The end of the school year is quickly approaching and we are all looking forward to some rest and time to recoup from our busy year. Probably the last thing we want to think about at this moment is putting our brains to work on something new. But after our initial break, if the urge strikes that you now have time to get into something new or review a program, idea, or book you’ve been putting aside, here are some things you might consider doing.
Create a Scoop.It page to start curating articles or blog postings that focus on a specific topic that you are interested in, such as literacy, makerspaces or using apps in the classroom. I have found that this is a good way to keep up on topics throughout the school year that interest me.
Join edWeb.net. They have a variety of different groups that provide webinars that you can watch in real time or go back and watch the archived versions. Groups that might interest librarians are: Digital Citizenship, College and Career Readiness, SLC @ The Forefront, Digital Learning Resources: OER to DIY and my favorite Emerging Tech: Using Technology to Advance Your School Library Program with Michelle Luhtala.
AASL eCOLLAB has webinars, podcasts, and other presentations posted for members to watch at their convenience. Topics covered include: collaboration, information literacy, learning commons, instruction, and advocacy among others.
YALSA offers short instructional videos on its YALSA Academy Youtube channel covering social media, technology tools, programming, advocacy, collection development, and other topics. YALSA also has webinars posted on a variety of topics that deal with teens and services, technology and reading for its members.
Check out past and current webinars on TL Virtual Café for conversations on technology, collaboration and life-long learning skills.
Most school districts provide summer PD sessions for their teachers, see what is being offered in your location. Look for sessions that might not necessarily be library focused but that you can use as a starting point for a collaboration idea with your teachers. If you are interested in learning something that is not necessarily library specific also check out the Gale Courses that are available at most public libraries.
For the relaxing route to PD, grab your iPad, pull up a deck chair and start reading all of those blogs that you said you were going to look at during the school year but never found the time. Start with catching up on past posts from Knowledge Quest that you might have missed. Here are a few other blog suggestions to try: True Adventures of a High School Librarian (Nikki Robertson), 500 Hats / the teacher librarian in the 21st century (Barbara Braxton), Renovated Learning (Diana Redina), NeverEnding Search (Joyce Valenza), The Adventures of Library Girl (Jennifer LaGarde), and The Unquiet Librarian (Buffy Hamilton).
Search Twitter for #hashtag topics that you are interested in and see what others had to say about it. I have found some good links and information this way. Read those journals you have stacked up on your desk that you were going to get to when things calmed down and you had more time to really read and absorb the information in the articles others had written.
However you spend your summer, explore some new ideas and concepts at your own pace to bring back to school in the fall to share with others. Please post any other PD suggestions that you plan on doing over the summer break or your favorite blogs you like to read. Enjoy your vacation!
Author: Joann Absi
I am the media coordinator at Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, NC. I have had positions at elementary, middle and high school libraries during my career. I am a past president of NCSLMA. Currently I am serving as the Communications Chair for NCSLMA and a member of AASL/ALSC/YALSA School/Public Library Cooperation.