Monday, January 22, 2018

Treat yourself to PD: Join me in a Twitter Chat this week!

Twitter chats are a terrific way to get a quick booster shot of professional development, right from your home, office, or anywhere you have online access. (And don't stop reading if you don't have a Twitter account; you can still be an "observer.") I'm not sure how this happened, but I actually have THREE chats I'm co-moderating on my calendar this week. I know they are all going to be informative and inspiring, so I'd love to have you join me at one, two, or all three!

First up is #NJLIBCHAT Tuesday from 5pm PT/8pm ET to 6pm PT/9pm ET. Krista Welz, New Jersey School Librarian, founded and runs this New Jersey-based school library chat, with everyone welcome. I am honored to be asked to co-moderate this month. Our topic for this month is "How Google Apps Promotes School Libraries." Google apps provide so many options for teaching students, helping them collaborate, promoting and managing your library, and more. Do come share your own ideas on using Google apps, and learn from your colleagues.

Next up is an #AASLStandards chat, on Thursday from 4pm PT to 5pm PT. I got my copy of the brand new AASL National School Library Standards at the AASL National Conference in November. I am, frankly, in the process of absorbing and making sense of all the great content they include. This chat is an opportunity to hone your understanding and use of these new standards for students, librarians, and library programs, and to get ideas of how best to share them with your teachers and administrators and incorporate them into your practice. Check this KnowledgeQuest blog post for a preview of the questions. As a member of the AASL Social Media Editorial Board, I will be assisting in moderating this chat with Judy Deichman (@nms_library) and Ellen McNair (@emcnair1), AASL Standards Implementation Task Force members.

And, as soon as that chat is over on Thursday, please do switch right over to #CALIBChat, from 5pm PT to 5:30pm PT. Katie McNamara (@KatieJMcNamara) and I started #CALIBChat last spring as a California-based school library chat that welcomes school library folks and educators from everywhere. We are running it once a month on the last Thursday of the month, and we made it just a half hour to fit into everyone's busy schedules. The theme for this month is "Optimize Your Conference Experience: Before, During, and After." We invite you to share your ideas for taking best advantage of the CSLA 2018 Conference coming up February 1-4 in Yosemite, CA, the ALA Midwinter Conference running February 9-13, or any other conference.

You don't need prior experience to participate in a chat. Here is a screencast I made a while back about how to participate in a #CALIBChat. For the other chats, just substitute #NJLIBCHAT or #AASLStandards:

In fact, you don't even need a Twitter account if you would like to just "lurk" and hear ideas from others. Just:
  1. Go to at the appointed time
  2. Search for the hashtag -- #NJLIBCHAT, #AASLStandards, or #CALIBChat
  3. Click on Latest, and watch the tweets come in. 
I hope to see you on Twitter this week.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

#CSLA18 UnConference #CSLAUnCon

It's just two weeks until one of my favorite events of the year: the California School Library Association (CSLA) Annual Conference, February 1-4 at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite, CA. As always, it is packed with amazing keynotes, concurrent sessions, and events. Check the conference website and final program (just released!) for details. I know already that I will come away with a huge dose of inspiration, new knowledge,  and new friends. But ... I also know that, by me, one of the VERY best parts of the conference is the least "programmed": it's the UnConference. This post focuses on that, and why you should put it on your "must attend list." And, don't stop reading if you can't make it to Yosemite for this conference; we will be sharing a good portion of it online.

So, why should you stay up late (yeah, it's a bit late: 8:30pm - 11:00pm on Thursday, February 1) for the UnConference even if you are usually an early-to-bed type? Here's why:
  • This is your chance to determine the topics of discussion. Propose a topic you want most to explore. We select discussion topics by crowd sourcing. You can offer to lead a discussion if you like, or just be a participant - your choice for this peer-to-peer learning time. 
  • This is your chance to do a mini-presentation. No pressure here, but during the "Smackdown," we invite you to submit a slide sharing a great teaching and learning tool or idea, then come to the mic to share about it in 2 minutes or less. And, you'll be amazed how many ideas you get from your peers' submissions.
  • The team trivia contest we end the evening with is SO much fun! 
Past attendees will tell you that this is always one of the highlights of the conference. So, won't you join us? 

Visit our wiki for more information. And, do please consider doing a wee bit of prep: 
  1. Share your breakout session ideas n this AnswerGarden Topic Brainstorm
  2. Add a slide (or two) to our Smackdown slide deck
  3. Please help spread the word. Invite a friend to attend with you. Share far and wide on social media. Use the conference hashtag, #CSLA18, and our special UnConference hashtag: #CSLAUnCon.
What if you can't make it to the CSLA Conference? You can still contribute to our Smackdown slide deck, and you can follow along with the #CSLAUnCon hashtag. We will also record notes from the breakout sessions. And, standby as we figure out if we can stream a portion of the evening. 

Hope to see you there!

Thanks to Katie McNamara, Conference Social Media Chair, for the UnConference graphic. Also standby to learn how you can earn your own UnConference digital badge.