Apr 17, 2009

BEDA #17 - It's Social AND It's Networking - Part One

If you wonder why I start most of my blogs with BEDA and a number, I will tell you why again. At the end of March 2009, YA Author Maureen Johnson started a little revolution via Twitter and Ning for people to Blog Every Day April.

Last I heard, there were around 400 folks who have decided to BEDA. It is a commitment, and can be tedious, but the benefits are outstanding. I decided to jump on board for two reasons. I need practice writing and a warm up for National Novel Writing Month. A group of readers/writers on Goodreads.com (look me up - Maureen Brunner) decided that we would participate in our own NaNoWriMo this summer because we are too busy during the other times of the year. Probably most of us are educators. So, BEDA has been my training. Now only if I could lose 100 calories for every word...

The second reason is that I am currently enrolled in a course on learning spaces at Butler University College of Education. I am pursuing my second masters degree as the first leg of my doctoral (I hope) journey. Through my blog I am documenting the process of finding that perfect thesis project and a niche for a doctoral speciality. I am leaning towards online learning environments but I am not giving up my love for YA lit. One of my dreams is to start my own school that is 100% student centered and structured around inquiry based learning, social awareness, and exploring relevant topics found in YA fiction and narrative non fiction.

My co-worker (see @libraryhipster on Twitter) talked to me about micro blogging earlier this year. Over Spring Break I joined up. In less than a month, I have been in contact through reading and sometimes messaging, with more than 100 people/groups. Over 60 of those folks follow my micro blogs as well. My fellow Tweeters include authors, librarians, educators, teens who love to read, gamers, professional associations, news organizations, some weird and freaky but very cool Zombie dude, Darth Vadar, comic book gurus, and many more. I hope I have contributed to Twitter and my followers information flow in some positive way because I have gotten so much in return.

Since I started Tweeting, I now feel I am on the cutting edge of information. I wonder how I was ever an effective librarian without Twitter. I am frequently the first in my school to read news that effects my profession. I am exploring other interests in depth that I only thought about vaguely before. I am keeping up with teens around the world and what interests them. This really helps me connect with the teens I serve. Conversations with my students are become more relevant and meaningful every day. I am networking with other academics who are interested in creating online learning environments for teens. I have learned about vlogs and created one. Really and truly, the world has opened up in less than a month. I sincerely hope my head doesn't explode with all this new stuff I am learning. I keep waiting for themes to just repeat themselves over and over again, but that is not happening. I know first hand what "Knowledge in Abundance" means and why schools are wrong to create learning environments that treat knowledge as a scarcity.

So, now that Oprah is Tweeting, I am sure more and more people will join up. I think this is wonderful. I hope that I, along with my fellow #educators, can find a way to use Twitter or other micro blogging sites in schools and halt the mass blocking of everything social networking. Just like living in the physical world, there are several scary things about living online. But as a society we work to keep the wolves at bay and our children and YA's safe. I foresee the online community become strongly self-monitored (like a neighborhood watch) as more and more people join up. I foresee schools becoming relevant by helping student navigate their way through this web while still having a safety net. I foresee my library regulars in school making like minded friends around the world without having to worry about the "fit in" or "look" factor. I see so much good. I hope more education power holders will start seeing it too.

Tomorrow I would like to introduce everyone to my BEDA buddies and demonstrate another way social networking can bring more of us together.


  1. Hey BEDA Buddy! Thanks for the link to the website for the National Novel Writing Month in your blog! I have been trying to fit it in my schedule to sit down and find time to write. I will for sure have time this summer, but it makes me feel guilty putting off my creative writing skills. This BEDA project has really been a good way to exercise those writing skills without any pressure. During the school year, as educators, we are just so busy. I barely find time to do my laundry. But with this new information on the Novel Writing Month, I feel a little more relaxed about the whole thing. Thanks!

  2. HI BEDA BUDDY! *waves*

    I love how Twitter and other networking sites are spreading news better than THE NEWS.


Y'all come back now, y'hear!

Archived Posts