School libraries often extend their resources beyond a brick and mortar room. Digital resources are collected, curated, and shared. Many school librarians use Pinterest, Padlet, and hyper docs to curate resources. Yet, there are many more ways to collect, curate, and share digital resources.
Being a connected educator, in my opinion, is one of the easiest and most meaningful actions an educator can do to grow professionally. My professional practice was completely changed once I truly became connected. Sure, I’d had and used social media personally for years before making a conscious effort to seek out and connect with other educators. Being connected is a great way to collect resources, information, and ideas to share with your teachers and students. I have collected so many new ideas from my digital personal learning network. Connections online can also provide a collection of people you can turn to for help. I love being able to jump on Twitter or Facebook and ask a question. Connecting online can extend your library by providing a wealth of physical, digital, and human resources.
Wakelet has become one of my favorite curation tools. I have begun to use it not only to curate resources for teachers but to also curate my professional resources. I’ve created a Wakelet thread with webinars and virtual guest lectures that I’ve led. This allows me to share that information quickly and provides a place for me to keep everything organized. A math teacher asked for YouTube channels similar to that of Tyler Tarver. Using Wakelet, I was able to quickly compile a list of channels for her and share the entire list quickly. Instead of sending multiple links to these resources, I was able to share the single link to the Wakelet board. Wakelet also connects to Google Classroom, making it a one-stop site for student curation and resource sharing. We also use Wakelet to archive our monthly Twitter chats.
I use the URL shortener Bitly to share resources. It’s easy to use and free to create a login. Not only does it provide a shortened link to share, it also allows customization of the link. As I curated a Padlet board for a health teacher recently, he asked for the link to the resources to be easy to remember. No problem! He was teaching stress management, so I used that and his name in the link: bit.ly/larosestress. Bitly also collects data that can be analyzed and used as evidence. Bitly tracks the total clicks of a link, where the link was clicked (Facebook, Twitter, email/direct) online, and where globally the link is being used. Extending your library by sharing digital resources and tracking the use of the resources provides insight into how your resources are being used and which are the most popular resources.
Author: Ashley Cooksey
Library Media Specialist in Arkansas. Self-proclaimed geek. Lover of nature and music. Always learning.