21st-century School Librarians Take Reciprocal Mentoring Online with #txlchat

Your Name and Title: Judi Moreillon, Associate Professor

Library, School, or Organization Name: School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Woman’s University

Co-Presenter Name: None

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Texas, USA

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audiences: School Librarians, School Librarian Educators, Researchers

Short Session Description: A netnographic research study shows that school librarians build connections and community and seek and provide mentoring as they engage in self-regulated online professional development via the #txlchat Twitter group.

Full Session Description:

Social media has become an important venue for building professional learning networks (PLNs). More and more school librarians employ these flexible, free tools to make connections with colleagues and build a community of practice (CoP) in the virtual learning environment. Many school librarians capitalize on the features of social media to engage in just-in-time professional development, and in the process, demonstrate “digital fluency,” an essential 21st-century skill they must practice and teach preK-12 students and teachers.

This case study examines the motivation and benefits to founders, early adopters, and members of creating and/or participating in a grassroots regionally based Twitter chat group. In this presentation, the presenter/researcher will provide a brief history of #txlchat, which was launched in April, 2013, and the procedures employed by the group, including their promotion venues and tools. The presentation will include a selection of the data collected from this study which included electronic interviews with the three co-founders and selected core group members, an online survey of chat participants, and a representative sampling of session topics. The study results show the characteristics of founders and participants and how they describe this social-media delivered professional development experience.

The #txlchat provides a model on which other chat groups may want to build. The lion’s share of the presentation will be on how #txlchat members describe the value of this professional development activity and how the group conducts reciprocal mentoring among the participants. The presentation tool will be illustrated with images that reflect the values the interviewees place on this PLN, #txlchat promotional flyers, and sample tweets. The presenter will engage Library 2.015 participants in responding to the content and provide opportunities for Q&A throughout the presentation.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session: Presenter’s Research Study Page: http://judimoreillon.wikispaces.com/txlchat and #txlchat Archives: http://txlchat.weebly.com

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