Thursday, January 22, 2009

7 Things

@capohanka and @taniasheko tagged me to participate in a meme.  A meme is a venue for one to share seven things that your readers might not know about you.  I'm several weeks late with this post but better late then never.

  1. Both of my parents are from Puerto Rico but met in the states-The Empire State.
  2. I am very fond of anything to do with the fire department.  My dad was a New York City Fireman for 21 years and I have wonderful memories of rides on fire trucks, nights spent in the fire house, and the smell of smoke on his clothes.
  3. I will listen to just about any music except opera. 
  4. I'm a big fan of Star Trek, TNG, BSG and super heroes.  I prefer DC over Marvel.
  5. I qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 1500m in 1988-nope I didn't make the team.
  6. I considered going to med school but found I enjoyed teaching more.  You're never too old to go to med school right?
  7. My bride and I went camping for 2 weeks on our honeymoon and we're still together.
Ok, so I'm supposed to tag 7 hmmm...


Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Personal Learning Network(PLN) is the New Reference Librarian

In the fall of 2008, our school joined PLP-Powerful Learning Practice. At our opening meeting, we were encouraged by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson to develop our PLN or Personal Learning Network. As a node within an expanding network, the PLN improves the probability that one will come in contact with those individuals who can assist us with in my case, technological aspirations, endeavors, and questions. However, it is the unique 2 way nature of the PLN that strengthens, validates, and ensures the reliability of the information within the network.

Well back to the title of this post. Having done a number of research papers during my tenure as a student and a teacher in training, I cannot emphasize the importance of reference librarians. Their acuity for detail and the vast quantities of information that they seem to absorb daily is astounding. However, the availablity of this resource is often limited to face 2 face meetings and email. As Web 2.0 technologies often do, an opportunity for a new paradigm in this arena has taken form and the tool is Twitter.

Now I have not written a research paper in a few years, so my reliance on reference librarians has been minimal but for several months now, I have relied heavily on my PLN via Twitter to gather information both actively and passively. Everyday my PLN provides me with some pearl of wisdom or a response to a query and I can only hope that I am able to do the same for those who have included me in their PLN.

Nevertheless, because I am Still Learning, I am grateful to have my very own PLN/Web 2.0 reference librarian.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Leading from Behind

Over the past several weeks, I have participated in a number of online meetings, school committee meetings, elluminate sessions, skype calls, ning threads, and tweets. The amount I have learned from my Personal Learning Network during this time has been incredible. The amount and willingness to share is unmatched by any other forum where I have been a participant.

So here is my struggle.

How do we incorporate this new idea in schools without coming across as having consumed too much kool-aid?

As of late, I have opted to do this utilizing the strategy-leading from behind. Although this is not a strategy I prefer, I have found that when working in a traditional school culture, change is slow in coming. However, if one arms teachers and administrators with tools that can enhance their personal and professional endeavors there is often a willingness to explore.

With that, my latest effort has been to use a Ning as a means to provide ongoing dialog for the curriculum committee. In so doing, the Ning will provide a venue for ongoing dialog and sharing to occur and it will provide many teachers and administrators with an opportunity to model and participate in a web 2.0 application that is in nonthreatening environment.

If this format is successful, I hope other committees and or classes will start to utilize this effective tool.

Wish us luck!