Skip to main content

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,
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!


  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.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not sure why I waited to read this book. I had heard others mention they loved ALL of Rainbow Rowell's books, even her "adult" one, Attachments. (Side note: Why does mentioning it's an adult book sound so dirty?! It's not at all. It's just not a YA book. It's actually cleaner than many of the YA books I've read...) Anyway, I requested this title from my library and was pleased to pick it up a few days ago. I immediately began reading it. It was a breath of fresh air for me. Perhaps because the characters WERE adults, and not angst-ridden teens or supernatural beings, or any of the other stereotypes it seems like I've been reading too much of lately...

Rainbow Rowell has a way of writing characters that you wish you knew in real life. They're interesting, sincere, and realistic. I especially enjoyed the format of this book with the many emails between Jennifer and Beth. Lin…

1-2-3 Wonder

Collaborating is one of the aspects of teaching that I most enjoy.  As a school librarian, I have the unique opportunity to collaborate, teach, and work with many different teachers and students in my school building, grades K-12.  This school year, one of my professional goals is to collaborate outside of my school and even outside of Indiana. 

When David Etkin mentioned on Twitter that he had an idea for a Wonder extension lesson, I immediately said "I'm in!"  We talked it out a bit and decided to recruit a few more people to the collaborating party from the #WONDERschools initiative.  Davidforced  persuaded Reilly into participating in this project with her 5th grade students.  

We worked together in Google Docs on the lesson idea, questions, and discussed how to best implement this in our classrooms.   Then we decided how to combine and showcase what was done in each of our classes. The cool part of this collaboration was that we used several methods of communication: …

Totoro #PostItNoteArt

Our post-it note art for the fourth 9 weeks this school year is from the movie My Neighbor Totoro.  It seemed to be a bigger undertaking than usual.  I think the main reason for this was because we had to alter the patterns quite a bit to fit our windows.  This always presents a challenge to keep the scale the same and make sure the finished art is still recognizable.  Connolly does a great job with this and usually eyeballs the changes.  I, on the other hand, prefer to be able to follow the pattern row by row.

Time wise, the three forest spirits were created in about six total hours.

Finished windows:

Daughter finished the #Totoro #PostitNoteArt on our library windows. Like every one we've created, it's now my favorite. 💙 (Top: view from hallway; bottom: view inside library) #myneighbortotoro #myfriendtotoro #TotoroSocietyART #TotoroisHere #RMHSLibrary @postit
A photo posted by Sherry Gick (@sngick) on Apr 21, 2016 at 1:14pm PDT
A few videos of the process:  (It's always…