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Connected Educators

A day in the life of a connected educator...

What does it look like?

I won't try and improve on the amazing infographic pictured at
http://www.edudemic.com/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-connected-educator/,
created by Powerful Learning Practice, but I will tell what being connected means to me.

For me, being connected is an integral part of my job.  I'm in my fifth year now as School Librarian.  It's a job I love.  I have the opportunity to interact and connect with numerous students in varying grade levels daily as well as work with staff members throughout the building.  But...I'm the only school librarian for my corporation.  It can be a bit isolating as no one else really knows or understands what I do or what I want to do.

The first two years, I connected to other librarians via LM_Net:  a school librarian email list-serv.  If I had a question, I would email it and hope for a response.  I tried to contribute by answering questions on the list serv when I could.  The librarians on the list serv were helpful to me when I needed input on librarian type decisions.
Then, almost three years ago (October 23, 2010) I joined Twitter.  I can't remember why I did so, but it was like falling into a wormhole.  I found a couple of incredible educators to follow and watched their conversations closely. Then I looked to see with whom they interacted and added other thoughtful educators to my own list of follows.  Eventually I found the hashtags to watch, which led to me finding incredible Teacher-Librarians on twitter.  Now, I can't imagine life without Twitter.  It has led to so many other connecting opportunities for me, both online and in person, professionally and .  Twitter is my connection lifeline, filled with my very wise PLN of teacher-librarians, authors, administrators, public librarians, and teachers.  I never lack for support with twitter.  Creative ideas abound.  It is the very best professional development and I invest my time in it daily.
Being on Twitter led to me using Skype for the first time in my library.  Now, I use it regularly to connect my classes with authors, teachers, and other teacher-librarians and classes.  I actually keep my skype signed in daily at school because you never know when a fellow Teacher-Librarian might have an awesome idea that needs more than 140 characters to explain or a class may really need to share something incredible they just created!
Twitter and Skype are definitely my two main connecting tools, but I must mention my love of using Google docs.  It's my absolute go-to tool when it's time to collaborate and work on a project together with others I can't meet with face to face.  I fell in love with it during graduate school and have continued to use it regularly and share with students too.

Last week I had the pleasure of sharing at my Regional School Librarians meeting about the ISTE-SIGMS award I received with my collaboration partner Matthew Winner and our two cooperating teachers, Albert Yoo and Gretchen Welk.  As I begin to put together the prezi below for the visuals of my talk, it hit me that everything had transpired from one connection.  



Being a connected educator can indeed be life changing.  

I invite you to jump in and connect.  

Soon, you'll barely remember life before being a connected educator...and you'll wonder what took you so long to join the connection party!


Comments

  1. I love this post Sherry. It represents all the things that social media tools are doing to make us feel less alone in our classrooms. You should definitely share this post during NCTE's Twitter chat on October 20th for National Day on Writing. It will be all about how we write to connect.

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