Interesting reading this week:

Kardos_Interesting_Reading_1891

Interesting Reading by Gyula Kardos, shared on Wikimedia Commons as a public domain work of art

Unleashing creativity. Stephanie shares her experience of blogging every single day.  There is some great musings here on being creative and I absolutely love the shout out to schools to encourage students to continue to create.  I also have a serious case of font envy from those presentation slides!  (Shared by Train the Teacher on WordPress.)

Sustaining a makerspace.  Kristin Fontichiaro shares really practical ideas to keep makerspaces sustainable in terms of budget, time and energy.  I love her reminder about being clear about the WHY of makerspaces because that should then drive the HOW.  And did I mention the ideas were practical?  (Shared by Miriam on SLANZA’s G+ community.)

Great books for resistant readers in middle school and high school.  Pernille Ripp has some great book suggestions that would appeal to some of the reluctant boy readers at my school.  Some we already have, but it’s always good to get new titles to tempt those ‘tricky’ customers.  (Shared by Pernille Ripp on WordPress.)

Tweeting, not sleeping?  Balancing sleep and social media.  This article caught my eye as I work on my Tech-free Tuesday post.  I think there are some interesting findings here, though we need to be cautious about the whole correlation / causation thing.  (Shared by School of Information Studies at CSU of Facebook.)

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Interesting reading this week:

Kardos_Interesting_Reading_1891

Interesting Reading by Gyula Kardos, shared on Wikimedia Commons as a public domain work of art

7 books for a new kind of library school. – By their very nature formal education programmes are playing catch up with the latest research and trends.  Sally suggests that instead of learning about “the job” library school should teach about learning, leading, and problem solving.  A great suggestion with some recommended reading for this new curriculum. (Shared by School of Information Studies at CSU’s facebook page.)

Yes, you can still teach kids to love books. – I often despair of how we put young people off reading by they way we teach English and literacy in schools.  Sometimes I need to feel a little bit of hope.  This article did that.  I need to share it with our English department. (Shared by NPR on Tumblr.)

Why do our best ideas come to us in the shower.  – In the weekend Alison, Michelle, and I had a conversation on Twitter about the best blog posts we never wrote and where we were when inspiration struck.  Michelle then shared the science behind these inspirational moments.  I love random Twitter conversations! (Shared by Michelle on Twitter.)

 

Interesting reading this week:

Kardos_Interesting_Reading_1891

Interesting Reading by Gyula Kardos, shared on Wikimedia Commons as a public domain work of art

OER and you. The curation mandate. – Open Education Resources are coming and school libraries (librarians) need to be in the game.  They should be helping to curate resources, making resources discoverable, and working with teachers to use resources ethically and legally.  A call to be ready when the platforms and your teachers are ready! (Shared by Carole on the schoollib listserv.)

The ancient productivity tool that will boost your brain power. – How paper and pen can make you more creative and productive.  Technology is good but sometimes old school can be better. (Shared by Buffy Hamilton on Twitter.)

How this school library increased student use by 1000 percent.  – Love this idea of moving beyond makerspaces, of having library use connected to classroom learning, and of this change being led by the school principal.  There is much that will be referred to here for March’s #EdBlogNZ challenge. (Shared by Desna on SLANZA’s facebook page.)

Thanks to Stephanie at Teaching the Teacher for this idea and format.

Why blog?

Blog

Image by Sophie Janotta, shared under a Creative Commons Zero license on Wikimedia Commons

It’s been 421 days since my last blog post.  So why start up again?  Haven’t I heard that blogging is dead?

The rumours of blogging’s demise has been going around since at least 2012.  This post sums up many of the reasons behind the rumours:

  • the move to collections and curations;
  • the rise of mobile tools;
  • the increasing “nowness” of the web;
  • and the growing appeal of visual text over written.

These are all salient points, but they are far more relevant to the media companies and brand managers the post was aimed at rather than the world of education and librarianship that I inhabit.

This post offers a well-thought out rebuttal to those 15 million rumours of the blog’s death.  The counter-arguments that particularly stood out are:

  • these types of headlines are designed to get click-bait attention;
  • that blogging is evolving, not dying;
  • and that blogging is an iteration of writing and writing never dies.

So far the reading I’ve done has convinced me that blogging as a platform isn’t dead – but my blog sure is on life support.  Why should I resuscitate it?

Forbes can give me reasons to blog for my business, Becoming Minimalist can tell me how it will improve my life, and Michelle can convince me it’s for the greater good of the New Zealand school library community.  But how did I talk myself into it?  These are the things I’m telling myself.

Allows time to reflect and plan:

Most of the time as a sole-charge school librarian I am busy living in the now.  Focused only on the task that is currently on hand and the next thing that needs to be done.  Keeping a regular blog requires sitting still and thinking deeply.  It will make me stop and think about my practice and professional development in a more beneficial manner.  What works?  What doesn’t work?  What did I learn?  What should I change?  How shall I implement these changes?  These are all questions that require time and attention to answer.  Devoting time to maintain this blog will help that.

Keeps a record of learning:

Currently I do not undergo a formal appraisal process, however, this could change in the future.  If it does a record of my continuous professional development will be easily accessible to my appraiser.  In the future I may decide to apply for LIANZA professional registration.  Their registration journal commitments will be a lot easier to complete if a record has already been kept current and up to date.  Also, as a professional (and I am a big believer in school librarianship being viewed and valued as a profession), I feel I should be keeping a record of my learning regardless of requirements from others.  The time and money spent on gathering new knowledge should be recognised and appreciated.  This blog will allow space to do that.

It’s good to share:

I love that so much of what I have learned about being a school librarian was given away freely by sharing and caring librarians who are more experienced, knowledgeable or creative than me.  I love how our profession is so supportive and collaborative.  I want to contribute to that.  And maybe even get the chance to pay it forward to some new librarian who may be feeling lost in the wilderness alone like I did.

Advocacy for school libraries:

By being public in our practice and our learning we are helping to advocate for all school libraries and their staff.  We are showing the value of libraries to their school communities and the huge impact that librarians can have on their students.  We are advocating for school libraries at large but also, at an individual level, we are showing our leadership teams, staff, students and families what we are doing for them.  My inspiring colleague, Michelle, has managed to gather her principal as a follower on her blog.  You can’t get more direct advocacy than that!

Develop my Personal Learning Network:

MyPLN

Created using easel.ly

Some would say that my Personal Learning Network doesn’t need much development.  I already use lots of different platforms to connect with and learn from school librarians and other information professionals around New Zealand and the rest of the world.  Unfortunately I have an (admittedly self-diagnosed) addiction to learning.  I love learning and am always interested in hearing what other people are doing to help their school communities.  This post talks about how PLN’s can use blogs as a place to connect, communicate, collaborate and create with colleagues.  Yes, please!

Have conversations:

A side effect of being a sole-charge school librarian is there is often no one else on site to have library conversations with.  The listserv occasionally offers potential for this, but during a busy day it is often not possible to make the most of these rare opportunities.  Twitter is a great place to share short nuggets of information, but even with an extended character limit it is hard to see it becoming a place for deep conversations.  Blogs offer the opportunity for considered, well-constructed thoughts to be shared and responded to in kind.  They offer the chance to see contradictory opinions, other people’s points of view, and change mindsets.

These are the reasons I’m giving myself to resuscitate my blog.  Why do you blog? Can you give me more reasons to keep me going?