After thinking about it, I decided to see how the assistant superintendent felt about me actually making Google Hangout connections during the time we were provided for the meeting. Talking about the activity is good, but actually modeling a Hangout or Skype session is even better! Before I checked with the superintendent, I sent Twitter messages to my teacher librarian friends, Lynn Kleinmeyer (@THLibrariZen) and Elizabeth Hutchinson (@Elizabethutch), to see if they were available to visit with us! Lynn is a teacher librarian in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Elizabeth is a chartered librarian on the Island of Guernsey which is located in the English Channel. She is the head of Schools' Library Service there which serves the Bailiwick of Guernsey island schools. Luckily, they both were available to visit with us on the scheduled day!
|Lynn Kleinmeyer presents to us via Google Hangouts!|
|Lynn presents to all of our district's teacher librarians!|
I asked both Lynn and Elizabeth to talk about the power of being a connected teacher librarian. We connected with Lynn in Iowa first. Lynn talked about things she was doing in her school. She talked about her schedule and what it is like to be a teacher librarian in her state. She also discussed her role as a teacher librarian at grades 2-5 which connected well with our district librarians. We in turn shared about our various schedules at each level (grades K-12). We visited with Lynn for about 45 minutes (It went by very fast!).
|Elizabeth presents to us from the Island of Guernsey|
|Elizabeth talks to teacher librarian, Jackie Martin|
Reflections from Elizabeth
I sent a Voxer message to Elizabeth asking her to reflect on this event. She felt that she benefited from the session more than we did (which is certainly not true from our perspective!). Elizabeth said, "Being able to Hangout and explain what we did with our Mystery Hangout really opened my eyes to the fact that not only is this an opportunity for our children and students to connect, but it's also a real opportunity for us to connect with people that we just wouldn't have (been able to) in the past." She also stated, "It has opened my eyes to possible other opportunities to share experiences, to understand that maybe I have something that is actually worth sharing is something new (to me)." Elizabeth's reflection should speak to all of us because we all have strengths that we should share with others! We all have stories to share that communicate the value of the school library!
As a result of these sessions, our primary school teacher librarian, Tammy Catlett, had an international Google Hangout for her students with Elizabeth several weeks later! Our middle school teacher librarian, Jackie Martin, has been communicating with Elizabeth about connecting next school year. In addition, Elizabeth and I are planning to have book club meetings via webcam in 2016-2017! The professional development we were provided changed our learning community for the better! I am very grateful to Lynn and Elizabeth for being agents of change by taking the time to visit with us on that morning in February 2016! I am also very thankful to Lakeside assistant superintendent, Mr. Bruce Orr, high school principal, Mr. Darin Landry, and high school assistant principal, Mr. Anthony Brunet for allowing us to have this important meeting. Each of them are responsible for professional development, and this was one meeting that opened our minds to "be the change". If this sparked your thoughts to ways you can use Google Hangouts or Skype to have exciting professional development in your district or if you have done similar things, be sure to tell us in the comments below, or email me! I want to hear about it!
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