Social Networking for Information Professionals – that’s me?

Personal Definition:

Social networking occurs when groups of people, who share a specific concern or interest, connect with each other to share, compare and collaborate with each to expand knowledge, understanding and learning. A community forms that enriches members through sharing, commenting, helping, feedback, advice and support.


Use of Social Network Technologies so far:

I have been using a number of social networking technologies in my role as Primary school teacher since 2006 – most of these technologies stem from the class blog and the resulting connections and collaborations made with other teachers and classes around the world. Social networking technologies have allowed me (and my students) to feel as if we are learning for real purposes and in real or authentic ways.

Social networking has resulted in meeting other teachers and educational professionals from around the world – both in each other’s classrooms and at conferences and in homes. The feelings of being a part of a community, and the responsibilities that entails made the learning that was happening (both for myself professionally and for the students in my classroom) vitally important, meaningful and bigger than just attending school.

Some of the social networking sites I currently use are:

  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Picassa
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Linkedin

It is interesting to note that it is difficult to separate them into work, personal or study groups as they overlap so much.

Now in my second year as a Teacher Librarian I want to learn how to use social networking technologies to:

  •  Expand the opportunities of students across the school – to demonstrate and use social networking technologies to connect with information: experts, peers, an audience and collaborators for their learning.
  • Support teaches in their use of these technologies for personal professional development and classroom use (to flatten walls and connect to the “outside” world).
  • Harness the powers of these technologies to enhance the usefulness and authenticity of the school library in its role of providing information and recreational services to the school.

Expectations of INF506:

I expect to transfer or transform what I know about social networks and social media into a basis for pedagogically sound, innovative and authentic uses in the school library setting.

I expect to see best practice libraries and the uses they have for social media.

I expect to become far more knowledgeable on the legalities and technicalities of using social media and social networks across a whole school setting.

I expect to build a Professional Learning Network of informational professionals who can guide, support and who I can learn alongside of.

I expect to learn and think and collaborate and question and do!

Image: ‘Jump on the social media bandwagon‘ By Matt Hamm

The Joy of ISTE – The Joy of Learning

Thousands of kilometres and many hours away from San Diego and ISTE 2012 I am buoyed and excited by the tweets and blog posts that are coming thick and fast from the USA.

From feeling very envious and slightly jealous of the social happenings and get-togethers that are being shared, I am now inspired by watching the learning that is taking place by the attendees:

ideas – tweeted  from workshops

discovery – of personal connections to these ideas

joy –  when realising the relevance of the ideas

plans – to try the ideas back home

sharing –  the discovery with others via twitter and blogs

elaborating  – on the first idea

collaborating – and hooking up with others who are sharing the idea

curiosity – about where the idea has come from

looking up – researching some background

thinking – how the new idea fits with what you do

buzzing –  with excitement

possibilities – bouncing around in your head

new ideas

What an authentic and wonderful snapshot of learning taking place.

Thoughts, theories and practices being shaped and grown in a positive and supportive atmosphere of “it is possible”.

I can only imagine the opportunities and experiences that await classrooms when the attendees return.

Thank you to everyone who has tweeted and blogged ISTE 2012 into my life this past week or so.


Image: #271 eLearning


2009 – The Year That Was

2009 was a huge year of personal learning outside of my classroom and I’d like to recognise that the opportunities that arose over the past 12 months were a direct result of the work I had been doing in my classroom in 2006, 2007 and 2008 (so thanks to all of those talented and amazing students who taught me so well and allowed me to work along-side them).

2009 presented the chance to share what I had been up to with others far removed from my little classroom in a suburb of Sydney. So here’s how it went:

January – saw me travelling throughout the UK on my Premier’s English Scholarship, making and meeting friends and seeing first hand Games Based Learning in classrooms. I was very excited to attend my first Teachmeet (on my birthday) at BETT09, and amazed to catch up f2f with many of my PLN.


February – March: I had the opportunity to present at a number of conferences and Professional Learning workshops at a local, region and state level, sharing how I used web2.0 technologies in my classroom.



April – May: Back with the DET I was involved with the Blog trial and took part in f2f meetings with like-minded educators from around the state to assist in the department developing a blog platform for all DET students and teachers. Began writing a Narrative Unit for the Curriculum Directorate based on a digital game for use with Stage 2 students.

June – July: Travelled to Washington, USA for NECC09 where I took part in many fantastic workshops, tutorials, discussions and events. Met up with some in my US PLN and joined in my first “Web2.0 Smackdown”! Moved on to Barcelona where I nervously presented at my first international conference, and then learnt a great deal at an imagination conference in Vancouver. Whew! A really busy month or so :-}


August – September: Back at school and trialling a wiiMusic project with my class – fun, interesting and many more possibilities to be explored here! Presented again at Sydney University for eLit (Primary English Teachers Association).

October: Headed back to the US to present at a Visual Literacy Conference in Chicago where I showcased the visual literacy aspects and opportunities of web2.0 tools and applications. Had the chance to visit Yellowstone Park whilst travelling – unbelievable :-0


November: Visited Canberra and Parliament House to receive my National Teaching Award for Excellence by a Teacher. An exciting and really proud moment of my career and year!


December: Found out that my joint proposal for a workshop at ISTE 2010 (in Denver Colorado in June 2010) was accepted so can look forward to further travels mid year 2010 already.


So that’s it – a busy year out of my classroom where I have grown as a learner, presenter and person. I’ve been able to see a bigger picture and refine my thinking in many areas, but have been affirmed in many of my deep beliefs about learning, children, and authenticity.

Thanks to the countless people who have shared so much of themselves with me this year – f2f, on twitter, through blogs and conferences. I love learning with such a diverse and supportive group of dedicated professionals.

With 2010 upon us lets take a breath, think peaceful thoughts and then get on with another great year of learning and sharing. We WILL make a difference!



A big “hat tip” and heart felt thanks to Teaching Australia for the wonderful celebration they put together last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Canberra. The organization of the event, the variety of sessions and the venues were top class and really enjoyable.

There were many highlights:

The ceremony at Parliament House, and meeting the Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard made the honour “real” and won’t be forgotten any time soon.

Meeting the terrific Anne Mirtschin f-2-f. Anne’s friendliness and sense of humour kept me laughing (and talking!) the whole time. PA300334





Sharing the amazing things that are happening in schools around the country, and being inspired by the teachers and leaders who are instigating the innovation and successes. Truly exciting!

Learning new sharing and thinking techniques and strategies courtesy of Eric Frangenheim.PA300336





Talking to teachers and leaders from across the country, across sectors and across stages – thinking, exploring and wondering together – trying to solve problems and make a difference.

Laughing during Peter FitzSimons’ after dinner speech at the National Portrait Gallery. I wish I could tell jokes like that – they just don’t come out funny when I try to re-tell them. Guess you had to be there – ;-0PA290331





The friendliness and support of the Teaching Australia crew – Peter, Anita and Helen. Thanks for your care.

Listening to Andrew Douch reflect on the wonderful opportunities he has taken advantage of whilst remaining true to himself and his beliefs. I like what he said about the need to share what you are passionate about with others – stand up and let people hear what you have to say – its not about you but about the students and what’s best for them.








It was an honour to be part of this celebration / event, it’s not often that teachers are recognised in this way. Thank you to all.