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Connected Educator: Shannon Miller December 2012 Interview
twitter account @shannonmmiller – “Mom, Wife, and Teacher Librarian who loves connecting, creating, change, advocacy & NOISE. Presenter & Blogger. Connecting People Shorty Award Recipient. Van Meter, Iowa · http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/”
What is your current job of position?
I am the district teacher librarian/technology integration specialist at Van Meter Community School in Van Meter, Iowa. I am also the National Honor Society sponsor.
What is your educational background?
I have an elementary education and art degree from the University of Northern Iowa. I have my masters in Library Science also from the University of Northern Iowa.
How do you grow and engage your professional learning network?
During the last four years I started to engage in Twitter, Diigo and other social networks. I got involved in a few more professional organizations such as ISTE and taking part in national conferences and also events such as EdCamp and NTCamp. I reached out to other teacher librarians and technology specialists around the world….I was no longer the only librarian at Van Meter. And I also opened up opportunities for teachers and students by meeting and engaging them in the conversations as well. Authors, creators of Web 2.0 tools, experts, publishers and others also became a very important part of my professional learning network.
I also don’t just “get” from my PLN, I also “give”. I love to help others that I meet in my PLN, love to share what is happening within my library and school, what my students are creating and learning every day. It is so much fun to learn with such an amazing group of educators and people each and every day.
What is the greatest benefit of your professional network?
The greatest benefit of my professional network is that we are all in this together….we want to make a difference in education, for our students, teachers, and parents. We can count on each other to make us the best educators we can be. And not just as educators, but also as friends.
Who are you most recommended and trusted friends on twitter?
That is a big question. I have so many wonderful friends on Twitter and it would take forever to name them here.
If you blog, what is the focus of it? How long have you been writing? Who is you audience?
Yes, I do blog. My blog is called Van Meter Library Voice. http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/
The focus of my blog…..” a place to be heard through creating, technology, connecting, reading, collaborating, and noise.” I write about what is taking place within the library and our school…..the new thinking taking place, the new technologies/tools that we are using, the new things we are doing within the library and school, the FUN things about being an educator and librarian. I also write about what is taking place within education, conferences and workshops I attend, and of course my own experiences as a parent, learner and educator.
I started my blog 6 years ago when I started my job at Van Meter. This was my first job (I stayed home with my children for 13 years after graduating from college) and wanted to make a difference from the very beginning. By sharing my experiences and creating a space online to share these, I knew I would be able to take our library and school outside of the school.
Describe a teacher who has had a significant impact on your professional development?
The teacher that I had who made a significant impact on me was my art teacher, Anne Diedrichsen. Ms. D, as we called her, saw my passion for art and did everything she could to support, encourage and celebrate that. She was not only my art teacher…..she became my mentor and my friend. I have a giant drawing of a hand in the library at school. I did this when I was young. I love telling my students the story of Ms. D and why she was my favorite teacher. I tell them to follow their passion….to be heard, just as I was in that drawing and my art. She made such a difference in my life.