Twitterer

697029-twitter-512I’m a social media dabbler. Not the kind of person who wakes up to check Facebook, sends tweets from conferences or author sightings, or takes fabulous Instagram pics for the school’s library site. Worse, I’m also not the kind of person who advances the library social media challenge to willing teacher’s aides. Actually, they’re usually not that willing.

Needless to say, I’m devoting this post to extending myself to Tweet world, or Tweetland, or whatever you Twittery people call it. My reason? It’s a network thing. I am always amazed by the contacts I get through Twitter. It’s awesome to attend a conference and get the handle for a great educator or inspiring librarian, and then see those tweets start coming in.

I am not a handle collector, and I never hope to be. However, it was somewhat gratifying to see that I follow 3 of the 15 (okay, 16) listed educational innovators from Laura Devaney’s (2014) eSchoolNews.com article, “15 innovative Twitter accounts you should follow.” I’ve been a big Alice Keeler fan since I attended a workshop session at a Google Summit a few years back–or was it a Computer Using Educators (CUE) conference? I also like seeing what’s going on in the EdTechTeacher world, and I love Ron Swanson. That one comes up as a bonus account in the article.

So why keep up with Twitter, when there are so many other things to think about? Well, I asked my husband that question recently, and he said that he only uses Twitter for industry news and trends. This gels with advice I’ve seen elsewhere, as in Joni Nguyen’s (2017) Edudemic.com article, “15 top educators to follow in 2017.” Nguyen states, “Following educators on Twitter can help today’s teachers stay up-to-date on the latest trends and research in education as well as help develop innovative and fun lesson plans for various subjects.” So I’m challenging myself, starting this next school year, to up my game by checking my Twitter feed more often, and to Tweet more, myself.

As a social media site, Twitter is probably the most innocuous. I can easily substitute a fancy, time-consuming Tech tip email for a quick Tweet that shows up on the library site or the school’s professional development site via a widget. And it doesn’t have to be mine! I can retweet someone else’s brilliant idea, which, COME ON, is basically what we do when we share tips. We’re librarians! So all that time I spent worrying about the fact that I hadn’t a) thought of a useful tip, and b) sat down to write and click send, as well as the time actually used in those tasks, is SAVED, yes SAVED. If you’re interested in more ways to use Twitter, check out another Edudemic article, “The Teacher’s guide to Twitter.”

If you have comments about the way you use Twitter to save time in your hectic library-running, class-coordinating, tech-consulting day, please share!

References:

Devaney, L. (2014, June 17). 15 innovative Twitter accounts you should follow. eSchool News. Retrieved from https://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/06/17/innovative-twitter-accounts-365/

Nguyen, J. (2017, April 24). 15 top educators to follow in 2017. Edudemic. Retrieved from http://www.edudemic.com/teachers-on-twitter/

The teacher’s guide to Twitter. (n.d.). The teacher’s guide to Twitter. Edudemic. Retrieved from http://www.edudemic.com/teachers-on-twitter/

 

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Why I’m not going to ISTE this year, and why I think you should care

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Conferences, conferences.  Every professional has the opportunity to attend conferences for professional development.  Conferences are often run by industry groups or organizations. As teacher librarians, we are encouraged to become involved in various library-related associations (see 4 C  Blog “Top 10 reasons to join a professional organization” to understand why).  Encouragement for me has initially come from professors in my Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program through San Jose State University. Thank you, professors.   If you’re lucky, you have administrators that encourage you to take part in library-related associations.  I, myself, am a proud member of several of these.   First is the American Library Association (ALA), the big guns, along with two ALA divisions, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).  I am also a member of  the California School Libary Association (CSLA).  I have attended ALA and CSLA conferences, and will be attending the AASL conference this fall in Arizona. Yes, I know.  Sounds awesome.

I’m really not trying to brag, here.  In talking with other teacher librarians, I’ve found that most are part of 3-5 associations, and many of them even more.

Now, in my first post, if you read it, I talked about librarians wearing lots of different hats?  Well, one of the biggest hats we wear is the hat that I call, very unoriginally, “Tech go-to.”  We are that person at our sites.  As Steven Abram noted in his recent January 2017 Internet@Schools article titled, “What’s in the pipeline? Teacher librarians as STEAM vents,”  “The next phase of libraries will expand our role in schools and our communities into lending 3D printers, 3D scanners, drones, games, IoT devices, artificial intelligence and aug­mented reality tools, robots, robotics, and the full range of digital and other tools needed for successful learning.”  So yeah, better get up on all that. As a quick side note, Abram quotes the 2016 Thomas Frey Futurist Speaker article, “‘122 Things’ you will be able to do in the library of the future that you can’t do today,” which is a great read.  

See, inasmuch as the library associations mentioned heretofore help us connect, and actually do a good job in helping us keep up with technology, it’s wise to spread out and form professional attachments to groups that FOCUS on tech. To that end, I became a member of Computer Using Educators (CUE), the Silicon Valley offshoot (SVCUE), and the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE).  With CUE, I get out of the library box and into seeing how subject-area educators are using new applications.  ISTE pushes global awareness, and has developed up-to-date international student and teacher technology standards that echo the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner.

It’s hard to pick and choose which professional conferences you want to attend, if you’re lucky to even have that choice.  When I look over my year, I try to spread things out a bit, attending 1 library-associated conference and 1 tech conference.  I have experienced good and mediocre conferences.  The greatest takeaway at EVERY conference is network building. Yes, you learn about trends and technology too.  But if learned anything, it’s the acquaintances and friendships you strike up, because they will enrich you over and over again.

I’m not going to ISTE this year because it coincides with a much-needed family vacation.   Maybe I’ll go next year when it’s in Chicago.

Why should you care?  Well, if you’re interested in teacher librarianship, and you want to stay connected through attendance at conferences, maybe this post will pique your interest in the professional associations I listed above, but that’s not my main point.  My hope is that you, dear fellow teacher librarian, in your attempt to perch the many hats you wear atop your head AT THE SAME TIME, can read this little post and either say to yourself, “She’s such a lightweight!” or “Aha! I’ve found someone that’s just as involved as me.”  If you’re one of the former, I take one of my many hats off to you.  If you’re one of the latter, cheers!

References:

Abram, S. (2017, January). What’s in the pipeline? Teacher librarians as STEAM vents. Internet@Schools, 24(1), 8-10. Retrieved from http://www.internetatschools.com/Articles/Column/The-Pipeline/THE-PIPELINE-Whats-in-the-Pipeline-Teacher-Librarians-as-STEAM-Vents-116124.aspx

Frey, Thomas. (2016, October 26). “122 Things” you will be able to do in the library of the future that you can’t do today. [Web log]. Futurist Speaker. Retrieved from http://www.futuristspeaker.com/business-trends/122-things-you-will-be-able-to-do-in-the-library-of-the-future-that-you-cant-do-today/

McClellan, J. (2015, November 5). Top 10 reasons to join a professional association. [Web log]. 4CDesignworks. Retrieved from http://blog.cccctech.com/top-10-reasons-to-join-a-professional-organization/