#IMMOOC #5 How Social Learning with MicroBlogging+Audience Launched my STREAM MAKERS PLN/PD


I chose to reflect about #IMMOOC Blog Prompt #5: What is one way that blogging has changed your practice or thinking?

twitter communityMy biggest take away about blogging is whether writing for a targeted inside your school organization or cross-marketing to a wider audience of local schools, true peers, or aspirant organizations clarifies thinking about impact and innovation.  I joined #immooc with the knowledge that no one in my immediate school organization had the edtech background to fully appreciate or participate in a massive open online course.  A few colleagues were willing to join to capture the recorded video-chats with #immooc moderators.  I was able to help our  Educational Technology Integration Specialist create a professional Twitter Account.  My school principal gave me several leads about who to follow from an EdTech conference she attended including Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf.  It was clear from the start that I would be creating my own Twitter Community from a wider audience that was more tech-savvy and leading the way for my colleagues to lurk and learn.  Just this week I invited our Learning Intervention Specialist to create a professional Twitter account and she agreed.  Practically speaking, I am satisfied to have launched our school PLN for #IMMOOC PD linking the school principal, the technology integration specialist, the Learning Intervention Specialist, and myself as Library Media Specialist.  Our principal introduced PLCs that are scheduled twice weekly and I have the opportunity to follow-up with my in-house newly created #immooc team.


steam logo

On a broader scale, another goal I had was to reach out to edtech educators focused on STEM, STEAM, and STREAM Resources.  #immooc Twitter chats and Live Session chats were essential to identify hashtags of interest that clarified my thinking about how to make Library Media Services more student-centered: #geniushour, #passionprojects, #sole (Self-Organized Learning Environments), #studentdriven #portfolios.  The sidebar threaded conversations were more targeted than the actual videochat presenters and offered Connected Learning opportunities.  I took close notes to follow up with #immooc participant profiles and learn more about their passions in Twitter Stories.  Interestingly, several edtech leaders that I have followed over time connected after I added #immooc to tweets.  Other management tools I was able to practice while curating my PLN/PD were ManageFlitter and HootSuite.  I was satisfied with this network of hyperlinks and can continue to refine my cross-cutting purpose, having rediscovered my passion for blending Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics Resources.

conciergeMy biggest change in thinking came with signing up for EdSurge Concierge Interviews.  One of my early blog posts entertained the idea of Library Media Center as Concierge Service.  I hardly expected to encounter a tweet that would lead me to a data-based research project that connects Educators for free with a suite of just enough EdTech resources, just in time.  I was asked to provide a list of R.E.A.L. learning problems that I wanted to address, which led me to greater reflection about student-driven, #sole self-organized learning environments.  At this time, I look forward to completing the EdSurge Concierge Playbook to prepare a student profile that reflects my local school population: K-8, low/no-budget, isolated outdated tech lab, staff with limited edtech skills, and a library media center collection that needs serious weeding and digital feeding.  My hope is that participation in this particular PLN/PD will clarify my #futurereadylibs goals in response to authentic community learning needs.

Stay tuned for my #LMC Library Media Center Complete Makeover…

math circlesIt was suggested we add a GIF to this blog post to increase engagement.  It is true that images add interest but I had a hard time finding one to reflect my thinking about STREAM innovations.  I searched Math GIF images and found this animation that I will challenge my students to draw using Code.org, Scratch, or Python Tools.  This quarter I launched a Middle School Coding Club and am grateful for the #immooc connections to other School Library Media Center After School Enrichment Programs.  As an aside, I am mindful of best practices for adding images to blog posts and Tweets.  #immooc Mission Accomplished!


#IMMOOCBB Twitter PD for Leaders and Lurkers @stpplmc @edtechstpp


This week’s reflection addresses Blog Prompt #2 : What elements of the “8 Things to Look For in Today’s Classrooms” exist in your professional learning?  What elements are lacking?  I accepted the Blog Buddy Challenge #immoocbb because I was already planning to ask for feedback from several colleagues who accepted my invitation to simply shadow #immooc because they are new to blogging and Twitter.  In preparation to incorporate their reflections with my own, I helped them create professional Twitter Accounts to launch an Opportunity for Innovation through Social Learning.  I provided them links to my blog to show them examples of blogging activities for professional development.  My hope was they would see how Massive Open Online Courses create opportunities for Connected Learning with like-minded Classroom Innovators anytime, anywhere.

As I completed the Chapter 10: ‘Less is More’ readings, I had a ‘AHA Moment’ as I turned my ebook page to George Couros choice of three tools that empowered his team to learn, innovate, and meet the needs of students.  His selections were the very same that I had set as my goal to establish a local professional learning community with my #immooc lurkers:

  1. Google Suite to encourage communication both locally and globally.
  2. Blogs used a digital portfolios to enhance and re-envision assessment.
  3. Twitter to support professional learning and help develop personal learning networks.

