How to retool yourself--a roadmap of at least 15 ways by Joyce Valenza
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December 14, 2009 By: Tech Learning Blog Staff
How to retool yourself--a roadmap of at least 16 ways for school librarians (and
their classroom teacher colleagues) to develop professionally
From the emails and comments I am
getting recently, it is really clear that folks in our field are in need of a
professional development roadmap that is independent of whatever our local
districts do or do not provide.
Let's celebrate and share these rich and mostly free strategies:
1. The Common Craft In Plain English video series provides no nonsense explanations of nearly all
things 2.0 and many of us use these little videos in professional development
workshops. Watch them; share them; embed them.
2. When I need to get up to date quickly, I often look for presentations
created by folks I respect and I search the SlideShare archive.
I am blown away by the content our colleagues freely share.
3. Discussion hubs:
- Steve Hargadon's Classroom 2.0 offers a community of tech-leading educators,
as well as regular live sessions on Classroom 2.0 Live. On Saturdays, Sue Waters, the
energetic and enthusiastic Aussie, leads Classroom
2.0 LIVE! Beginner Series a great series to get your feet wet using the new tools.
Check out the
those cool sessions you may have missed! The Future of Education community also hosts a nifty live and archived interview
- EdTechTalk is the home of number of lively discussion
shows every week, including: Seedlings, Parents as Partners, Women of Web2.0, Teachers
Century Learning, EdTechWeekly, It's Elementary
4. ISTE's SIGMS and many of the
other SIGS),offers a variety of ways to get involved and retooled. Join the SIGMS group and participate in the community discussion in the ISTE
Ning. The AASL-SIGMS Virtual
Learning Community hosts regular meetings in Second Life featuring notable speakers like Alan November,
Mike Eisenberg, Doug Johnson. Among many other things, ISTE's Second Life Wiki shares an archive of videos from the ISTE Eduverse Talks in
Second Life. Facebook users might prefer to join the ISTE Facebook
5. TeacherLibrarianNing is a meeting place for TLs all over the world. We
are completely redesigning the interface and hope to feature more provocative
discussion. Volunteers are always welcome to inspire forum discussions and
polls and more. Email me if you'd like to be made an administrator!
6. Check in regularly with David Warlick's Hitchhikr to see what's hot and to keep up to date on
upcoming confs on- and offline.
7. Absolutely better late than never! Visit any already held conference and
experience it from a distance. November Learning and last year's ISTE/NECC host a wealth of fabulous video and slideshows and
wikis filled with resources for learning. Here's our Smackdown Wiki from NECC09 in DC, the event held at ALA, and
the most recent AASL event.
8. Join or visit any of a variety of relevant bookmark sharing groups in Diigo. I
belong to: Interactive Whiteboards in the Classroom, Diigo in Education, Educators, History Teachers, Web 2.0 @ School, Project-Based Learning, Teacher-Librarians, eLearning 2.0, High School Librarians. You have so many choices!
9. Plan to attend the free, global K12 Online Conference that started just this week! You will be amazed at
the wealth of options. Experience presentations by leaders, thinkers, and
practitioners (most participants span all three categories). Participate
in the live discussion. Visit and share the archive.
10. Follow a few bloggers. Just a few. Visit my NewTools page on blogging for lists of teachers and librarians who blog.
11. Follow a few Tweeters.Just a few. Visit my NewTools page on tweeting for resources to build your
network. One of my personal favorites is Twitter4Teachers.
12. I've been maintaining this page on 2.0 Learning Resources. Start anywhere, but I recommend visiting:
13. Steve Hargadon of Classroom 2.0 recently offered school librarians Elluminate
space and time for our own monthly/regular discussions. A steering
committee is currently planning a series of events of interest to school
librarians, as well as other educators, to be held the first Monday of each
month. Our first event is
tentatively scheduled for Monday, February 1.
Check out any of a growing number of video learning portals for professional
development, as well as content area learning. My very favorite of these
portals is TED, where you can gather wisdom from some of the most
creative thinkers and speakers of our time, but there are so many:
A few of us on the AASL Geek Squad recently built a wiki to share effective online school library
Visit the site to see examples at all levels of instruction and for a variety
of aspects of library service.
And sneaking just one more item:
16. Visit the shortlist nominations for the Edublog Awards to see examples of effective practice in blogging, tweeting, wiki creation, and, in general, teaching and learning using the information and communication tools of our time.