Thursday, 23 October 2014

iPads and Twitter and Blogs...O my!

There is no question - using technology can be super intimidating!  That being said, I know I’m not alone in this perspective.

As I move through the researches and discovery portion of my Library Additional Qualification Specialist course, I am regularly amazed (and seriously overwhelmed!) at how many amazing resources are available out there.  Despite the fact that I've been in the role of full time Teacher Librarian for four years, I feel like a rookie on a regular basis.

Thus far, I have been focusing my research for my Part III AQ on a broad scale on using technology as a teacher and how it can improve my professional practice as a teacher librarian. Our LLC now has a half set of iPads that we’ve begun to prepare programs for, and I have been actively involved in using Twitter to promote the Streetsville Library Learning Commons.  On a smaller scale, I've been searching for articles that highlight blogging as a specific tool and the positive and challenging perspectives of this.  

After some preliminary reading of sources like Treasure Mountain (, blogs by George Couros ( and Tina Zita (, and other print texts, I decided that putting it directly into my regular practice would be best, thus began this blog.

I automatically became more reflective.

Arguably, writing for this purpose and with an audience in mind, I automatically became more reflective.  At the same time though, I've found the experience thus far to be very empowering as well.  To see that other people (well over 100) have read what I have to say gives me a sense of ownership over my professional practice. 

In addition, it’s amazing how writing a blog almost immediately resulted in an introspective thought process.  I had to create a series of basic questions or self-checks (some of the exact things I would ask of students engaging in this process) like: Who might read my blog? How has the information I've shared guided my current practice? What are some of the similarities or differences that I notice with other educational bloggers? What have I learned since my last post?  How have I demonstrated my learning in my teaching practice?  How's my grammar?!?

I tend to take a significant amount of time (several hours) writing and drafting, then edit my work carefully before posting.  This is because I know that what I've written will be read by the general public, but more importantly by my colleagues and peers.  The same can be said for student writers participating in this process.

I truly believe that student and teacher blogging can develop deeper reflection, and overall better thinking and writing.

I hope that this process will result in a collaborate effort with a teacher in my building; someone interested in taking a risk and trying something new to foster student writing and reflection.  Despite the technology intimidation factor, I truly believe that student and teacher blogging can develop deeper reflection, and overall better writing and thinking.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Link is here!

September has been beyond crazy, but I've decided that writing and publishing a Library Newsletter each month to share out with students, staff, parents, and community members would be an excellent idea.  This writing process gives me the opportunity to review some of the amazing things that have been, and continue to be happening at the Streetsville Library Learning Commons.

Please feel to read and comment below!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Eustress...who knew?!?

I actually have a chance to take a breath today, to look out into our Library Learning Commons and enjoy the sight of students gathered and working collaboratively around their personal devices, students browsing the White Pine novel collections, students reading to each other (All Cats Have Asperger’s Syndrome by Kathy Hoopmann), and take a moment to enjoy the amazing experience of our rejuvenated space.

Last year, I partnered with a colleague to create a student summative that resulted in the redesign of our library and made for some significant, positive changes, moving us  towards an authentic Learning Commons space.  With a more open concept, our Library Learning Commons is filled with natural light and collaborative work spaces.

This partnership demonstrated just one of the many things (Action Research, Additional Qualification, Peel Fiction Reviewer, going through the identification process with our youngest daughter, moving to a new home) that kept me busy…and lends itself to wondering: Am I better, busier?

I often feel invigorated when at the peak of being busy, best under pressure, so to say, so I started a dialogue to learn more.  Who knew?!?  This stress is called Eustress and is “deemed healthful and to give one the feeling of fulfillment.”  This is me to a tee!

So somewhere between teaching, supervising, answering the phone, and reading articles, I found time (15 mins within the last two hours…?) to write this out. 

I guess it’s not really a slow day after all.