Saturday, August 6, 2016

Testimony of a Connected Teacher Librarian

This week I was contacted by a new Twitter friend in North Carolina. Teacher librarian, Laura Long, messaged me asking if I could create a short testimony video describing my journey as a connected educator. She and her colleague wanted it to use in a county teacher professional development session. I was honored by this request and anxiously accepted!

She only wanted me to make the video 1-2 minutes. I found this to be extremely challenging given how passionate I am about this topic! The process of making an outline for the video made me reflect back on the benefits of being connected to so many other educators via social media since 2014. I'll share the highlights of my experience so far.

You can view the video I created for Laura above.

I. Twitter Education Chats

When I discovered that thousands of educators and administrators were getting together on Twitter every night (and day) of the week to have conversations, my whole world changed. I started following and learning from some of the most influential educators around the country each week. My personal learning network (PLN) began to grow quickly through this process. At first it was mainly educators in the United States, but now I'm seeing an increase in international educator friends. I wrote a blog article in 2015 explaining Twitter chats, and its nearly time to write an updated version!

II. New Techniques

Twitter chats have revealed new activities in education like Mystery Skype and Breakout EDU, I've also learned about how to use the Minecraft game in school and information about numerous professional education books. By following the hashtags of national conferences, a person can watch what is happening during keynotes and breakout sessions (through individual comments, photos, and sometimes video clips). Last summer I remember watching a session live from a national conference. While this doesn't replace being there in person, it is still exciting that we can somewhat experience the conference from afar.

III. New Connections for our Learning Community

Through connections on Twitter, we were able to connect our teachers and students to new places this past school year. As my PLN grows, so do the possibilities for new locations for connections. My hope is that we will eventually have schools on every continent in which to collaborate. Our students and teachers love connecting, and this year I hope to get even more teachers to participate. Check out my blog post that focused on the many connections we made in the library during 2015-2016.

IV. Blogging

Blogging has been a great reflective practice for me since 2014. It is time consuming, but I look forward to writing each week. It has been such a positive experience to tell our library stories and share the things I learn. Most importantly, I have enjoyed showcasing our learners whenever possible. Blogging has created some opportunities for me to publish and guest author for other blogs. I wish that I would have started this practice earlier in my career. This blog post makes the 100th on Library Media Tech Talk. There is still much to learn and share. I've only just started this journey!


I want to thank my North Carolina teacher librarian friends, Laura Long and Edie Crook, for asking me to create my video testimonial. It was good for me to think about how being connected has changed me as an educator. Truly, this is only the beginning of the journey. I know that this year will provide more new friends that will help me improve my practice as a school librarian and technology specialist. I encourage you to create a similar testimonial to share with colleagues who are not connected.

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