Monday, March 7, 2011

Blog or Tweet? Both, I guess.

It's been an embarrassingly long time since I've done an entry here, but in my defense I've been distracted by Twitter.  There are so many amazing people out there who clearly have more time or energy or both than I do, and it is great to be able to take advantage of their skills at locating resources.  I really can't keep up with what I'm learning from others on Twitter, let alone try and figure out a way to contribute myself.

On a trip to Cambodia over our Chinese New Year holiday, I realized just how serious my addiction to Twitter could be if I lived in a country where social networking sites weren't blocked or the internet wasn't slowed every time the government felt nervous.  It was great to stay updated on Twitter just by using my iPod, and to connect with others through also (which is blocked in China for some reason).  TweetDeck was a revelation too!  Having a VPN makes it possible for me to get on these sites in China, but the connections remain unreliable and I'm not technologically-gifted enough to find another answer.

I think, though, that I've been making excuses for myself.  I really need to be taking the time to write on my blog.  It isn't enough to just respond and react like I tend to on Twitter: I need to reflect and write at length to further understand my role in inquiry.  Otherwise, I think I run the risk of not properly developing my own practice as a teacher.  I may just fall into the trap of grabbing onto ideas that appeal to me and not reflecting on my choices.  I love research, and I love to gather information.  I can sometimes be guilty of not taking the time to synthesize.

Thanks to Clive Elsmore for giving me the nudge I needed to get back to reflecting on my practice!


  1. Good to see you back in the saddle, Eileen! There are many reasons to blog, I find, and blogging compliments Twitter very well. Soon you'll be thinking 'wouldn't it be great to share that insight' or 'I wonder if anyone has ever encountered this' and it just starts to flow naturally. When comments come in it's a great feeling to have made a connection - a big bonus! :)

  2. It's been great to make a connection with you!

  3. I would like to connect using this blog. I am so new to Twitter that I can't even figure out how to communicate. Shannon Miller helped us connect.

    I am working on an assignment for a doctorate class that requires that I blog with people in a related field (I am a middle school library media specialist) for several weeks who represents an international perspective. I have to be able to document the my postings for the final refelection assignment.

    I would like to learn more how students and adults in your school and community understand or define information literacy. I would like to learn if other teachers in your school share in the responsibility to model and teach information literacy skills.


  4. Clive - you teach computing? Do people there know the term information literacy? If so, do they use it as an interchangeable term for technology literacy? Kevin

  5. Hi Kevin,

    Sorry for not responding sooner. Book Week that turned into Book Month(!) has been keeping me away from blogging.

    It has become part of my job as TL to help our school to define information literacy. We started the process by first finding out what the Elementary school homeroom teachers are already doing to teach what they feel are information literacy skills (range from alphabetical order to paraphrasing/note taking). Unfortunately, the process stalled there, as we need our Secondary school to provide the same information before we can move on.

    The plan is to create a Nursery-12 continuum for information literacy. We believe that a lot of what we think students need is already being done, but we want to get it into a continuum, so we can see the progress and determine the best time for students to learn certain skills.

    I have come to define my role as a TL as support for classroom learning. I do not teach separate library lessons. These decisions have made it very clear that all teachers have to take on the "responsibility to model and teach information literacy skills."

    Does this approach an answer to your question?


  6. Hi Kevin,
    Sorry I missed your question. Yes, I teach computing. No, my adult students (Sri Lankan English teachers, mostly) don't know the term 'information literacy.' I teach basic computing skills to allow teachers to communicate effectively with overseas partners and to give them the ability to research and find resources themselves. There's a big practical bias to our work and I tend to avoid jargon unless necessary.