Saturday, April 5, 2008

Examples of Blogs for Professional Development

As Dr. David Tobin notes in Building Your Personal Learning Network, blogs give us access to a variety of information sources and to people of whom we can ask questions, who can provide us with coaching and mentoring and who can challenge or extend our thinking and our professional development. There are a large number of blogs maintained by librarians and information specialists that provide valuable information. Where can we find such blogs? There are many to choose from and one way is to access the blogs of will known bloggers such as Will Richardson. On his blog, you can find links to an extensive list of quality blogs to access.

Deciding on which blogs to discuss in this section was a challenge, as there are a number that I find very beneficial. I look forward to accessing my classmates blogs to learn about some additional quality blogs and bloggers and to include, some additional education blogs to my currently fairly extensive blogroll!

Here are a select few blogs that I find very informative.

1. Anne Davis, EduBlogInsights, works at Georgia State University in the Instructional Technology Center in the College of Education as an Information Systems Training Specialist. She works with faculty, staff and students in the area of instructional technology. She has over 20 years experience as an elementary classroom teacher, an instructional lead teacher, a reading specialist, and an instructional technology specialist. Under the title of her blog she has written, 'Comments, reflections and occasional brainstorms' which does reflect what a blog should be about. Anne has covered many topics of interest on her blog, such as collaboration, conferences, evaluation, literacy, professional development, social networking, teaching, Web 2.0, writing and many more. We can access her numerous blogs, leave comments and learn from her, as "Edublog is a place to reflect, discuss, and explore possibilities for the use of weblogs in education." (Anne Davis)

2. David Warlick's, 2CentsWorth is a familiar blog to many of us. He is a well known blogger and speaker who has a wealth of information to share, ranging from assessment to conferences, to evaluation, to the digital divide and many more. I appreciate Warlick's open mindedness, his knowledge and his ability to share. When reading on his blog 'About this Blog', I was impressed by his focus for his blog, that he writes to have his ideas criticized, deconstructed, recombined, added to, and when possible, to be used. According to David with regards to his blog, "It is a conversation. I blog to learn. I do not promise answers here. I will ask far more questions." I have and will continue to learn a great deal from David Warlick!

3. Doug Johnson speaks from the viewpoint of librarian and educational technology leader in his The Blue Skunk Blog . He is an author and speaker in the school library world. His blogs are quite amusing, full of witty comments while encouraging his readers to think about libraries and technology in a different way. According to Johnson, he created this blog so that is a convenient way for people to respond to his writing or presentations, a sounding board for ideas he is currently thinking or writing about. Why Blue Skunk? Check out his blog to find the answer! A very valuable and informative blog for librarians.

4. Jenny Levine, The Shifted Librarian, focuses on changes to the role libraries play as information becomes more portable and technology becomes more prevalent. She is on top of new developments, and travels widely so is able to provide on-the-spot conference reports. Levine’s goal according to Library Journal 2003 is to help librarians become technologically adept so that they can deliver services when and where they wish to use them in their preferred medium and platform. She often posts information about ‘cool tools,’ along with comments about how librarians could use them in their daily work. Some history behind Levine is that when the world wide web came along, she was one of the first librarians out there, finding the good information and material and sharing it with her colleagues in training sessions. In 1995 she created the Librarians’Site du Jour web site where she reviewed a reference web site in detail every day to convince librarians that the web was extremely useful for everyday reference and to give them a reason to make visiting the web a daily habit. She is known for her knowledge of technology gadgets. Her web log convinces many librarians to consider how new technologies might extend services beyond the normal boundaries of location and time. She is very good at explaining our profession and the role of technology in it. As Jenny Levine keeps telling librarians, the time to shift is now, hence the name, The Shifted Librarian!

5. Joyce Valenza's Neverending Search This site is a well known and favorite listed site for librarians. Take a look at it to see why if you haven't already and go to her other sites as well. Librarians and educators are encouraged to join any discussion about emerging technologies, searching and information fluency. Her blogs are frequently focused on a discussion of information fluency, teaching and learning in the 21st century.

6. Judy O’Connell, Hey Jude blog comes out of Australia by a very 'forward thinking' Librarian. She discusses education-related items in general, provoking her readers to take a more criticial look at education and technology. I like what she has to say on her well organized blog. The HeyJude blog she has a section called Judy's Web 2.0 Notes where you can access information about blogging, and various Web 2.0 tools that she feels are beneficial to students and educators. She includes a video clip from YouTube about Will Richardson speaking to blogging and a list of her favorite edu-bloggers. Judy was awarded Best Librarian blog at the 2006 EduBlog awards. (see her comment that she left on my blog in response to SNS security issues and concerns from last week's blog assignment)

7. If you are not sure that you want to blog independently, then you could try getting some of your colleagues at school or fellow librarians to work together on a blog. Library Garden is an example of a blogger-born site where there are a number of contributing members. It was started by Peter Bromberg at South Jersery Regional Library Cooperative, with Janie Herman at Princeton Public Library. Library Garden began after the three teacher librarians introduced some Web 2.0 tools to the Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative's executive board. According to one member, Robert Lackie, “it has become a just-right mixture of a librarian groupgenerated blog, creating an ongoing conversation among librarians with differing perspectives (public, academic, school, consortial, youth), but with one shared goal: ensuring the health and relevance of libraries."

8. Will Richardson, Weblogg-ed is another very popular blogger. His blog is one of the oldest edublogs on the internet. Richardson blogs about teaching technolgy and literacy in schools. He actually has an entry that is about blogs on bloggers who blog on his wiki. Will provides ongoing inspiration for educators. His site is dedicated to discussions and reflections on the use of various Web 2.0 tools. He focuses on Weblogs, wikis, RSS, audiocasts and other Read/Write Web related technologies in the K-12 realm, technologies that are transforming our classrooms.


Val said...

Hey Jude is my favourite blog. I really enjoy Judy's style and inforamtion.

Linda Morgan said...

I like the idea of a group blog -the posting about offensive material (I'm referring to the pinatas) in the Library Garden link was interesting. Thanks.