Developing PLNs with ICTs

PLN Wordle

 

Creating a personal learning network is important for teachers-librarians, and using available information and communication technologies makes it easier than ever.  Teacher-librarians are usually in a unique position in their schools so though they can share and learn from colleagues, they often have unique challenges that only other teacher-librarians would understand.  Though I don’t have a teaching position yet, there are a few things I have in place right now that will help create learning opportunities for myself when I eventually get my own library.

1. LM-NET: In a previous course, I was required to subscribe to the Library Media Network.  LM-NET is an international network of teacher-librarians in which members can pose questions, share ideas and offer support to each other.  The site’s archives can also be searched by date or particular topic.  Though I am not participating within the network right now, I still receive emails about current posts and I often glance through the topics finding helpful information that I bookmark for future reference.

2. My courses: I have found many useful blogs and websites by educators through the courses I have taken for my Teacher-Librarian’s Diploma.  I use Evernote to help keep them organized. I have a teacher-librarian resources notebook in which I add links to online resources that I find helpful.  As well, I have most of my coursework organized in separate notebooks.  When I am finished my diploma, I will go through these notebooks and better organize the resources by topic.  I find Evernote to be a great organization tool, as it is available on whatever device or computer I may be using at the moment.

3. When I had a temporary contract in a high school library a couple of years ago, I was automatically added to our district’s teacher-librarian email list. This was very helpful if I needed help or advice and gave me the ability to keep in the loop about what other teacher-librarians were doing in the district.  I know that once I have my own library, I will have this built-in network if I need it.

Those are a few things I have started, but I know I need to do more, especially in terms of social media.  I have resisted using social media because until recently I hadn’t really seen it as a potential professional resource.  I have used Diigo in the past, (Diigo: A Bookmarking Tool), but didn’t take advantage of its social aspect.  I am on Facebook and, more recently, Twitter but do not utilize them.  One problem I think is that I do not have a mobile device I carry with me all the time and often social media works best on these devices.  So right now I am forced to use my computer at home on which I do not like, with a family and kids, to take the time to wade through all the information coming at me.  However, knowing now how social media can be invaluable in helping to establish a personal learning network, I will definitely try to utilize these resources in the future.

In this age of cutbacks, it is important for teacher-librarians to reinvent themselves to keep their school libraries relevant for 21st Century learning.  Right now, our education system is working under a 150 year old model (Richardson, 2012) so educators need to go outside the curriculum learning resources to find ways to teach the digital natives in our classrooms.  Creating a personal learning network of educators, both local and international, can offer new ideas in collaboration, sharing and teaching to help make teacher-librarians an indispensable part of their schools.

Works Consulted

Richardson, W. (2012) Why school? How education must change when learning and information are everywhere. Ebook. Kindle Version.  http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00998J5YQ

Image Citation:

Bucky, C. (2008) PLN 1. Flickr. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/cobannon/2983755525/

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2 Comments

Filed under LIBE 477

2 responses to “Developing PLNs with ICTs

  1. Some really good reflection and discussion of what’s working for you and what you hope to keep using as you grow and gain a new position. Some excellent suggestions here, including the foundational LM NET, the first TL email list-serv. You have discussed the importantace of social media and what it can allow you to do. I would keep with it, even if you do not have a smartphone. I use twitter a lot on my desktop computer, especially for special “chats” like #edchat and #tlchat This is where a lot of the TLs are moving to, after they leave networks like LM NET. You should strive to keep at it. Good post, with good tags!

  2. djthind

    I appreciated reading your inquiry blog post. Your discussion about creating personal learning networks is important. In a previous course, I, too, was introduced to the LM-NET; it is useful. I agree that the courses themselves within the T-L program have provided a plethora of information! Also, I enjoy using Evernote for personal and professional organization. Regarding social media, it is an area I am interested in investigating more for work-related content as well. – Best

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