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5 Reasons to View a ProQuest Webinar!

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Professional development is pivotal for any educator to stay on top of trends, utilize tools, and prepare themselves for success in the classroom or library. Here are five reasons to register for a live session or watch a recorded ProQuest webinar or video today:

1. Use It or Lose It. Money doesn’t grow on trees and neither does your budget. With every precious budget dollar, you want to make sure you are using every resource effectively. Since each ProQuest webinar is with a live person, that means you can ask questions and learn from a professional how resources can match your individual needs. And if you watch a recorded webinar, trainers are available via email to answer any questions.

2. New Updates and Products. ProQuest products are updated regularly to stay relevant for educators. Webinars help you stay on top of the latest updates to products like CultureGrams, eLibrary, SIRS and ProQuest Research Companion.

3. Educator Tools. You may not realize that ProQuest products have many useful educator tools to help apply resources to your curriculum. Many webinars focus on tools to make your work easier like curriculum guides, note organizers, activities, lesson plans, and tutorials

4. Just Like Coffee, Training Can Be Customized. If your class or topic of interest isn’t posted on the online schedule, that’s OK! Help is just an email away. Contact the team at training@proquest.com and they will schedule a class for you.

5. Equipped Teachers Light Fires. When you are fully equipped with the best educational tools and resources, then you are prepared to equip your students as lifelong learners. You are the spark that lights their fire and passion for learning. Then the possibilities are endless!

ProQuest training resources are available to help you. Sign up or watch a video today!

An Exceptional “Unconference” Experience: EdCamp Tampa Bay

On October 10, 2015, I had the privilege of participating in the first-ever EdCamp Tampa Bay (#EdCampTB), hosted by Plato Academy Charter School in Clearwater, Florida. There were over 120 educators in attendance, representing schools from all over Florida and other states as well. Many others from around the world also virtually joined in the event.

EdCamp Tampa Bay Logo (Credit: EdCamp Tampa Bay)

Credit: EdCamp Tampa Bay

What Is EdCamp?

Since the original Edcamp in 2010 there have been over 700 conferences around the world in 25 countries. Not familiar with EdCamp? Watch a video here.

EdCamp is a free, democratic, participant-driven professional development for K-12 educators worldwide. EdCamps are:

  • free
  • non-commercial and conducted with a vendor-free presence
  • hosted by any organization interested in furthering the EdCamp mission
  • made up of sessions that are determined on the day of the event
  • events where anyone who attends can be a presenter
  • reliant on the “law of two feet” that encourages participants to find a session that meets their needs

Here’s an excerpt from an Edutopia blog post by EdCamp Co-Founder Kristen Swanson:

“The edcamp model provides educators with a sustainable model for learning, growing, connecting, and sharing. Everyone’s expertise is honored, and specific, concrete strategies are exchanged. When professional development is created ‘for teachers by teachers,’ everyone wins.”

The First EdCamp Tampa Bay

"Building the Board" (Credit: Becky Beville)

“Building the Board” (Credit: Becky Beville)

At registration, all participants were asked to write on two post-it notes one thing they wanted to learn, and one that they wanted to share. These ideas were used to “build the board” of topics to be covered in each of the 45-minute sessions. There were 27 sessions available that covered a wide variety of educational trends and topics. Examples include educational technology and apps (augmented reality, robotics and coding, podcasts), classroom management (flipped classrooms, Mindset), MakerSpaces, gifted education, book clubs, ways to use play and games in the classroom, and many more. A Google document was also created for each session to facilitate posting and sharing by participants.

The event coincided with Global Cardboard Challenge Day http://cardboardchallenge.com/, and Plato Academy students presented their projects in the #cardboardchallenge. Other highlights of the day were an interactive MakerSpace session, more student demonstrations of new educational products and technologies, and the “App Smackdown”–a kind of ‘lightning round’ where educators were allowed 2 minutes to share their favorite tool or app. Generous donations by the event’s many sponsors provided free breakfast, lunch and snacks to the attendees, as well as many valuable raffle prizes and other free goodies.

Not being an educator myself, I’m grateful to the event organizers who graciously allowed me to attend. I was absolutely blown away by the caring, creative, inspiring, brilliant, dedicated, and enthusiastic educators who gave up a Saturday to learn new ways to reach students and share their knowledge, experience and expertise with others. If you are a K-12 teacher or administrator, a school district leader, a staff member at a public or private school, or even a post-secondary educator, and are looking for a meaningful professional development opportunity, I would highly recommend attending an upcoming EdCamp near you!

