Tuesday, September 18, 2012

#TLChat Kicks Off It's Inaugural Session

For the last two years I have worked with the Alabama School Library Association to moderate their Twitter Chat sessions once a month.  #ASLAChat is a special twitter chat designed to be a place to discuss the unique needs of Alabama school librarians.  It became apparent that the need for this type of chat for school librarians was desired throughout the world; not just among Alabama librarians: 20 Twitter Chats Every Librarian Should Know About & 20 Essential Twitter Chats for the Library Crowd  It was exciting each month to have librarians from a variety of states and countries joining the conversation.  Additionally, we loved that teachers, parents, principals and superintendents also joined in the conversations each month.  

Joyce Valenza (teacher-librarian, learner, blogger find me on rebelmouse http://www.rebelmouse.com/joycevalenza Abington, PA · http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/neverendingsearch/) got the ball rolling to bring a teacher-librarian twitter chat to all librarians, not just those in Alabama, in her August 26, 2012 blog post in the School Library Journal: #tlchat live & get ready for more CafĂ©  I immediately jumped on board to help bring this great idea to fruition. Moderators besides Joyce Valenza and myself included Shannon Miller, Gwyneth Jones, Jennifer LaGarde, Tamara Cox and Tiffany Whitehead.

The announcement of the first #TLChat session was announced at the Back To School Special via the TL Virtual Cafe on Monday, September 10, 2012. Word of the chat spread like wildfire and the turnout was phenomenal.  996 tweets went out during the one hour inaugural  #tlchat session!  

Joyce Valenza condensed the tweets into a great Google Doc for all to review: http://bit.ly/SWrEgy

What I hope to do next in this blog is organize the tweets in an easier to digest format...fingers crossed!

@pageintraining, a 5th-6th grade teacher librarian who enjoys spreading book love, experimenting with technology and sharing resources (http://pageintraining.wordpress.com) helped advertise #tlchat with this tweet: The first live #tlchat is in less than an hour.

Other tweets began to flow as excitement about the chat ensued:

@jenniferlagarde, aka: Library Girl Library junkie & tech addict. 2012 LJ Mover & Shaker. ALA/NYT I Love My Librarian Winner. Co-founder of #levelupbc. Teacher, learner, rabble rouser. (http://www.librarygirl.net) tweeted:  Tonight's LIVE #tlchat is gonna be AWEsome! Tonight... it's all about collaboration!  Woot!

@MatthewWinner, Elementary library media specialist and busy librarian. Co-founder of #levelupbc from  Maryland · (http://www.busylibrarian.com/) tweeted: Looking forward to the kickoff of the first ever #TLChat ! Tonight's topic: collaboration

Matthew also added: Or better yet... STOP. Collaborate and listen. #TLChat 's back with a brand new edition. ...anybody? ...anybody?

@meg_allison: Teacher Librarian & Tech Specialist: Digs Books, Inquiry, Divergent Thinking & Digital Learning. Sometimes eats dessert first. Always on the run. Mad River Valley, Vermont · (http://madriverlibrarian.blogspot.com) tweeted: 1 minute until our first #TLChat.  Got my ice cold coke & tweetdeck.  Ready to rock and roll!

The chat officially started with a welcome tweet from @NikkiDRobertson, EdCampATL CoFounder, school librarian, seeks collaboration w/other librarians & educators ASLA Twitter Chat moderator #aslachat http://bit.ly/IQsYdN Georgia/Alabama Border (http://educationrejuvenation.blogspot.com/) Hello everyone, welcome to #TLChat. If it's your first time in a Twtchat, a special hello! Don't forget to use the hashtag #TLChat

Tonight’s TL Twitter Chat Topic: Collaboration: how to get it going and keep it going  #tlchat #libchat #edchat

After that the conversation took off at a maddening pace!  

@Librarian_Tiff jumped into a conversation with @madamewells; Mother | Teacher | Jr High- High School Librarian | Tech GEEK | Colts fan | Reader of YA books | French Teacher | I am always looking to learn new things Indiana (http://madamewells.blogspot.com/) suggesting the following:
To start collaborating, it just takes a teacher or two on board, then make everyone else jealous w/ your collab skills! #tlchat

@srobinsonlms, Library Media Specialist at The Morgan School in Clinton, CT and Faculty advisory board for the ACESARCLMS alternative route to LMS certification.
Clinton, Ct  shares how a little subtle “peer pressure” works with teachers too: Display successful collab projects on your website.  When teachers see what their peers are doing they will want in too. #tlchat

Many suggestions of bribery with chocolates, donuts, etc were shared.  Here is one suggestion by @ReadKennedyRead, School Librarian at Kennedy Elementary School. On a quest to create a transformative school library program. Norman, Oklahoma ·(https://sites.google.com/a/norman.k12.ok.us/kennedy-library-media-center/)
#tlchat To start the year I create a google form that is SHORT and entice teachers to fill it out: Cookies, Cokes and Collaboration.

