I set up my first blog and wrote my first posting way back in 2007. CSLA (California School Library Association) was offering an online tutorial, School Library Learning 2.0, about Web 2.0, as we called it then. As a participant, I learned about different Web 2.0 tools, and wrote a posting about each one. After I completed the tutorials, I continued the blog with commentary about my work as a school librarian.
A little while later, CSLA came out with a teen version of the tutorial, and I promoted it to students in my middle school library. Then, in Fall, 2009, my library position was eliminated and I spent a year teaching 7th grade language arts and a computer exploratory rotation class. I had all my students blogging. I used the Teen Learning 2.0 tutorial as the curriculum for the computer exploratory class. For my language arts students, I maintained a daily class blog sharing all the class activities and assignments, and my students' blogging assignments often drew on that same tutorial. Frankly, blogging was the most rewarding part of that year. All the students benefited from the chance to practice informal writing in their blogs and to exchange comments with each other and sometimes outside our school. And some really found their writing voices through this process. I especially loved how I was able to work with the students on every aspect of digital citizenship as part of the blogging process. Another nice part of it for the computer exploratory students was that my friend Sheryl Grabow Weiss had a similar class at another middle school in our district, and we were able to get the students together online and via Skype visits to share their blogging expertise and experiences. And, based on those experiences, Sheryl and I updated the Teen Learning 2.0 tutorial for CSLA that summer.
The next year, in Fall 2010, I moved back to a librarian position, this time at a high school. I immediately set up a library blog to report about and promote library activities. I also immediately began promoting the value of student blogging to my teachers, and I've been doing that every since. I have enjoyed working with a number of different classes in a variety of subject areas, helping them get started with blogging. Typically, I handle teaching the technical and digital citizenship aspects, and the teachers, with my help if they want it, handle the prompts.
As part of my Google Teacher Academy innovation project, I set up a website to support teachers who want to have their students blog and don't have a teacher librarian like me at hand to help them. I've given some conference presentations promoting blogging as well.
All along, I have maintained this personal blog to share thoughts and insights on school libraries, education, and technology. I never seem to find time to contribute to it as often as I would like, but, now that I retired last June, I am hoping to change that. So, I'm not sure that I'm going to respond to every single prompt during the year, but I'll do my best! And, I look forward to connecting with some of the other participants in this challenge.