To Twitter or not to Twitter

As yet I’m not convinced about Twitter – although I’m also assuming the NSW DET firewall would block it as another form of social networking?

At home I often have MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger on, and dash off messages to friends when I notice them come online but, from samples I’ve seen of Twitter – short snappy mini blog post-like entries – it doesn’t seem all that different. I fear the temptation for me to keep Twittering every few minutes would mean I’d never get any other work done. I procrastinate enough as it is. Would I just be a Twit? 😉

I’m sure if I had time to “play” on Twitter, some educational purposes would begin to be suggested by the tech. Judy O’Connell had mentioned at the recent ASLA NSW conference about “no live blogging of the workshops”. Personally, I think we are all waiting for etiquette to catch up with the (revised rules?) of Netiquette – in that Twittering means doing more than two things at once but still pretending to give full attention to the speaker. 😉 I, for one, had made a point of turning off my mobile phone at the start of each talk at the conference, lest I be distracted or curious (as usual) about any incoming messages. And yet there Judy was asking the audience why no one was mobile blogging!

I could have been there with my (borrowed) laptop or my mobile phone and live blogging, but I made do with nightly summaries to my blog – which meant that I was able to have at least some synthesis in my posts. Raw Twittered reactions to speakers during the speech might not be as useful. Depends on what you think people might want out of a blogged conference update, I guess.

Book Fair mode

There are perhaps only Three States of Being in teacher-librarianship:

* the regular collaborative teaching mode

* a few weeks of stocktake mode – when I literally Zen out, fully absorbed in the appealing (to me) chore of annual stocktaking

* and a few consecutive days of Book Fair mode. (Pass me my money bucket, a pen, point the customers in my direction – and wake me when it’s over.)

In my current school, our Book Fair traditionally falls in the lead-up to (and on) Grandparents’ Day. After getting over the shock that the current crop of grandparents are actually younger than many of the staff members (yours truly included), these special event days have proven very popular – and a major boost to our annual book-buying coffers.

Not all teacher-librarians like the commercial book fairs for schools. I heard someone call them “slavery to the book company”, or they dislike the book selections – but I’ve found commercial book fairs to be very useful and successful.

With book fairs in K-6 schools, I’ve always promoted the selection and purchase of books, for a personal collection, as being a valuable learning experience for the students. Watching them engage with racks and tables of books for sale can be a valuable exercise. Some students have definitely seen book buying (and book reading) practices modelled at home – long before they arrived at school. But there are just as many students who’ll visit the annual Book Fair with a big wad of money, but then try to buy handsful of highly-decorated stationery items – but no book!

Bringing Grandma or Grandpa to the library for a Book Fair brings back some balance into the equation. Grandparents tend to have such a different type of rapport with their grandchildren than the parents do.

Roll on this week’s festivities!