Friday, June 18, 2010

Tech Learning With Friends

Last year, a bunch of friends got together to share the tech tools we were learning about, working with in school, etc. We just sat around a few times over the summer, teaching each other about new tools and having great conversations. We decided to try it again this summer. Summer seems to be a great time for this kind of learning. (We had intended on getting together throughout the school year, but the feel is definitely different in the summer--without the urgency of the school year.)

Yesterday, several of us got together at Katie's house. I can't tell you how nice it was to get together at a house. There is something about sitting around, sharing, chatting, snacking and learning that happens when we are at someone's house. There were teachers there from several schools in and out of our district and we spent a bit of time introducing ourselves and sharing where we were, goals, etc. Each piece that was shared started a great conversation.

Honestly, I can't say that I learned a tool or came away with something I could "Do" today. Instead, it was an inspiring evening with some of my favorite people, talking and learning together. Sharing our successes as well as the challenges of all of this in a comfortable group of learners--how could you beat that?

As an elementary librarian, I have discovered that one of the most important things I can do to support students and teachers is to be a user of many of the new tools for learning. If I am a user of these tools, I have a better menu of options when working with students, collaborating with teachers, etc.

This get-together was exactly what I needed to gather some energy for my own learning. I came in a bit tired and not really sure what I wanted to learn. What I found was that by just listening to everyone, I was inspired to learn some new things over the next few months. So, I came away with lots of new things to think about and some general goals for the summer:

Work on the library website and create something that I can build on throughout the year.

Learn how to edit movies more efficiently.

Use a few new tools like Scratch, Flickr, Googlemaps, etc.

I am upgrading my iPhone and getting a new iPad so that will be lots of new learning for me.

I found this great link today at Edudemic--sharing 100 great tools and I think it will be my starting point for learning. I want to give myself reasons to use some of these tools for my own learning. I want to see what it is these tools can do. I'm not sure which ones I'll start with but there are certainly plenty of options!

I am looking forward to the next get-together with this group of friends in early July. After that, I'll be attending November Learning BLC and I am sure I'll learn a ton there.

So, yesterday's get-together was perfect for me. I feel ready to tackle some new personal learning--excited about the possibilities and happy to have such a great group of people to learn with.


  1. Franki, I learned so much on Thursday. Most of all, like you, I was so inspired by everyone. The amount of questioning, exploring, and learning in those two hours is exactly what my students need time to do. I appreciate all the links to the tech discussed. I have a notebook page full as well.

  2. I had so much fun but I have to admit I was overwhelmed with new ideas when I left. I am thankful for summer to try and learn some new tech. tools. maria


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