GSLIS students support each other on Twitter with #prakchat

I had the opportunity to chat with a group of School Library Teacher students from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science on Twitter recently.’  These students, from various parts of Massachusetts, are all working on practicum experiences in school libraries.’  They meet up once a week on Twitter to support each other, compare notes,’  puzzle out questions of teaching in libraries,’  and help each other accurately document their’  experiences in their required binder.’  They use the hashtag #prakchat, for practicum chat, when they have these tweetups, as well as throughout the week to share their trials and triumphs on the front lines of their school libraries.

I was impressed by their initiative in using Twitter and the way they articulated its impact on their library school experiences.’  The support of colleagues is so important in library school and in the profession in general. Professional Learning Networks need not rely on proximity. A simple agreement about how to communicate can go a long way.’  Check out the transcripts from our two part conversation.

Part One

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
As I understand it the folks using the #prakchat hashtag are Simmons students. Are you all in Boston or are there some GSLIS West folks?

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean we have one GSLIS west person #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
@alidahanson Yay GSLIS West, that’s where I went!

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean i can tell you how #prakchat started cuz I did it

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean the twitter chat works for us because it’s impossible for us to get together with our busy schedules #prakchat

jendimmick Jennifer Dimmick
@alidahanson I agree! I <3 reading the stream the day after the chat time; don’t feel so left out. So helpful w/ideas & support.#prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
@alidahanson cool, you can tell me about it now and then I’ll come back and talk w/people at regular #prakchat time on Tuesday also.

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean amanda bock wanted to put together a discussion group and asked for suggestions. #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean I wrestled with it–twiddla? wiki? skype? I didn’t know how many people would come every week #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
I am here. Just finished dinner. Hockey game went into double overtime. Oy! #prakchat

jendimmick Jennifer Dimmick
@ErinCerulean I started a wiki last semester, but 2 much effort required for people to check and contribute. Twitter much easier#prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean BTW, entire convo was on twitter, so it hit me–*a twitter chat*. linda braun introduced us 2twitter in LIS460. #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
@alidahanson so you were on Twitter talking about how to have a discussion and had an epiphany? #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
Thnx 2 Alida 4 putting ths tgthr. Last smstr we exchanged info on a much more adhoc basis. gr8 2 bounce off ideas on each other.#prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean yeah, why not use the tool we’re already using!#prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean i was concerned because we need to be discreet since we r in schools 4 practicum and twitter is so public #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
We can follow the hashtag at all times. And people do post all week. But weekly session is fun and informative. #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@alidahanson Sometimes I think ppl say little 2 much. Spec abt sprvsr. They know we R using ths & could check it out of curiosity#prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
So, it is a weekly tweetup with asynchronous posts all week long?#prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean exactly #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@ErinCerulean Yup. I tweeted today after I finished my observed lesson. #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@KatSteiger i agree, some people name names and that’s not cool#prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@KatSteiger i missed that tweet. must have been a happy relieved tweet #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean so i made a google doc with examples of good tweets and bad tweets, and mostly people have been circumspect#prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@alidahanson That’s right. Feeling like it’s more than half over!#prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@alidahanson Oohh. I was just going to use circumspect!#prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
So with two of you here can I ask a few more questions? #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@KatSteiger it’s a good word. almost as good as laconic #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean sure! #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@ErinCerulean Of course.