I offer monthly Coffee Chat sessions to introduce new technologies.  I brew fresh coffee and pick up hot donuts from the bakery down the street from my house. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed and is more like a social gathering than a professional development: http://educationrejuvenation.blogspot.com/2011/12/sam-i-am.html

Others joined in with methods to get collaboration started in subtle ways.  

@stylinlibrarian, Teacher Librarian, Mom, Open-Minded Reader, yoga enthusiast, passionate IB/PYP educator... Styling Librarian: “In my opinion, books are the best accessory.”United States · (http://thestylinglibrarian.com)  tweeted: New school= collaboration by sneaking into planning meetings and then sliding a book/emailing a websource the team's way... #tlchat

I love what @MaureenSchlosse ‘s  school is doing: Our admin built in an Integrated Arts time so specialists could work with teachers. Loving it! #TLChat

@harbeckc, Teacher/Librarian, SEE , DEN Star, NETS-T Cert., Tech Addict, iphone photographer, Reader, Dog lover, Goofball etc. Maryland (http://mhesmedia.wikispaces.com/) tweets: Don't forget to eat lunch in teachers lounge!  #tlchat Definitely! A diff period each day if possible!

@mluhtala, New Canaan High School Library Department Chair. PLN facilitator at edWeb.net/emergingtech. Presenter. Blogger. Fierce advocate for free-range media and BYOD.New Canaan, CT ·(http://bibliotech.me) tweeted: Helpful strategy: Get stus 2 advocate 4 collab. When they benft fm lib serv., they pressure teachs 2 collab. http://t.co/GOkIQGpv #tlchat

I love @jenniferlagarde’s method for getting the word out to her teachers:  My most successful "advertising" has been flyers in the faculty bathroom. #tlchat

@gwynethjones cracked me up with this tweet: "Loo Reviews" My best advert idea has been QR Code links to book reviews for guys & gals, laminated & put on back of bathroom door #TLChat

@wyotigger, Academic Learning Center Coordinator (aka HS Librarian), book junkie, tech addict, info distributor, School Improvement Leader, volunteer and a mom. Wyoming · (http://feedcuriosity.wordpress.com), gave a shout out about infographs: “Share your stats in easy to read infographics! Best practice Ex. http://t.co/R1LtyuL5 from @jenniferlagarde #TLChat” Did it w/great results

In addition to the bathroom advertising, I also want to do as @ljdougherty, High School Teacher Librarian-District Library Chair-ISTE-SIGMS-AASL- ASCD-DEN Star-MASL-MSTA-Geek Tribe-METC Spotlight Educator 2013! Missouri · (http://www.lindajdougherty.com/) suggested: Set up collaboration space in place of library office-Keurig coffee, tea, and laptops. #TLCHAT

I have followed @shannonmiller’s (Teacher Librarian & Tech Integrationist who loves connecting, creating, change, advocacy & NOISE. Presenter & Blogger. Connecting People Shorty Award Recipient. Van Meter, Iowa · http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/) lead tweeted here: Yes, definitely!  I do tons of little short sessions after school, lunch, even at nighttime on Skype.:)  #tlchat  and have given my cell phone number to teachers this year so they can contact me anytime they need to, not just at school.

More direct ways of collaboration were also shared.

@jane_librarian, Teacher-librarian at Mira Costa HS in Manhattan Beach, CA. Love the kids, the books, technology, & Web2.0. San Pedro, CA · (http://www.tlintheclassroom.blogspot.com) suggested:
When teachers sign up 4 library time, I ask for lesson plan or objectives, then I say "just a suggestion, but how about we add ..." #tlchat

and @jenniferlagarde suggested: I use a google form to begin convos/track collaborative projects. At the end of the year, I have lots of data! http://t.co/qABPtm8z #tlchat

@hhersey03, Teacher-librarian who loves learning, asking questions, YA Lit, inquiry, and literacy of all kinds Seattle, WA · http://flyingofftheshelf.edublogs.org/ found that just going ahead & creating things for classes knowing it might not get used is a great way to increase collaboration #tlchat

@candidlibrarian, Media Specialist. Techie. Book Diva. Aspiring Author.
North Carolina · (http://candidlibrarian.blogspot.com/) suggests:  Be sure to demonstrate that you are an instructional leader. Participate in as many planning meetings as possible. #tlchat

