Tag Archives: personal learning network

Scooping means curating

                                                           Photo courtesy of CanadianAEh on Flickr

Time is one of our most precious commodities in a fast paced world. This is particularly true for educators, don’t you think? For teacher librarians, curating information and resources and doing it well is more important than ever. Our information management strategies enable us to control the flood of online information, and to connect with others in order to receive and share information.

Scoop.it (beta), a new way of curating online resources for a topic of choice, has sprung up out of nowhere (somewhere, obviously), and it seems that most of the people in my Twitter, Facebook and other networks are giving it a go. At first I thought – what!? yet another thing to keep up with; do I really need to tie myself down to managing more than my existing blogs and bits? But honestly, Scoop.it is probably one of the most effortless ways not only of curating a topic online. You just create a topic, get the button, then ‘scoop’ websites as you see them. The layout is great, magazine-style page, much easier to skim and select than looking through Diigo or Delicious accounts. Personally, I’m looking forward to the day when all information is enhanced by a visual layout; much more user friendly.

The networking part of Scoop.it works really well. I get email alerts when one of my people creates another topic, and then it’s just a matter of having a look to see if I want to follow it. Looking through someone’s list of followed Scoop.its opens up even more topics, so every day I’m discovering new resources. Since people choose areas of interest, they are often experts in resourcing this topic. Developing a personal learning network has never been so important. Networking is a powerful way of having the best and most relevant resources come to you. You can even suggest resources for somebody else’s Scoop.it topic, and then the creator has the choice of accepting or ignoring this.

There is an option of sharing on Facebook and Twitter, and that is often how I am alerted to new topics and links. Of course, tagging makes locating resources easy.

Today on Facebook Karen Bonanno shared the Library Research Services’ Vimeo Channel featuring videos such as School library characteristics that affect student achievement – an excellent series of videos, quite digestible in video form, and I wanted to share these with my library team so I added a post in my school library blog.

Chapter 4: School Library Characteristics that Affect Student Achievement from LRS on Vimeo.

Currently I’ve only created 2 topics:

Apps for learning and What is a teacher librarian – can’t say I’ve put much effort into these. I think you have to get into the mindset of thinking ‘Scoop.it’ as you read and discover things online. However, I have been looking through others’ resources, and I’m happy to say that Scoop.it has turned out to be more than a new gimmick. I suppose you have to give new things a go in order to decide whether they warrant your time and focus.

The Explore tab at the top of Scoop.it takes you to the latest scoops within the topics you follow. Currently I follow 75, and yes, you can’t keep up with everything all the time. Like the fast flowing Twitter stream, you just dip in when you have time or when you’re looking for specific resources.

If you’re using Scoop.it please leave your Scoop.it identity in the comment box. I would love to see what you’ve been curating. It would also be good to discover your favourite topics. Don’t be shy!

3 Comments

Filed under Curation

Stop telling me I’m wasting my time on Facebook

I’m a little tired of people telling me I’m wasting my time on Facebook.

Yes, I do enjoy keeping an eye on what my friends and colleagues are up to, seeing photos of their weddings, new babies and celebrations, particularly when they don’t live close. But I also use Facebook professionally. I’m a teacher librarian – I resource the curriculum, and that means I need a constant stream of information coming to me. Facebook, my Twitter network, Google Reader, my Diigo and Delicious network, my Vodpod network – all connect me to what I need to do my job. The same goes for what I’m interested in.

Some read the newspaper, others do it differently.

I don’t know what you see on your Facebook page but this is a cross-section of what I see –

You get the idea…

4 Comments

Filed under learning, reading, Social media, Teacher librarians

What I discovered about my PLN after I told them I’d deleted my Twitter account

So, if you read my previous post, you know that I was stupid enough to delete my Twitter account in a fatal moment of confusion. You also know how devastating it was for me to realise I’d lost the community I’d grown to depend on every day.

Let me tell you how something devastating turned into something heart-warming.

My first reaction was to tweet out my loss and ask everyone to follow me again. But, hang on a minute, I couldn’t do that because I no longer had a community. Well, not on Twitter. I still had Facebook, and some of my Twitter contacts were also on Facebook.

The response to my status was immediate. One of the first people to respond was Jo McLeay aka @jomcleay who reassured me with the simple but powerful message, ‘We’re still here for you’.

After finally admitting my account wasn’t going to be reinstated, I decided to start a new account from scratch. It was no fun thinking about  how long it would take to rebuild. I wrote a blog post about the experience, but couldn’t tweet it out as I usually would. I could, however, throw it up on Facebook and ask my FB people to tweet it out. Would that work?

The response was swift and very touching.

Soon my message and blog post were being retweeted all over the place. I started following people again, and in less than 24 hours I had a community of people again, over 200 of them, and only a couple of days later, over 300.

My personal learning network had rebuilt one of the most important platforms I had for communication and professional interaction.

I was back in business!

Thankyou, everyone, for all your help and support.

6 Comments

Filed under 21st century learning, networking, technology, Web 2.0