Since the ultimate goal is to become a school media specialist, I thought I’d check out some library blogs! I started with the suggested Edublog award winners of 2013 and immediately fell in love with The Daring Librarian because she had an hilarious disclaimer, “I also reserve the right to misspell words, make wild generalizations, have unfounded opinions, and be snarky. Snarky is not a crime. Just in case”. I knew I was going to love this lady. And I did. Immediately, I followed her on Twitter so I can always stay in touch with this new friend. After reading her About section, I learned a great deal–she has some recognition that I hadn’t even heard of before, one of which is a Google Teacher. Well, that is something new to learn about. I also note that she served on the 2011-2014 ISTE Board of Directors representing all PK-12 educators and school librarians! Since that is a focus in our class right now, I thought I would mention it! So back to the blog…you really should check this out. Her blog is PACKED FULL of all things kids love: super heroes, star wars, Pokémon, scavenger hunts…really, the list goes on. She shares the fun things going on at Murray Hill Middle School through memes and real life selfies on her edublog. She also blogs about the history of the school in a fun way–through pictures that show the changes over the years. Such a fun idea! Overall, her goal seems to be a variety of things–awareness, self-promotion, and her edublog is more focused on her school. This is an extremely effective blog. It will draw in the reader, especially those at her school and community. In addition, it is a great support to the librarian community. I really could go on about this blog, but I better move on…
Since the last two blogs I viewed were for middle school, I figured I’d check out a High School blog. Again, I love the award winners, so I clicked the Edublog award winners of 2013 again and found The True Adventures of a High School Librarian . “Nikki is a veteran educator, librarian and Instructional Technology Facilitator for James Clemens High School”. Her goal seems to be communication and her page definitely looks more “high schoolish” than The Daring Librarian because it has less neon and more words on the page. However, she has great pictures of the students! She had a campout in the library, which looked like so much fun! When I saw that, I HAD to follow her on Twitter! I look forward to more fun ideas from her. Compared to The Daring Librarian, this page seems more realistic and “doable”. I definitely would want to incorporate a blog like this into my own school library as it is an excellent tool for communication that I think could easily be added to our website. I also think that my blogs would encourage other teachers to blog by seeing the tweets and posts on our site, they would be excited to do the same.
Since I had so much success with the Edublog winners, I decided to choose one more from that source. I found the Unpretentious Librarian, which is much different that the other two, yet it still was clearly a winner! Sue Fitzgerald’s goal seems to be to focus on educating and presenting information to both students and other librarians. For example, she shares information about ebooks, (Can You Say eBook Success?, Ways to Make Your eBook Program Soar, and Integrating eBooks into Your Library Program) something that students and librarians really want to know more about, but they are intimidated about getting started. She also has a post dedicated to “Killer Thriller” books to encourage reading since it is that spooky time of year. She also posts her favorite tools with links, which is really extensive. I can’t wait to check some of those out! With all of her tools and information on ebooks, I think this is an effective blog based on her goals.
I’m pondering the question posed by Mike, “How might you use professional blogs for professional development?”. I definitely think my own personal professional development will increase by reading blogs. It already has! I have learned how other media specialists are communicating with the school body and the community. I also see that they are using blogs as a form of historical chronicling for the school. I posted in one of our discussion forums that I wasn’t quite sure that blogging would be as effective as simple tweets, but after taking another swim in the blog pool, I can see that Tweets only scratch the surface. I am in love with blogging!
I am pretty excited about the potential for using blogs in the educational setting. The article from Teach Thought, 52 Education Blogs You Should Follow states, that we should blog,”simply because blogs are an ever-increasing way to spark ideas, creativity, and innovation”. Dr. Eide also shares in his post Brain of the Blogger that “blogs can promote critical and analytical thinking” in that “words must–by their very nature–be analyzed, organized, and interpreted before they can be understood, providing more time for critical reflection”. He compares blogging to traditional news (newspapers, TV, and other formal media) and makes the point that readers are likely to buy into the experience because of the time for reflection. This is so true! I find that the blogs I enjoy are new and fresh ideas and the reflection from the blogger. I’d love to read some of your thoughts on this idea. What makes blogs valuable to you?
Eide, Drs. “Brain Of The Blogger”. Eideneurolearningblog.blogspot.com. N. p., 2005. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.
Teachthought.com. N. p., 2016. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.