Mindful of time commitments required to fully participate in #immooc, I have shared one thing I learned each day with one other colleague.  I use techniques I have practiced over time in library settings for creating a buzz or making an elevator pitch while passing in the hallway or crossing the parking lot.  The EdTech Integration Specialist at my K-8 school accepted my offer to set up a professional Twitter Account @edtechSTPP and follow me @stppLMC.  I originally joined #immooc to curate my own newly established Twitter Account while creating PD opportunities for classroom teachers in my school.  #immooc has significantly expanded my online presence and social learning  conversations including hastags: #edchat, #GeniusHour, #JoyfulLeaders, #makerspaces, #MakeItReal, #growthmindset, #steam, #digcit, #catholicedchat, to name just a few.  My colleague @edtechSTPP reflected about PD Voice Challenges such as finding someone who is interested in what she has to share.  Perhaps joining Twitter conversations will help her to connect with other edtech professionals who share her interests.  About Critical Thinkers, she commented that one needs to adopt the mindset that feedback is valuable.  I shared with her that giving feedback to Twitter connections can result in more follows, likes, retweets as well as direct messages.  I am grateful to have connected during #immooc with other Library Media Specialists who have given me direct feedback about how concierge service can work to customize and personalize the learning experience in School Library Media Centers.

Lastly, my colleague feels challenged by too many choices to address her wide-ranging areas of interest.  My plan is to help her make sense out of Twitter Resources by curating lists of followers, creating twitter stories of threaded resource links, and tagging topics with meaningful hashtags, to revisit and reflect upon at her convenience, over time, as needed.  We have a mutual professional interest in exploring Google Suite to simplify the choice of apps for newly purchased student Chromebooks.  Summer may be the perfect time for us both to complete Google Certification Level 1 online together as a connected learning experience.  One innovative project we are just beginning to explore with our tech team is how digital portfolios can be used for professional development as well as student workspace/showcase. Hopefully, expanding our audience will increase the quality and impact of our content.  Building Community Profiles and Portfolios to showcase our own creative work and increase our online social presence is a high priority on our tech team to do list.

I am grateful to have my colleague’s participation given my own challenges with sharing social media opportunities in other school, public, academic, and special libraries.  Far more common are the 10 Signs Twitter PD is not on your radar listed below.  I am working on 10 counter-arguments for #joyfulLeaders to consider by joining a Twitter Professional Learning Network to share their resources, tips, and tricks for Connected Learning.

twitter pd


#immoocb3 LMC Media Specialist as Guide on Side not Sage on Stage

school vs learning

Reflecting about my role as LMC Media Specialist, several School facets listed are sadly accepted by many teachers in their scheduled library times:

  • Is about finding something prescribed
  • is about giving you information
  • teaches us to obtain information from certain people

Learning facets listed in the sketchnote have helped me articulate LMC goals for 4th quarter 2017, to improve the learning experience for students and to create success stories that show teachers what innovation looks when LMC Resources are student-centered:

  • Is about exploring your passions and interests.
  • Promotes that everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner.
  • Is about deep exploration.

I have the opportunity to customize a Mobile Chrome Cart with G Suite for Education this quarter.  Rather than structure tech teaching focused on how to use Apps features, I plan to bring students Passion Projects where learning is based on formative assessments. The Mobile Chrome Cart will be used to launch G Suite Student Portfolios documenting each student’s personalized learning process anywhere, anytime to level up learning.  Hopefully, I can facilitate SAMR Modification and Redefinition Levels of Technology Integration to inspire creativity, increase engagement, and foster a passion for lifelong learning.


#IMMOOCB2 What if the Library Media Center were a hub of Genius Hour and Mind-Mapping Opportunities?


What if the Library Media Center were the hub of opportunities for the school community to have learning driven by their personal interests?  This challenge comes closest to popular Genius Hour in Education projects and requires a 20% time commitment set aside from regularly scheduled class work.  Wearing my Librarian Hat, I plan to create more thought-provoking book displays about topics selected by students, staff, and teachers, mixing-up fiction, non-fiction, picture books, and artifacts to convey their Big Ideas.  A classroom teacher today shared with me that every great lesson needs a good story and I accept her challenge to provide them.  

With a quick change to my Tech Teacher Hat, I am just launching research resources for 4th graders to choose Science Fair topics.  One teacher often reminds students to choose a topic that has great personal interest for them because they will be working on the project for a lengthy period (80%).  I plan to introduce mind-mapping apps to help them think out loud with the added benefit of feedback from their study buddies (20%).  I found this edtech article titled Best Mind Mapping Tools For Students and will choose the best of the best app to share with Science Fair students in class before they are required to choose a topic. 

conversationE. Rogers was quoted in Innovator’s Mindset Chapter 4 stating “Diffusion is essentially a social process through which people talking to people to spread an innovation.”  I use every opportunity at the Library Circulation/Reference Desk and in the Tech Lab to “create a buzz” with WOMM about individual students and teachers personal interests while recommending Library Media Center Resources.  Our latest innovation is an open LMC schedule for teachers, students, and LMC Staff to have access to resources as needed for independent projects.

#IMMOOCB1 How do I create conditions to support innovation with impact?