@kingspaced, -5th Teacher of Technology Skills, at a Louisville, KY inner-city school. The views expressed here are my own and not necessarily those of my employers.
Louisville, KY · (http://rp.jefferson.k12.ky.us/blogs/cking1)  tweeted: Often, teachers just forget about collaborating - If you suggest an idea, they are usually receptive #tlchat

@scsdmedia, Peripatetic Librarian. On the move throughout our school district as its only librarian. Iowa · (http://365scsdmedia.blogspot.com/) shared: My most effective collabs are as embedded librarian, spending several days in one classroom, introducing, helping, consulting. #tlchat

@TKSlibrarian, Middle School Librarian and Technology Coordinator
Elizabethtown, Kentucky  (http://tkslibrary.edublogs.org/), tweeted something we should all take note of to remain “relevant” in our schools: #tlchat Toni Buzzeo says find gaps in test scores. Offer to help teachers in those deficit areas.

In the same vein, @susanrmyers,Librarian @ high school in Spartanburg, SC. Have quirky reading habits. Love my family, technology, Rush (the group), and our farm. Amateur photographer. Spartanburg, SC · (http://loquaciouslibrary.com), tweeted: Be a leader & resource for #CommonCore implementation.  We've got inquiry in our corner!  #tlchat

Learn more about Common Core and Teacher-Librarians at the next TL Virtual Cafe Webinar series on October 1, 2012 at 8 pm ET: http://tlvirtualcafe.wikispaces.com/

I wholeheartedly agree with @ljdougherty ‘s tweet to: Plan ahead, schedule time to meet w/teachers-just as important on your calendar as class hours! #TLCHAT  I have started doing that this year so that I’m not pulled one way or another.  It is in the calendar for everyone in the school to see.

Connecting with parents and the community are important as well.

@dmcordell, Retired teacher/librarian, online facilitator, wife & mother, lifelong learner
upstate New York · (http://dmcordell.blogspot.com), suggested: I made my best contacts with parents during school sporting events

@coxtl, Mother, teacher librarian, wanna be edtech geek interested in books, integrating technology and pushing the limits of outdated school policies. South Carolina, USA · http://www.e-literatelibrarian.blogspot.com, tweeted: I connect/collab with parents using Smore newsletters (http://t.co/Tv2W8PYB)  and @remind101 text notifications, easy and fun #tlchat

@MatthewWinner connects with parents this way: #tlchat I connect w my parents thru a quarterly book club for gr 3-5 and parents. Everyone reads book and we meet to discuss w/ snacks

@stylinlibrarian found out that each grade level team has weekly planner emails- I asked to be in on them. #tlchat

@meg_allison has organized technology nights for parents.  They come away with a real appreciation for what their kids can do! #tlchat

Both @gwynethjones , Teacher-Librarian, LJ Mover & Shaker, GCT, ISTE Board of Directors, Speaker, Blogger, SL Steampunk, Den★, Xtc Fan, Pop Culture Ho, Cinephile, Geek, & Goofball!
DC Metro · (http://thedaringlibrarian.com) and @coxtl  suggested: Get parents on your side! Schedule time every month for positive phone calls home to compliment kid’s reading, projects or passion! #TLChat

Using the power of popular social media works well for collaborating with parents, teachers and students:

One response I often get when I talk to groups about using social media as a communication tool is that it is blocked in their district: Our district blocks blogs, FB, Twitter, etc. Hard to use those tools #tlchat

What I remind people of is the fact that social media may be blocked inside the school network but it is not blocked at home, work or on 3 or 4G enabled devices.  Do it anyway, even if it is blocked.  See my school’s Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages here (BTW: they are all blocked at my school):https://www.auburnschools2.org/course/view.php?id=425

Other Web Tools mentioned during the chat included:

@shannonmmiller shared her Smore newsletter with the group: Here is an example of Smore as the newsletter to parents, patrons from the library http://t.co/TTjPSuav #tlchat

@congerjan, Elementary School Librarian, DEN Star, wanna be tech integrator, PSLA, PAECT
Pennsylvania · (http://powerlibrarian.blogspot.com/), said: I'm starting to use Edmodo with 4th grade library classes, planning to invite parents. #tlchat http://t.co/cSdTDRxg

@scsdmedia: Whenever I share a good link to share via email, I also tag it in Diigo with a teacher or dept specific label. #tlchat

@TKSlibrarian: #tlchat Track down experts to connect with classes via Skype. Teachers like letting us handle the details.

