Friday, July 15, 2011

School Libraries eBook Project

(This is my submission to  for the School Libraries eBook Project developed by Kristin Fontichiaro and Buffy Hamilton)

A few years ago I attended a professional development conference for school librarians where I learned how to open a Twitter account, the history of Twitter, what a tweet is, how to retweet, and a few other functionary aspects of Twitter. Always eager to learn new ways to grow professionally I opened a Twitter account…and there it sat…until this past year when I stumbled upon Shelly Terrell’s Teacher ReBoot Camp: The 30 Goals Challenge, which provided my first glimpse into the awesome personal learning network (PLN) Twitter can provide. It wasn’t long before I discovered the hash tag that I have learned more from in just one year than in 19 years of professional development sessions and over 6 years of college: #edchat. This Twitter chat session is my personal Aha! Moment.

What exactly can #EdChat do:

  • Develop your Personal Learning Network (PLN) by engaging in conversations with other educators.
  • Gather research for an article, blog, or presentation.
  • Collaborate with others in solving an issue at your school.
  •  Exchange ideas to improve an upcoming lesson plan.
  •  Receive constructive criticism on a lesson plan, presentation, or idea.
  • Share tips and advice for educational endeavors, such as holding a parent education workshop.
  • Show new teachers how useful Twitter is for having thought-provoking conversations.
  • Scan the discussion topics to decide which topics educators are interested in for your blog.
  •  Poll educators to gather research for your blog post or articles.
With just five years until I can retire my passion as an educator has been reenergized due to Twitter.  My enthusiasm has incited passion in other educators who like me, hunger to know more but feel confined by the limited professional development offered through their school district.  Point in fact, just last month Twitter lead to my discovery of a “rogue” movement of plugged in, empowered educators across the country known as EdCamp.  EdCamp conferences are “events organized by local groups of educators who strive to create an UNconference environment that encourages participant-driven discussions in an informal area.  By attending, educators are guaranteed to learn something new, meet other motivated educational enthusiasts, and receive information that can immediately be applied in the classroom and professional life.” 

I attended EdCamp Birmingham and it was hands down the best professional learning experience I have yet to encounter.  At EdCamp Birmingham I presented a session with my professional idol, 
Jerry Blumengarten (aka: @cybraryman1), met and formed professional friendships with other like minded educators,  and was able to engage in meaningful discussions regarding current topics in education.  I cannot begin to emphasis how empowering it has been to take professional development into my own hands.  

I now moderate The Alabama School Library Association’s (ASLA) Twitter chat sessions at #aslachat on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7CT/8ET immediately following #edchat. I feel great pride knowing that I am helping other school librarians in my state and across the nation find their voice, improve their libraries, and feel the same sense of empowerment taking professional learning into your own hands can bring.

Nikki D. Robertson
School Librarian
Auburn High School, Auburn, Alabama

Cybraryman Internet Catalogue." Cybraryman Catalogue of Educational WebSites - Educational Web Sites for Teachers, Educators, Parents, Students. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2011. <>.

The Adventures You Will Have If Only…." Teacher Reboot Camp. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2011. <>

Robertson, Nikki D. "EdCampBham = Giant Vulcan Mind Meld." The True Adventures of a High School Librarian. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2011. <>.

What Is #Edchat?" Teacher Reboot Camp. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2011. <>.

No comments:

Post a Comment