The bloggers below have shown me just how different media specialists can be! I chose the title above because I feel like we are moving into a new frontier of education! We can all do the same job, but in many different ways!
Fitzgerald’s blog is like a helpful desk with tons of info about all things Media Center! I love her Tools page: Here she lists all the online tools that she thinks kids/teachers/parents/anyone might enjoy! The tools are in different categories, so you can browse the whole page or just go to the category you need, such as a creation tool or social media tool. This is great because on her one page you can click right the tool you might need. Her Google+ Page has tons of collections of her personal interests that you could follow. This is a great way for students to reach out to her and make a connection online. Lastly, I love that she has so many book trailers available on her site. The students can browse through her book lists and click on a book that catches their eye. Then, you get to watch a book trailer and see if you are interested in that book! She has a space where teachers and students can add their own photos of the school or library at the bottom of her home page. This inspires all to get involved in her media center online and at school.
Clearly, Fitzgerald’s main purpose is to get kids interested in reading and creating online. I love that she has connections to many different sites for parents and students to see what she is reading and interested in. She has Pinterest, Vine, Google+, and Instagram. This means that kids can find her on many popular websites. She mentions that she is happy to share all her ideas, please just kindly give her credit. It seems that she would benefit from Creative Commons License in this way, so I might just email her and let her know!
The only thing that I thought might be missing from her blog was more personal information about her school and any projects that the students might be doing with her. I would love for her to add a page for updates about her own activities at school. The home page a small bit of information, but didn’t focus on any students’ work.
What I am thinking is that she has created a site for kids to use and get a lot of ideas from, but she should keep the ideas flowing by having students post their work on her blog.
Fitzgerald’s blog is a great example of starting a blog that can inspire kids to read and create! Isn’t that the true message we want to send through our media specialist roles? In order to inspire the media specialists in my area to embrace blogging, I think I would start by showing them Fitzgerald’s page of tools. This is such a great resource for kids and something that many media specialists could create easily. The way to make it work for your area is to talk to the teachers in your building. If some of them are using certain apps or creation sites, be sure to link to them on your tools page. That is an easy place to start.
Next, I would encourage the media specialists to use this blog as a place to advertise books! There are many ways to create the buzz for the books, but having a list on a page is a start.
Lastly, I love how Fitzgerald connects to other places that she is online, such as Google+. Maybe, we could use this idea in professional development. Teachers and media specialists could try and find ways to connect with each other through blogs and online sources. Already, I am friends with many of my teacher colleagues on Pinterest, so I can see what they are pinning. This would be the next level of this and linking to our new Google hangouts and connections. We can use this a place to share ideas as a staff. This idea reminded me of the video, “Blogs in Plain English.” The video states that the creation of blogs is a way to appeal to a vast amount of small audiences. If we have a blog or social space as teachers to share ideas, it just makes for better teaching and learning for our students. I love the idea of finding a way to use blogs to further our lessons.
The Unquiet Librarian
Hamilton’s blog seems to center on promoting great ways to use your media center and to encourage students to take risks in writing. I chose this blog because the media specialist at my own school loves her! I was glad to see that the also came up on the list that was provided for our class.
I believe that Hamilton created her blog to promote her own ideas about how media centers should work. I love that she has so many pictures of students working and student work! There is one slideshare that shows actual snapshots of students’ writing after they participated in Hamilton’s “Speed Dating for Writing” activity. This gives students a “shout-out” if they did a great job and shows parents what the kids are up to at school.
Hamilton’s blog also promotes others’ work. Here is a quote from her page describing how she crafted an activity for her students using others’ help: “I have never crafted zines before with students, but this choice was inspired by the work my friend and fellow English teacher Kyle Jones has done with his high school students. Thanks to DonorsChoose and the generous donations from friends and colleagues, we now have the crafting supplies we need to do our zine making!”
I love that she is utilizing ideas from many places to get her students engaged. She is also promoting the activity for other teachers to give it a try by showing her students engaged in the activity and really working hard! Again, this is why I love the use of photos to show what the students are working on in your media center.
This blog is a great resource for discovering some new ideas to use with students. Hamilton has many different pages for you to browse and get ideas. She is also a published author and gives presentations, so her blog is promoting her own skill set, as well.
After browsing Hamilton’s blog, I see some potential for using this in education. One quote from “Reflecting, Writing, and Responding: Reasons Students Blog” really stood out to me as I finished writing my review. ‘“Berry says, “ Because of the blog, he could write about the news as it happened instead of 3 waiting for the print edition days later. But he says that he and other writers also like the fact that blogging gives them a chance to move outside the news and just use their opinions to write about their interests. “To have that outlet—as a writer, there’s nothing better,” he says.’” Hamilton’s blog is promoting the writing of her students, but also her own works. It is a great way to tell others about her interests as they relate to education and our changing world as educators and media specialists.
