Wow, Phase 2 has come and gone quite quickly! I really enjoyed this phase, particularly because not only did we explore on our own, but we also got to spend time reading each other’s blogs and reflecting on what we each wrote and how we each interpreted the inquiry prompts. Learning from our peers and colleagues is probably one of the biggest takeaways I have gotten from this inquiry process. The power of the Internet, Twitter, blogging, and PLNs is truly amazing. We have so many resources at our fingertips, so many ideas, that it is a shame that I have been neglecting this part of my learning and growing. Will Richardson’s book first brought to my attention how sharing your own learning with others brings value and learning to yourself. As Richardson (2012) states, “We can raise the teaching profession by sharing what works, by taking the best of what we do and hanging it on the virtual wall.” I realize now that I can really grow and prosper much more if I share what I am doing. Not only can it help others, but also it can further grow and expand on my ideas, making them better. I suppose, then, that the inquiry topic that resonated the most with me was Module 6 (Developing your own ICT Skills and Pedagogy). It really opened my eyes to the many, many ways that we can develop our ICT skills and continue our learning, both in person and throughout the world with the assistance of technology. By creating a PLN that is online (and in person), we reach so many more minds and get so many more new and innovative ideas. Because I used Piktochart to map out my possible connections, I already have a starting point and an idea of what to use as I build and grow. The module helped set me up for my future growth and learning, which will forever impact my teaching. It, in a sense, has paved a road map for me (starting with Twitter, blogging, Facebook, and Social Bookmarking) in my future professional development, which is ultimately one of the most enriching aspects of being a teacher. This actually reminds me of a video that was shown at one of our administrative days in our district called “Pep Talk from Kid President to You” (below). Very inspirational, it emphasizes how important it is to believe in yourself (which is critical for our professional development and teaching). As he says, “Create something that will make the world awesome” (Kid President, 2013).
Ultimately, however, I really did learn a lot from all the different modules. Module 5 reminded me how powerful a reading culture is and how great of an impact I, as a teacher-librarian, has on the culture in my school. I came up with many new ideas to build and foster a reading culture that I look forward to implementing when I return to work after my maternity leave. Not only that, but I got some great ideas from my fellow bloggers (i.e. Natasha’s Twitter Hashtag for Sharing Books and Principal’s Book Club; Jena’s reclassifying fiction books; Christine’s VoiceThread recordings; Jessica’s learning common tips; and Yvonne’s unique reading incentive programs to name a few).
Module 7 inspired me to really focus on getting disenchanted teachers back on board with the true purpose of a library learning commons. I am not the most outgoing person in the world, so it ignited a fire in me to really focus on getting teachers motivated and excited about collaborating and learning with me, as the teacher-librarian. I would really like to try and get more collaboration going with my staff and start sharing my ideas through workshops and by piloting ideas with keen staff (in hopes to motivate others).
Module 8 helped open my eyes to the libraries around the world and moved me to want to make a difference. I would really love to get involved with my school’s leadership club and educate them on libraries around the world and hopefully inspire them to make a difference (perhaps with Students Helping Students).
These are just some of the ways that these modules have inspired me moving forward. The power of inquiry, collaboration, and networking is formidable.
Goldstein, Jonny. (2012). [Image of Collaboration]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonnygoldstein/8161551606
Montague, Brad, and Kid President. (2013). A Pep Talk from Kid President to You. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-gQLqv9f4o
Richardson, Will. (2012). Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information are Everywhere. TED Conferences Publishing.
Real Clear Politics. (n.d.). [Image of Internet Connections]. Retrieved from http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2015/02/09/the_great_internet_power_grab_350856.html