There was a point in my lifetime when researching any topic was limited by my proximity to the resources. Driving to one library or another library to locate a specific title, a novel, primary sources, a newspaper article, or a professional journal’s latest findings. Through technological advances a new researching technique emerged in which information became nearly infinitely accessible with no regards to proximity. Honestly, my research moments are limited. That is, my searches are not used to locate statistics or the data from a recent study regarding the seven or eight you old learner. However, my interest lies in how to use the results to produce a learning environment, to teach with best practices in mind, to observe the real-life applications of research, and to enhance my base of knowledge and understanding. I imagine this is why, where, when, and how blogging was birthed. Clicking from one blog to another and reading from new blogs and blog authors, I find friends, colleagues, and mentors. Continuously drawn to a newer idea, a more applicable topic, a prettier page, or an unrelated subject, and suddenly, hours pass. Creating a blog reader accounts http://www.bloglovin.com/ and allowed me the freedom to learn from other educators around the world and offered an easy return for new connections to grow. Addictive? Maybe. I imagine my reactions likened to others’ obsessive behaviors with positive results.
It started something like this. While flipping through Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/ trying to find teaching ideas, behavior management ideas, and library teacher information, “pinning” often led me to amazing blogs!! I created a page for third grade, second grade, classroom management, pretty things, and honestly, more titles that would not make sense to a brain other than my own. This was my way that I could organize internet places I wanted to revisit. However, as far as organization, this did not meet the best standards because while the photographs were a good reference, the path to refine these blogs was more complicated. I’d bookmark blogs, but because I use at least four devices, both mac and pc, I rarely returned to the bookmark tabs or became frustrated with lost information. I created a notebook full of URLs and hand-drawn icons to return and reference, but as luck would have it, my notebook of “Fabulous Finds” was often found in a place where I was not.
Then, I stumbled across “Bloglovin” . Not only was I able to access this on my mac, when snuggled in a blanket on the couch, but accessibility through my iPhone using the app lit up an unforeseen dimension of searching for ideas and professional development while waiting for dance to end, and opening Bloglovin on my school’s pc, offers immediate collaboration with teammates regarding curriculum improvements or ideas. Blogloviin’s simple login grants the novice opportunities to file blogs quickly and permit notifications of additions, changes, and new bogs to be emailed to the reader. I am in love with my morning emails from Bloglovin!
Just after deciding to would pursue my dream of library and media studies, I searched for mentorship. Who I found would remain two favorite blogger librarians. First, Shannon McClintock Miller writes an extremely interact blog, The Library Voice which led me to several other blogs including her shared blog, Two Libraries One Voice At one time, Two Libraries One Voice combined Shannon’s expertise with the other favorite librarian blogger, Mr. Schu at Watch.Read.Connect and focused on book clubs and book celebrations for students. Included in this blog, a note from another blogger who linked “Two Libraries One Voice” to her blog and like me, felt excitement of librarianship swirl sweetly around her. Shannon’s writing style, her enthusiasm, and her technology and literature knowledge invite her audience to return again and again. On the other hand, in a different stlye, Mr. Schu’s blog’s book reviews, video handiwork, author interviews, and award challenges create nothing less than a round-trip only ticket for frequent returns as well as a very child-safe reference for book talks!
Lately, my blog searches have led me to other forms of inspiration and guidance. In an effort to try both blog reader platforms, I opened the feedly.com blog reader and searched for classroom management, second grade teachers, behavior plans, vocabulary lessons, technology, and let’s not forget, school libraries. With great ease, I clicked to save the blog and immediately prompted to organize the blog into a category. I adore this feature! This permits me to easily access my favorite blogs for student viewing, collaborating with others, and rereading inspiring ideas.
It’s safe to say that what seems like the peeking into blogs just weeks ago, grew into a thriving obsession of reading, researching, connecting, and observing. While I am not in close proximity to these mentors, and I may never shake their hands (It is true that I may try very hard), they are driving the pace of teaching, learning, and libraries in the 21st century and I intend to press on my pedal to maintain speed.