I’m Di Laycock and in my tenth year as a teacher librarian at Barker College in Sydney. Before coming to Barker, I’d been a Geography/Legal Studies teacher, Drama teacher, and PE teacher (not all at once) over a LOOOOONG period. Half of my classroom teaching time was spent in rural NSW and the rest here in Sydney.
As I’ve said on this blog’s ‘About’ page, my colleagues would probably refer to me as digitally obsessed and possessed. I use digital tools extensively in my personal and professional life, and love to try out “stuff”.
My current PLN is a mix of online and face-to-face. Online I am an avid user of Twitter for professional purposes, while Facebook keeps me in touch with friends and family.
I have another blog that I keep private for my research ideas, and subscribe to half a dozen other blogs that have a library or technology focus – Jenny Luca’s Lucacept would have to be my favourite. I follow quite a few Scoop.its – again with a school library, reading or ICT focus, and curate two of my own – Geography in the Classroom and Graphic Novels in the Classroom.
In terms of my face-to-face PLN, I work with a wonderful team in our library and people are ever so willing to share ideas, ask questions and provide support. We have fortnightly hands-on PD sessions in the library, which we run ourselves, but most of our professional learning in the library tends to be on the fly, when and where we need it.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve found one of the best face-to-face sources of “organised” PD is the TeachMeet. It’s great to see one’s colleagues giving short and sweet presentations and then having the chance to chat about them, ask questions etc. I’ve really gone off formally organised professional development opportunities that require lots of sitting and listening, and deny me the chance to reflect and talk about what has been delivered. That’s why I’m looking forward to this course. It’s going to give me a chance to talk about my learning, broaden and deepen my PLN, and get down and dirty in what Michael Schrage terms, “serious play.” Says Schrage in his book, Serious Play:
You can’t be a serious innovator unless, and until you are ready, willing and able to seriously play. ‘Serious play is not an oxymoron; it is the essence of innovation.
Here at Barker we’re currently planning a Digital Literacy Program for implementation across the secondary school and the teacher librarians are leading the push. So my primary goal in undertaking this course is to ensure that I can confidently consider myself digitally fluent, and be in a position to support teachers and students to meaningfully and effectively integrate ICT into both their professional and personal worlds (because in the digital landscape, the reality is that the border between the two is blurred).