@Em_RSwenson, I am a mom of three who is loving my life and my husband. Would really like some new flip flops and maybe less humidity.#DENStar educator  Louisiana                                              RT @NikkiDRobertson: Teachers at my school collaborate on our Library Pinterest Boards : ) #tlchat http://t.co/GM2qxTt2

@joycevalenza: Planning to use MentorMob for flipping & building collaborative learning playlists w/ teachers #tlchat

Google Docs/Drive/Apps were mentioned by several chat participants at a great collaboration tool:

@jenniferlagarde: Google docs/forms/etc make collaborating easy - AND - they help you collect data to wow your principal later! #tlchat

I use a google form to begin convos/track collaborative projects. At the end of the year, I have lots of data! http://t.co/qABPtm8z #tlchat

@cathyjo, I'm a teacher librarian; STAR DEN; Edublogger; and fanatic about engaged learning. South Carolina!! South Carolina · (http://blog.cathyjonelson.com) Made my google form Banned Books Week Quiz today based on this Huffington Post article.  http://t.co/1zTsxrx4 Will share if asked. #tlchat

@bjansen, H.S. Librarian, Educational Technology and Library Services Dept. Chair
Austin, TX ·( http://library.sasaustin.org)  #tlchat #edchat Presenting 15 min. short courses to freshmen weekly in study hall. @dropbox @evernote GoogleApps OneNote and others.

Special “guests” sticking their heads in the #tlchat door included:

@millerg6, Principal of a Pre-K to grade 6 elementary school. Interested in positive school change and 21st century learning. Husband, father and risk taker.
Southern Alberta, Canada · http://principalgregmiller.wordpress.com/,  who tweeted: I'm not a librarian either; just a principal who sees the great value in a robust library program. #tlchat

I say, Don't limit collaboration 2 just ur school: Example of successful collaboration: http://t.co/BtATw8q5 #tlchat #aasl #aslachat

@WandaMcClure, President and Co-founder of EdCamp Atlanta, social media maven, owner of cape and tiara. I tweet on education, innovation, and leadership. #edcampatl #innochat
Atlanta, Georgia ·( http://www.thinkinnovateeducate.com)  Waves @NikkiDRobertson! Congrats on inaugural #tlchat tonight :)

Before we knew it the hour had come to an end.  The inaugural #TLChat session was a great success due to all the wonderful participants!  Thank you to everyone who joined in the conversation.

@TeacherCast, TeacherCast.net was created by @jeffbradbury, a teacher, to help teachers better use technology in their classrooms. Philadelphia · (http://www.TeacherCast.net) retweeted: TL Chat is always going on 24/7 at #TLChat - Save the Hashtag, Share your ideas, & Pass on the positive!

@joycevalenza - First step: reread chat and process before stealing all of these great ideas.  :)  #tlchat

@Librarian_Tiff:  WOW, what an amazing first ever LIVE #tlchat session! So many great ideas from so many great peeps! Keep sharing, everyone!

@debschi, A Teacher-Librarian who loves what she does! Really!
Wyckoff, NJ tweeted:  My husband is singing again  "i'm proud to be a librarian" #tlchat

@SherrySaysSo, English & World Hist teacher at award-winning Robeson Early College HS. Promoting passion, tech, global studies, creativity, & student empowerment.
Lumberton, NC · http://ideagener8r.blogspot.com  Geeking out in my pjs. Watching "How the Universe Works" & lurking #tlchat. U should too! Picked up some great stuff! Thanks y'all! :)

@ginahulseI, Mom, #Artist, Certified #Paverpol Instructor, #ArtEducator/Advocate, #Author/Prevention Through the Arts Program/Street smARTs, #blackbelt,#gardener, #recycle.
Melbourne, Florida · (http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/gina-hulse.html) tweeted: I love the "Geek Tribe" stickers idea! #tlchat Our librarian is always rewarding others.  High time she gets recognition.  I will do that.

Be sure to connect with again next month on Monday, October 8, 2012 at 8pm ET.  

Read more about our first #TLChat session in these great blogs:

@joycevalenza: #tlchat launches intensely (and archiving tweets)

@dmcordell: TL Chat

You can also read about #TLChat on the #TLCHAT Paper.li: http://paper.li/tag/tlchat#!tag-tlchat

*Stay tuned for updates as more blog posts are published : )


  1. Thanks for the mention and the wrap-up Nikki. I never did get that ice cold coke in time! Too glued to the action once the clock struck 8pm est.


  2. Love how you organized tweets here Nikki! Realized how much I missed trying to read and type at the same time. Thanks for all you do Nikki.