In the age of ‘infowhelm’ choosing the appropriate digital communication tools – to stay in-the-loop and professionally connected – is essential for any professional person, especially teacher-librarians.
A teacher-librarian can make a start on developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN) by following these steps at their own pace:
- finding several excellent blogs to follow and organising RSS feeds from these into a reader, like Google Reader. Here are some invaluable teacher-librarian blogs: Jenny Luca, Doug Johnson, Lucy Barrow, Bright Ideas, Tania Sheko and Judy O’Connell (whom I must thank profusely for her generous assistance with this post and my presentation)
- Establishing a Delicious or Diigo social bookmarking account
- Starting to blog using blogED or WordPress blog
- Using Google Alerts
- Micro-blogging on edmodo, yammer or twitter where you could follow @aliacys, @heyjudeonline, @lucybarrow and @sandynay
- Learning and teaching about creative commons and attribution
- Doing all of the above from a mobile device like a smart phone or iPad
Teacher-librarians sharing and co-operating is so evident in online educator circles. There are teacher-librarians on Diigo and using livebinders and others sharing information about digital citizenship and annual reports. Others are making ‘facebook and twitter posts into online newspapers in just a few clicks’, like the Judy O’Connell Daily or The #tlChat Daily. The ASLA wiki provides another opportunity for collaboration and direction. For this post and presentation I found facebook and twitter of fundamental import.
There are so many useful tools for teacher-librarians to investigate – such as referencing tools like Bibme or Zotero – that the community can best share, vet and assess for relevance and applicability.
Ultimately, the profession should be shaped by a growing number of hyper-connected leader and leading teacher-librarians advocating for intelligent, innovative change. This will not happen without renewed collective responsibility and advocacy. Teacher-librarians, quoting Godin again, “are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture”. A teacher-librarian who is a:
…data hound, a guide, a sherpa and a teacher…the interface between reams of data and the untrained but motivated user….producer, concierge, connector, teacher and impresario
– we need you!
Slider image: cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo by swortman53: http://flickr.com/photos/21031876@N00/2957807453/