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
How did you come up with the hashtag? #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@ErinCerulean I used hashtag yesterday 2 ask 4 help with a project. Requested micro-reviews on YA Lit. Got some from the chat. #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
My son asked that yesterday too! Pracchat too clumbsy, Alida. K just hipper?? #prackchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean pracchat was ugly, #prakchat looked so much better. prac is short for practicum–we’re all working on our practicums now

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean i was inspired by #kidlitchat–they have a weekly conversation #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@ErinCerulean And a tweetup is so much more fun than doing our actual work. #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
the K is much sleeker, it’s true. Cool. @alidahanson & @KatSteigerwhat grade levels are you working with right now? #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@ErinCerulean I am at a high school now. Did K-5 last semester.#prakchat

alidahanson
@ErinCerulean i’m in a k-8 school #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean are you a school librarian? #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@ErinCerulean Just started a twitter for the library. Need to focus the Lib Tchr and see what she wants to tweet! #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
@alidahanson trained as one and spent one year in a school before position was cut. Now a YA librarian in a public library. #prakchat

jendimmick Jennifer Dimmick
@ErinCerulean I’m in K-5 #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@KatSteiger ooh, mayb u can tweet 4 her, like a celebrity handler#prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean wow, that’s a turnaround. just as you get your footing, bam #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@alidahanson I am sure that is what I will be doing. Just hope she will keep it up! #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@KatSteiger who do u think will follow her? #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@alidahanson Probs noone @ rate we R going. Hoping teachers & parents. I follow the libs @ my kids skool. They tweet gd stuff.#prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean yes, i’m beginning to think the key 2 successful library is a librarian who has been there for a few years #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
Can you tell me some #prakchat anecdotes about getting support from your colleagues?

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@alidahanson Agreed. Need time to build the trust for collaboration and relationships with students. #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@KatSteiger and know and build collection #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@ErinCerulean You got the one about the micro-reviews a few mins ago, right? #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
@alidahanson I agree about success and being in a library for a few years. #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean we give each other a lot of positive moral support, and a space for complaining #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@ErinCerulean oftn questions. ex. If I teach a lesson 2 teachers, cn i count it? How long do log entries need 2 B? Reflections? #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean yes lots of pondering of the practicum particulars. we have lots of paperwork, the #binderfromhell #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@ErinCerulean Some standards are hard to meet, esp in HS, like communicating w/parents. People trade ideas. #prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@ErinCerulean U cn only ask the SLTP assistant so many questions! its gr8 2 know sum1 is out thr 2 help! Last time was lonelier. #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
Yeah, I’m jealous, when I did mine, we met in person a couple of times over the semester, organized tweeting would have been cool#prakchat

KatSteiger Katherine Steiger
@ErinCerulean I’ll think about your question and tweet you later. Mostly just that they are much more engaged than I expected.#prakchat

jendimmick Jennifer Dimmick
@alidahanson oh me too! Get intimidated, but still worth it #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean the biggest lessons i’ve learned from practicum is “try try try and try again” and “focus on the child.” #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
@KatSteiger cool, tweet me about working w/teens anytime.#prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean it was nice talking 2 u and I hope I meet u in real life! see u next week #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
Thank You @alidahanson @KatSteiger and @jendimmick ! Excellent talking with all of you. I will be back for more #prakchat on Tuesday!

Part Two

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
Hi #prakchat , I’m back to talk to you for the @yalsa blog. Thanks for having me. How is everyone this evening?

alidahanson Alida Hanson
hey #prakchat people, anyone here besides me and Erin?

Ms_Bock Amanda Bock
@alidahanson I’m here! Writing lesson plans, but here! 🙂#prackchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@Ms_Bock i’m cleaning the kitchen but here–hi Erin! #prakchat

nickimess Nicole Messerli
i’m here, back and forth between getting ready for 4 lessons tomorrow! #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
Hi #prakchat people. @alidahanson told me about how you got started w/twitter last time…

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
…Is there anything any #prakchat folks want to add about why twitter works well for your group?