I have only used Twitter for professional purposes to grow my own PLN.  With daily diligence, I scan Twitter feeds, select  hashtags, and join followers based on shared inquiries.  As a school library media specialist, I am currently exploring the differences between STEM, STEAM, and STREAM Curricula. I hope to connect my School Principal and Integration Specialist with thought leaders and essential materials for self-directed learning.  My goal is to model social learning while following Twitter threads.

This week I retweeted a Post @TorreyTrust and discovered her Google doc explaining PLNs with constructive ways to get started as a class activity.  I am thinking about creating micro-courses in our after school PLC for each grade level: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 to help others get started with Twitter for Teachers. https://goo.gl/h7WqNx


I feel I have added value to the social learning and growth mindset of my team members who are Twitter newbies.  Bootstrapping as a self-starting process proceeding without external input is an apt description of the PLC I have launched for my colleagues to shadow and lurk as I lead the way.  Though budget is lacking for curriculum packages, I have shared open educational resources to help level-up learning by students and staff.

Innovator’s Mindset Blog #2 Student Voice+Choice=Meeting Needs with Innovation+Impact

I opted to address #IMMOOC Week 2 Prompt 3:

Discuss one of the “characteristics of the Innovator’s Mindset” Infographic and  a give an example of how you exemplify this in your work (teaching or leading).


This Sylvia Duckworth Sketch I have shared most with colleagues captures George Couros 8 Characteristics of the Innovator’s Mindset.  The facet I think best fits the work I do on a daily basis as School Library Media Specialist is #2 Problem Finders because most of my routine interactions involve personalized problem-solving.  These require collaboration with students and teachers to help articulate and clarify their inquiries.  Identifying the true information need is the first step and good communication is essential.  Pew Internet Report (2013) titled Library Services in the Digital Age identifies the most important reason for users coming to the library is seeking help finding information and school libraries connect students with a wide range of print and digital formats.  The bulk of my engagement with students and teachers involves sharing information just in time at a personal point of contact.  Library skills and Tech skills are integrated with classroom activities so that literacy instruction is ongoing throughout the student’s knowledge creation process.


#IMMOOC readings, live sessions, and social media leave me with three big ideas that will help me to create an action plan to make reference more meaningful:

  • Allow students to ask their own questions.
  • Allow students to design their own open-ended inquiry investigations.
  • Achieve proficiency or mastery based on self-assessment (no grades).

conciergeOne innovative view of library assistance as Concierge is suggested by  The Library Concierge Project at Stanford University and a role I hope to model.  Their concept is that just as an exceptional hotel concierge [ii] has the right set of contacts and information to serve as a single point of contact for guests’ needs, library staff ought to be equipped and empowered to assemble the right set of resources and services on behalf of their learning community.

water coolerAnother innovative view I have of the main circulation desk is a learning community water cooler where small groups often share bits and pieces of information with one another.   I do not have a separate office and manage my library work with a constant flow of interruptions as students and teachers stop by with questions.  I have multiple screens and simply shift my attention from library work to student and staff questions.  The best #IMMOOC advise for me this week has been to listen carefully to better understand student questions.

stage managerMy last innovative view of what I do on a daily basis is Stage Manager as I am required to schedule usage and rearrange library space as needed for testing, presentations, research projects, not to mention quiet study.  I like to think the door is open to a big tent where all visitors can access the resources they need to launch open-ended inquiry investigations.  Much has been written in recent years about library as third place so that students and teachers can view the library as an extension of the classroom.



My primary goal is to support the community research process to help members make sense of school library media resources curated to address authentic information needs.  I am thinking of working Genius Hour activities into routine library assessments to help students think out loud, share their inquiry process and inspire other students.  Capturing content for student portfolios to demonstrate proficient literacies is another priority.



Innovator’s Mindset Post 1: Innovation Starts with Question(s)

I was hired this year to create a new position as Library Media Center Director.  This involved merging two separate but adjacent spaces: the Technology Lab run as a co-curricular and the Library run by volunteers.  My first goal has been to have the Library Media Center viewed as one space.  Another task I was given was to break down silos between separate segments of instructional design.  My second goal has been to partner with teachers to create cross-curricular activities that support student-driven inquiry.  The last task I was given was to avoid any activity that required the entire class to attend to a ‘sage on stage’ presentation.  My third goal has been to structure the environment, schedule, and resources to ensure students at all grade levels, open intellectual access as needed with my assistance as ‘guide on the side’.

The first resource I acquired was the book: The Innovator’s Mindset.  It has been my GOTO Playbook as I changed everything about the way the Technology Lab and Volunteer Library were managed in recent years.  I soon discovered there was no budget to plan my PLN work or work my PLN plan.


I have been most struck by the Innovator’s Mindset guiding principal as well as principles to make a difference, to have every activity that engages students make a difference in the way they think about and re-purpose the resources they encounter in the School Library Media Center.  Our parish school community is deeply committed to student service and stewardship, so my last goal is to have students reflect about how they can make things better in their community at large.  Part of our newly drafted LMC Mission Statement states: By improving cross-curricular, values-based, media collections, we believe students contribute responsibly and productively to their learning community and to society as concerned citizens of heaven and earth.

Collaborating with grade level teachers and administrators is a work in progress: