Boyle, Exhibits & Vendor Relations.








Created on Sep 27, 2016 | Last updated March 05, 2018