Wonderful Ways to Connect with Other Teacher Librarians Throughout the Month

ConnectionsBy Shannon McClintock Miller, Teacher Librarian, Featured Blogger

My days are filled with connections.

We are a district of approximately 600 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. All of our students, teachers, and administrators are in one building filled with learning, noise, and a whole lot of fun. I connect with the children within the library and throughout our school. These are my favorite connections and I cherish each one of them as we learn, create, and grow together. I also connect with teachers within my building and parents throughout our community.

The students, teachers and I connect with teachers, librarians and classrooms, authors, illustrators, experts, publishers, and others around the world using Skype, Google Hangout, and other digital tools. I connect with educators and librarians within my state and world through phone calls, emails, and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Diigo, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. We have created an amazing network of teacher librarians, which includes mentorship, collaboration and especially friendship. I love what this has brought to all of us and we are always so welcoming to new friends who join our personal learning networks too.

There are several events and places that I would like to highlight and encourage you to connect with as well. I promise there is something for everyone within these different communities and events.

tlchat#TLChat

Twitter is my main place to connect with others so it is only natural that I mention #TLChat first. #TLChat is a 24/7 conversation with teacher librarians all over the world who are sharing what is happening in their libraries, connecting for special projects, sharing celebrations, books, digital tools and technologies, and so much more. By using this hashtag, you are instantly connecting with wonderful teacher librarians and new friends. When you are in #TLChat on the Twitter website, you can even view all of the photos that have been tweeted and shared within #TLChat too. I love looking here because I see the photos and ideas that I might have missed before.

My amazing friend Joyce Valenza wrote Let’s Start #TLChat in April 2013 on her Neverending Search blog on the School Library Journal website. This community and conversation has been growing ever since. From this hashtag, three more communities have started.

TL Virtual Cafe

The first is TL Virtual Cafe. TL Virtual Cafe is a live webinar within Blackboard Collaborate. You can find the link on the wiki and also it is shared via Twitter and Facebook each month. TL Virtual Cafe is the 1st Monday of the month at 8:00pm EST. As this image from the TL Virtual Cafe wiki states….The TL Virtual Cafe is committed to creating conversations about teacher-librarians, educational technology, and collaborative connections to facilitate meaningful and lifelong learning skills.

Back-To-School Special: The Back-To-School Special was the first TL Virtual Cafe event this year. You can check out the archive on the wiki page for this webinar. Gwyneth, Tiffany, and Jennifer did such an incredible job….It was one fun filled hour you must check out. The archive of the September 16th….Back-To-School Follow Up from TLCafe webinar can be found here.

Monthly #TLChat 

The 2nd Monday of each month at 8:00pm EST is #TLChat…..a high energy hour of wonderful connecting and sharing on Twitter. Each month there is a topic and several teacher librarians contributing to the conversation.

Schedule

 

TL News Night

News Night

The newest event is TL News Night. It is on the 3rd Monday of each month at 8:00pm EST. TL News Night is held with a Google Hangout that is LIVE. The six TL News Night Anchors are from all grade levels and different parts of the country, which add an interesting and unique perspective to the conversation. On September 23rd, we hosted the very first TL News Night. You can access the archive here. It was so much fun and really nice to recap our month within these communities during TL News Night.

So as you can see, no matter what you are interested in, no matter where you live, no matter what type of librarian you are, there is always a conversation and community just for you. These free professional development opportunities have connected me to other teacher librarians and educators. Even though I am the only teacher librarian at Van Meter School, I am constantly surrounded by colleagues, mentors, and friends.

We can’t wait to have you join us. Please check out the websites I have mentioned for what is coming up in October and reach out to me on Twitter @shannonmmiller or anyone mentioned above if you have questions or need a friend to start with.


Shannon

Shannon McClintock Miller is the district teacher librarian at Van Meter Community School, Iowa. She encourages her students to have a voice while learning, creating, collaborating, and connecting to others within their school and around the world.

Featured bloggers spotlight education professionals who are friends of ProQuest and Share This mission to provide solutions for lifelong learning. If you would like to be a featured blogger, we would love to hear from you! Contact Christie Riegelhaupt, Supervising Editor, to get started.