Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Power of We

My first tweet, on September 29, 2007, was not exactly brimming with enthusiasm:

Fortunately, I stuck around, eventually adding other sites (Flickr, Facebook, Plurk) to my social networking neighborhood.

Where my blogging has slowed down, the connections I make with professional colleagues, friends, and family are frequent and vibrant. We share resources and photos, make plans to meet, and keep in touch where physical distance precludes face-to-face interaction.

I often refer to myself as an embedded librarian, but social librarian would be just as apt. Yesterday, one of my Facebook friends, Karen Wright-Balbier, along with her collaborators Andrea Keller, Michael Soskil, and Dyane Smokorowski, posted a link to the Kid Wish Project:

"Greetings and welcome to our Kid Wishes 2013-14 Project where we link Life Skills Special Needs Classrooms with Mainstream Classrooms for a Holiday Card and New Years Wish for the World Exchange.  Our hope is by partnering students across the continent for a cultural exchange, we can begin a dialogue of personal perspectives for global positive impact.   We would love for your classrooms to participate for our quick turnaround adventure, make new friends, and share what wishes your students have for 2014."
Andrea has also written a blog posting further explaining the Kid Wish Project.

Since I no longer have students of my own, I volunteered to spread the word on my network. I've received some responses already, and may even get to visit a local classroom to see the project in action.

While Karen, Andrea, Michael, and Dyane are connected educators, their contact lists obviously differ from mine. One voice on Twitter or Facebook is powerful. Our combined voices magnify that power to a significant degree.

Social networking isn't just for idle chitchat. Used in a positive way, it can expand our horizons and enrich the lives of our students.

If it's appropriate for your situation, please consider participating in Kid Wish. If that isn't possible, then take a minute to spread the good word. It's a worthwhile project and a true reflection of what the upcoming holidays are really all about.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In My Life

"Icy reflection" by dmcordell
The house is quiet, on the cusp of a busy Thanksgiving gathering. Time to take a moment for reflection.

How is this retirement gig playing out? Well, I still attend, and give presentations at, professional conferences. I'm active in social networking, and participate in the photo-a-day 365 project (many people I meet f2f for the first time know me through my photos). Occasionally, I visit classrooms via Skype or interact with students as a collaborating teacher at my former school. My online work for CyberSmart Education is interesting and accommodates itself to my travel and family schedule.

What do I value most? Top priority these days is interacting with my granddaughter. Although I was a stay-at-home mom myself, I find that I had forgotten (or maybe I was too busy to fully appreciate) the wonder of discovering the world anew with a young child. I teach her sign language and read stories; she shares her toys and her kisses and her unconditional love. We are a pair.

Another source of satisfaction is functioning as as embedded librarian for my far-flung network of friends and acquaintances. In my definition of the term, that means I find and share resources, connect people, do a bit of research on topics of interest: it's not that I have special talents, it's the fact that I have the unencumbered time that others might lack. I spent years acquiring my teaching and librarian skills, and I'm not about to turn my back on the profession that I love. Besides, I'd be terrible at shuffleboard.

I am thankful for family and friends, reasonable health, travel opportunities, and a comfortable home to anchor my journeys.

I remember the past. I dream of the future. I love the now.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

"Playground fun with Grandma" by Ellen White