For me 2015 is the year of getting better connected and beginning to blog!
As an avid information curator and sharer it is difficult for me to set aside time to delve deeper and to put into words my reflections on what I do as an educator and information specialist. However, I believe that reflection is an important part of learning and sharing our learning. So this is the beginning of that reflective journey for me.
Where to start?
It all began with the blog, really. I have spent the last year or two reading many interesting and inspirational blogs by some really amazing educators. The blog was one of my first points of contact with other like-minded educators and library professionals. Reading their blogs has provided me with inspiration in the form of new ideas and examples of those ideas in practice.
This inspired me to begin a school library blog and then a school library website. This “virtual voice” was all new to my school – the library had never had any online presence before, apart from a brief mention on the school website.
Early in 2014, I was inspired to begin using Scoop.it as a way to bookmark, curate and collate interesting sites and prevent information overload! I chose to curate information related to 21st century school libraries and then added a Scoop.it site for Australian Curriculum Resources when I noticed a gap in this area.
During 2014, I also began to take an interest in Twitter as a way to connect with other educators and library professionals. I was using Australian school library listservs to communicate with other teacher librarians and school library staff in Australia but wondered how I could connect with other educators in Australia and with educators and library professionals in other countries. Where were they collaborating and connecting? The “aha” moment for me was a concurrent session by Jenny Luca at the School Library Conference of Western Australia in April 2014: Digital Citizenship- Exploring Ethical Understanding and Digital Footprints. The session was, of course, fantastic but it was Jenny’s pre-session discussion about Twitter which really resonated with me. I resolved to start a Twitter account and just over a week later sent my first Tweet.
Twitter is an amazing way to continue your lifelong learning journey as an educator. It is a forum in which to build a global and supportive Personal Learning Network. Twitter deserves a whole post of its own but in this post I would like to mention the following inspirational library professionals who tweet:
- The Daring Librarian, @GwynethJones blogging at http://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/
- Shannon Miller, @ blogging at http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com.au/
- Joyce Valenza, @joycevalenza blogging at http://blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch/
- The Unquiet Librarian, @buffyjhamilton blogging at https://theunquietlibrarian.wordpress.com/
- Judy O’Connell, @ blogging at http://judyoconnell.com/
- Kerry Muste, @ blogging at https://demystifict.wordpress.com/
- Megan Daley, @daleyreads blogging at http://childrensbooksdaily.com/
Two “newbie” teacher librarian bloggers to follow are:
- Kim Yeomans, @kimyeo blogging at http://kimyeo.global2.vic.edu.au/ and http://smotlrcblog.edublogs.org/
- Natasha Georgiou @ blogging at http://www.backtothelibrary.com/
Other educators that I have found inspirational include:
- Jenny Luca, @jennyluca blogging at http://jennyluca.com/
- Craig Kemp, @mrkempnz blogging at http://mrkempnz.com/
- Sue Waters, @suewaters blogging at http://suewaters.com/ and http://www.theedublogger.com
This is by no means an exclusive list. There are so many inspiring and passionate educators out there. The people mentioned here have provided me with great inspiration and help as I become a more connected educator. They are my PLN and I am privileged to be able to connect with them and learn from them every day.