Librarians love Twitter not only because it provides an instant and easy window into what is happening in their libraries, but also because it serves as a tremendous professional development resource as well as a tool to globally connect teachers and students.
Using Twitter right from your cell phone enables librarians to provide the entire school community with a window into their library. Tracy Karas a Librarian in New York City uses her phone to Tweet updates about new books that have come in, to celebrate student successes, to provide reminders about upcoming events and more. All these Tweets are embedded directly on her library page from the school’s website.
Other librarians use Twitter to help their students connect or reach out for on demand professional development using the hashtag #TLchat (T for Teacher, L for Librarian) started by the popular librarian Joyce Valenza. Using and following the hashtag provides viewers with a minefield of ideas, resource sharing and networking. For example here are some possible librarian Tweets:
- 13 yr-old male who luvs skateboarding. Book ideas? #TLchat
- Looking for a student(s) who’s reading or luvs Catcher in the Rye to join our book talk? #TLchat
- Looking for someone to Skype with our class abt creating a digital footprint. #TLchat
- Anyone have a resource for free eBooks? #TLchat
- ALSC releases graphic novels core collection http://ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs… #tlchat
Using this tag brings your message to innovative librarians across the globe. Your 30-second investment results in a payoff consisting of plenty of ideas and responses on demand and for free!
Another great way to use Twitter is to combine it with Paper.li. Imagine students are doing a research project on dinosaurs. Have them tweet their dinosaur facts along with cool links, pictures and videos. Make sure they use the hashtags you assign and at the end of the lesson, wah-la you have a newspaper with a collection of all their findings! For more on using Paper.li for learning go here.
Librarians should also be aware of the many notable librarians that tweet. By following #TLchat, you’ll quickly see popular names appear time and again including @buffyjhamilton, @shannonmiller, @joycevalenza, @devenblack, @keisawilliams, and @gwynethjones. You can tag Tweeps (Tweeting People) like these in your Tweets giving them a virtual tap on the shoulder when you think they may have something to contribute. For example, you may Tweet, “Wondering what folks like @joycevalenza think about iPads as a replacement for books in the library.”
For more ideas about effective ways to use cell phones for learning, including research-based strategies, lessons, and a section dedicated to librarians, order Teaching Generation Text.
Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.