Connecting With Shannon Miller
I have previously shared that Shannon McClintock Miller inspired me to create this blog and to become a connected teacher librarian. I heard her speak at the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media Conference in 2014. Since taking up these practices that year (and learning more about Twitter through our assistant principal, Mathew Thornton), my professional life has forever changed. I've been blessed with thousands of new educator friends that have helped me improve for the students and teachers I serve.
I'm a firm believer in telling people when they inspire me. I have wanted to tell Shannon how she impacted me since 2014, but didn't have the opportunity until this year. A few weeks ago, Lynn Kleinmeyer, my teacher librarian friend from Nebraska told me she was going to arrange for me to meet Shannon via Facetime. It just so happened that Shannon was speaking at a library conference in Nebraska, and Lynn knows her! When Lynn told me this news, I was so excited that this might happen! I knew I wouldn't have long to visit with Shannon, and I started thinking through what I would share.
|It was fun to visit with Shannon!|
Connecting With Kimee Clift
|Kaitlyn shares with Kimee via Skype.|
We connected for our first Mystery Skype with Kimee's students on Friday, October 28th. It was so exciting to see both groups of students engaged as they tried to determine their opponent's location. Afterwards, the students just visited and compared life at each school. Kimee and I would have probably never pulled this off if not for social media. The best takeaway of all is that we got to see Kimee "be the change" for her learners. The Tweet she sent after the session says it all:
Kimee's reflection after her first Mystery Skype:
"The kids absolutely loved it. They loved being able to connect with other students their age and trying to figure out where they were from. They were begging to do it again. I am excited about the connections I have made through Skype and all the possibilities it holds for myself and the students. I want them to be empowered and realize there is a whole world of learning available to them outside the normal classroom."
|Coach Lawson's learners were so engaged during our Mystery Skype!|
|Mrs. Clift's students on our screen for Mystery Skype action.|
A Conference Presentation Via Skype
|Laura and I visited via Skype prior to their session.|
On the day of the event, I connected my Microsoft Surface sound through our home stereo system and the video through our television. It was like I was at the session with Laura and Edie. It was very inspiring to learn about the things they are both doing in North Carolina. It is a day I will never forget! The connection with Laura and Edie would have never happened if I had never heard Shannon Miller speak and put those practices into action.
|Laura and Edie, my new friends in North Carolina!|
|We can connect anywhere via Skype. These are the session attendees!|
So in some ways, things have come full circle. I realize, now, that none of this is about us individually. It is about us connecting together and helping one another be better for our learning communities. It is about inspiring each other with our library learning stories. It is about "becoming the change" in our schools and personal learning networks. It is an exciting time to be an educator!
How the Arkansas Department of Education featured our library program in a video!
Are We Future Ready Librarians?
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