My Takeaway From Our Inquiry

I have enjoyed delving into all the topics we have looked at in this inquiry phase of the course.  Though some I had already covered in previous courses, such as creating a reading culture and developing leadership skills in the area of professional development, I still expanded my knowledge with my own continued research or through insight from others’ posts.  Researching libraries in the developing world and learning how mobile technology can play an important role in their construction and use has helped expand my world view, beyond my own District.  However, I think my main takeaway from this inquiry is how to develop a personal learning network through current information and communication technology.  In other words, how I can use social media to expand my professional development opportunities.

I took this course because I wanted to learn more ways of using digital technology in my practice as a teacher-librarian because my knowledge is lacking in this area.  I know other digital immigrants have embraced social media in both their personal and professional lives, but I have yet to feel comfortable doing that.  I am not sure what is holding me back.


1. We are being social.

Maybe it is the bias I have against being inundated with the minutiae of people’s day, or the ease of mobile devices in creating social interactions online instead of face to face.


2. It’s too much!



Or it might be that I am often overwhelmed by the shear mass of information I receive with the few subscriptions to social media sites I have.


3. The Four Headed Monster



Or maybe it is because I am a very private person and am not yet comfortable “sharing” my ideas with others in cyberspace.



This inquiry has helped me see the positive aspects of using social media and how important its use is for teachers and teacher-librarians to collaborate, share, and stay informed about educational issues.  After all, I tell my students that technology can be used as a tool to help them become more successful in school, so I should be modelling this behaviour, showing how I can use technology in my teaching practice to extend my knowledge and learning.

The ideas in Lia’s blog post, Expanding My Personal Learning Network, inspired me.  In it, she lists ways she uses social media, like bookmarking, pinning, and networking, in her teaching practice along with further goals for using these technologies.   Though I do get inspired by others’ ideas, as a TOC I have few opportunities to directly implement many of them in my own teaching practice.  So my collection of digital resources sit in my computer bookmarks or Evernote notebooks, awaiting the day I can use them in my own classroom or library.  However, I have come to realize through this inquiry that establishing a personal learning network online offers more than just resources.  It provides access to a group of professionals that will be there when I need them for ideas, answering questions, collaboration or simply an understanding of the problems I may face as a teacher-librarian.  By utilizing digital technology, I will be able to take more control of my professional development.  So a logical place to start is with Twitter; learning how to use it more effectively as part of my personal learning network.  I have been following the #libe477 tweets, and added a couple of my own, but I haven’t really explored this tool to its fullest.  I know that once I embrace the value of using Twitter professionally, it will be easier to branch out into other social media platforms to widen my PLN.  I am hopeful that soon I can move my comfort zone from……






Image Citations:

1. When is the best time to post on social media (2014)

2. Tips to effectively manage your social media sites. (2014)

3.There is no such thing as privacy on social networks (2011)

Vintage Social Networking – University of Leeds (2014) Social Media

21st-Century Teacher Tools Wordle – A guide for newbie social educators (2011)




Filed under LIBE 477

4 responses to “My Takeaway From Our Inquiry

  1. Good summary post Karen. I like your honesty about feeling overwhelmed and private! I think we all feel that way in some form or another and have to navigate our own path through the use of Web 2.0 tools in our practice as educators and librarians. I think you are on the right track starting small and building from there. When you get your own library position, set yourself a 5 year plan so that you do not feel that you have to do it all at once. It is a lot more fun when you feel that you are growing and taking small risks, rather than just checking off technology boxes that we think we should do.

    Good luck!


    • Thanks Lia, other TLs I have talked to say the same thing, don’t try to do everything at once. One step at a time keeps everything in perspective. I appreciate your encouragement.

  2. I concur with Lia here! You’ve done a great job sharing an honest and personal reflection on your learning and explorations into inquiry thus far. You share many of the same hesitations and reservations as most educators and it sometimes can be hard to see past the challenges, but you’ve successfully navigated past the rocky starts, and explored into the bountiful waters of developing a supportive PLN! Your post was full of strong connections, key learning and future goals and I really appreciated it.

  3. Karen I really enjoyed that post. I so identify with your journey from hesitant and private to embracing many forms of social media. I’ve changed my opinions on using the public domain during this course, and so far am happy with the result.

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