Table of Contents


for Using Social Networking Tools
in the School Library Media Center


Shayne Russell, library media specialist at Olson Middle School (NJ), designed a ning for a teachers' summer book club. They are reading and discussion "Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire" by Rafe Esquith.

Luther Jackson Middle School in Fairfax, VA, uses LibraryThing's widget to promote new titles.

Dr. Charles Best Secondary School's library in Coquitlam, Canada,uses a Shelfari widget to display titles students are reading.

Shonda Brisco (TX) maintains a Ning for Texas School Librarians so they can share photos, videos, ideas, book reviews, blog postings and more. GREAT!! They also have a wiki to share documents, booklists, presentations, conference information, lesson plans, etc.

There are some great tutorials and guides for kids, teens (and adults--parents and teachers) who want to use social networking safely:

Use Twitter and a Twitter widget to update your school libray media webpage! See the example at Livonia Primary School Library. Anne-Marie Gordon is the school library media specialist.

More Tools

Footnote helps you combine primary source documents and a timeline. Some images are free, others are "premium." From the website: "Footnote is a place where original historical documents are combined with social networking in order to create a truly unique experience involving the stories of our past." You can upload documents, comment on those or others, create scrapbooks, track research. Millions of images, newspaper archives, photos available.

Anonymous writes: "I'm a fan of Elgg - mostly via the Eduspaces network, though I'd like to have my own installation at some point, and to be able to link it into the University's VLE."

The team at Common Craft have created another entertaining and educational video, this time about social media, which they explain by using an ice cream metaphor.

Convos is a social tool that lets groups work together. Communicate by email, assign tasks, store files, schedule events, etc. They give the following examples of uses by teachers:
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Parents of students
Communicate weekly assignments, upcoming test dates, and organize class activities with parents.

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Teacher groups
Share lesson plans and brainstorm class activity ideas with fellow teachers.

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School administration
Coordinate school administration events and organize teams of teachers.
Simple tool with lots of applications for school library media specialists.

Joyce Valenza recommended ePals in her blog, Neverending Search:

**ePals** may be the social networking answer for the many of us looking to globally connect our young learners in safe and meaningful ways. The hard part has always been finding appropriate partners. This standards-based portal connects young writers with an authentic audience of peers well beyond their neighborhoods, while it fosters questioning, critical thinking, and new collaborations. You may remember an earlier iteration of the electronic penpal connection service which began in 1996. This latest version is growing strong and could help to flatten the world for children. In partnership with **National Geographic**, the free K-12 program now connects classrooms in more than 200 countries in a multilingual environment.
It offers a variety of features essential for elementary curricular success:
  • **SchoolM@il**, a safe and protected **email** system
  • **SchoolBlog**, secure classroom blogging technology which includes
    • Searchable Archives
    • Personalized Domain
    • Allows Multi-Media Postings
    • Policy Managed
    • Calendar
    • Surveys
    • Design Templates
    • Classroom-only, Parents-Only and Public Access
    • Web Based Management and Storage
    • Rich Text Editor
    • Manuals & Tutorials
  • **Classroom Match** facilitates finding and contacting partner classrooms around the world; selecting ePals learning projects or customizing your own; exchanging email; and sharing ideas in blogs and forums.
  • **ePal Projects** fosters classroom collaborations. Built around standards-based topics, it encourages language practice, critical thinking, inquiry, and global awareness. Among the current projects are units on **global warming**, **water**, and **natural disasters**