One way to encourage more teachers to blog would be to show them how Hamilton is using her blog to promote her students’ work. I think that many of the English teachers in my school would love this idea and find a way to use it. The most simple way to get started would be to use the blog as a “shout-out” space for great writing! I was just talking to my counterpart (other English 6 teacher) at my school about some of our students’ stories. We were both blown away with how well they did! Now, seeing Hamilton’s blog, I could see myself creating a page to highlight these students and their great work!
The Daring Librarian
I loved looking for a Librarian’s blog that wasn’t on our list, and luckily, my media specialist knew just the right own…The Daring Librarian. Jones has a fun and spunky personality that is clearly shown through her fun blog! I loved that space is her general theme, because it shows that she reaches for the stars!
On her home page, she posted a lot about an upcoming conference where she is presenting FETC The conference looks like a great place to learn more about STEM and where technology is taking education.
On her Librarian Edublog page, she started by mentioning an article from Huffington Post about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Her post focused on how we need to model and educate students on the “we” or being servants in our communities. She then links to many opportunities for students to get involved in their communities and make a difference. This really inspired me! I love that she is giving students something to think about besides just school, books, and grades! Part of education is helping all our students see the value in their communities.
On the same page, she posted information for students about STEM classes at a local library, but under that was an app suggestion of “Escape from Detention.” You can see that she is committed to her school and promoting technology, but that fun has a place in her world…always!
Her blog has links to her portfolio, presentations she has done, and her Flickr pictures! However, the best part is that she has created many cartoon versions of herself on the blog. When you click on something, she has the blog talk to you, “Hey Sweetie…” You can tell that she wants people to remember her and come back for more!
Jones purpose is clear! She wants to promote STEM and all technology for kids that she can. She has many places on the blog for kids and other educators to learn how to become more tech savvy and to teach others. I love that she is all about sharing information and creating places for everyone to get involved in projects.
She also does a great job of promoting her own works and presentation ideas. This reminded me of Hamilton’s blog because both women are clearly full of rich ideas and know how to present them to the public. This is a great way to use your blog to create professional connections with other educators.
The only part of her blog that I found lacking was in seeing her students. I would have loved to see some pictures of students in her media center. That would just add a bit more authenticity to all she is doing.
I am so glad that I saw Jones’ blog because it focused so much on STEM and technology applications. The other blogs that I visited focused mostly on reading, books, and tools for creation projects. I am learning more and more how important it is for media specialists to devote time to STEM activities. I love the idea of maker-spaces and can’t wait to get my own space! However, I will need to rely on some other librarians’ blogs, guidance, and ideas to get myself started.
The media specialist at my school is a former Science teacher. She has been transforming her media center little by little to add in more technology and science. She is now hosting the Garden Club and will have students working in different areas of our school to update and add to our existing gardens. This is a great way for students to make connections. I am thinking that presenting the idea of going to a technology conference to a few of my colleagues might be a good way to get them started. The FECT sounds like a good one to attend, so I signed up for the mailing list and hope to go in the next few years. This would be a great way to get my colleagues interested in making some STEM connections in their classrooms and with our media center.
Jones’ blog reminded me of a quote from Brain of the Blogger, “Blogging is a powerful medium for increasing access and exposure to quality information. Because blogs link many facts and arguments in branching “threads” and webs, and append primary source materials and reference works, they foster deeper understanding and exposure to quality information. In turn these sources can seed other creative projects.” Some of my colleagues may not know what great information is out there! I’m hoping to use what I know to promote some really great bloggers and further the message of quality information.
After reading these three blogs, it is clear that being a media specialist means many things. I love that this role has the same name in all school districts, states, and countries, but the role itself is so different. I titled this blog post to be “The New Frontier” because the role of a media specialist is ever-changing and undefined. This is a new frontier for this profession and I love that each person can make it their own.
Citations and Credits
Fitzgerald, Sue “Unpretentious Librarian.” 2010, Blogspot.com. The Unpretentious Librarian, 15 Jan. 2017. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.
Hamilton, Buffy. “The Unquiet Librarian.” Wordpress.com. The Unquiet Librarian, 9 Jan. 2017. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.
Leelefever. YouTube. YouTube, 29 Nov. 2007. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
Jones, Gwyneth. “The Daring Librarian.” Wikispaces.com The Daring Librarian, 22 Jan. 2017. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.