Ms_Bock Amanda Bock
@ErinCerulean We’re all spread out geographically, and very busy, so this is a great way to communicate and stay in touch. #prakchat

nickimess Nicole Messerli
i asked @ my interview 4 simmons if there was a seminar 4 practicum since i ad formal 1 in a elem ed course already #prakchat

nickimess Nicole Messerli
they said no +i couldn’t imagine student teaching in isolation like that- so glad it happened! #prakchat

Ms_Bock Amanda Bock
@nickimess I wish there was a seminar. I think there should be. Would get SO much out of it. #prakchat

nickimess Nicole Messerli
@Ms_Bock we would! but then1 more thing 2have 2drive to for us geographically spread out people unless it was a la 460 via skype#prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
That segues a bit into my next two questions: 1. What are you enjoying most about library school? #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@nickimess amanda and I thought bout skype for this–we didn’t know if there’d b 3 or 23 students #prakchat

nickimess Nicole Messerli
i’ve asked a lot of ?s on prakchat from many diff locations- can log on easily w/o having 2 remember obscure wiki page address#prakchat

Ms_Bock Amanda Bock
@nickimess Yes, but I live in town, so easy for me! 🙂 #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@nickimess and the scheduling would b a pain–that’s why twitter so good. also short so no one can complain too long #prakchat

nickimess Nicole Messerli
@alidahanson you’re right, i think twitter works better b/c u can b on at any time and the thread is easy to find when you need it#prakchat

Ms_Bock Amanda Bock
@ErinCerulean I am enjoying making connections to other school librarians. Been in the field for a while, but was always isolated#prakchat

nickimess Nicole Messerli
@ErinCerulean great classmates i hope i’ll get 2 work with more in the future, when we all have awesome library jobs #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
Part 2. of lib school question: are there things you feel are missing, topics or experiences you wish were part of the program? #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean wish we could collaborate more on projects 2gether in lib school–w/school library ppl. #prakchat

alidahanson Alida Hanson
@ErinCerulean rephrase: collaborate more on projects w/ fellow school library students #prakchat

Ms_Bock Amanda Bock
@ErinCerulean Needs more practical info, less theoretical info. Much more on curriculum. More creative problem solving. IMHO#prakchat

jendimmick Jennifer Dimmick
@ErinCerulean Yes, really wish there was a class on planning an entire year’s library curriculum by grade vs. just a few lessons.#prakchat

jendimmick Jennifer Dimmick
@ErinCerulean Also definitely wish there was a class on reading (teaching how to; diagnosing problems; tactics for addressing,etc)#prakchat

nickimess Nicole Messerli
@ErinCerulean still thinking @ ques2-more re q1-LOVE lissa prof dev. reimbursements-supports learning+netwrking outside gslis too#prakchat

jendimmick Jennifer Dimmick
@ErinCerulean Enjoy most=the great people/future colleagues, and super supportive/collaborative culture. So diff from business.#prakchat

Ms_Bock Amanda Bock
@jendimmick YES! AGREE!!!! 😀 #prakchat

Ms_Bock Amanda Bock
@ErinCerulean I enjoyed the fieldwork part of library school- opportunities to see other librarians & libraries in action #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
#prakchat
seems to be winding down, but before I go: is it ok for me to use your twitter names in chat transcript?

Ms_Bock Amanda Bock
@ErinCerulean OK with me. Thanks for hanging out with us. Looking forward to the post! #prakchat

nickimess Nicole Messerli
@ErinCerulean as former clssrm teacher-love how i teach lessons 2 all grades+ w/ 2x the punch- library+subject content=brilliant!#prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
Last question for any #prakchat folks still about: what are you reading for fun right now? Thanks for such wonderful answers to my ?’s.

nickimess Nicole Messerli
@ErinCerulean ok with me too, glad i made it to this chat! back to lesson planning, ‘nite and happy teaching all #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
#prakchat
post over at the yalsa blog should be happening a week from today. I will tweet about it.

nickimess Nicole Messerli
@ErinCerulean super sad true love story-but was not smart of me 2 get a NEW arrival library book-my books are all overdue lately#prakchat

Ms_Bock Amanda Bock
@ErinCerulean Reading for fun? Are you kidding me? Does the School LIbrary Teacher Program Handbook count? :p #prakchat

ErinCerulean Erin Daly
Thank you #prakchat. Best of luck to all of you! I’ll check the hastag again for any other responses before I write up the transcript.

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