This is the first in our influencers and thought-leaders series. Please meet Kathy Schrock. In this post, Kathy tells the story of how she came to realize the value of curated content for educators and inspired teachers all over the world . We asked her to tell us a little about her work and the tools she uses.
What significant event in your life changed the focus of your work?
The significant event in my life that changed the focus of my work included two things— the launch of the first commercial Web browser (Mosaic) in 1993 and access to dial-up Internet access in my home area in 1995. My local Internet service provider knew I had a file card box of pre-Web and Web sites and told me, if I would learn HTML and create Web pages with my links, he would host my site for free. He knew that educators would flock to a Web site organized by subject and created by a librarian, and he was right! That led to an article in the NEA Newspaper in December of 1995, and the rest is history! Since that time, I have continued to provide online resources for educators and get the chance to speak and train teachers all over the world!
What tips or advice might you offer to teachers who want to be advocates for learning through literacy in the digital world?
I would love to provide information to support teachers who want to be advocates for helping students to learn through literacy in the digital world. The tip I would give to these teachers would be, no matter what content area they teach, to include all aspects of the information literacy skill set in the units they develop. This would include making sure students can create an essential question, effectively search in online search engines and databases, can critically evaluate the information they find, cite their sources correctly, and communicate their information to their intended audience using digital tools and apps.
What digital tools or sources do you find most useful in your work?
The most useful source of information for me, since May of 2007, is Twitter. I have learned how to hone my personal and professional learning network over the years and have gained tons of great ideas and resources from the 212 very smart educators I follow. I post frequently to the 52,300 people that follow me and try to provide them with information they will find useful for teaching and learning.
I make use of many digital tools. Online file storage sites, online curation sites, online image editing sites, and real-time video conferencing sites are tools that I take advantage of each day. And, when it comes to creation of products, I most often use the iPad and many of the creative apps that are available.
Kathy Schrock has been a school district Director of Technology, an instructional technology specialist, a middle school, academic, museum, and a public library librarian. She is currently an online adjunct graduate-level professor for Wilkes University (PA) and an independent educational technologist.
She has been involved with technology to support teaching and learning since the early 1990’s, and is an Adobe Education Leader, a Google Certified Teacher, and Alpha Squirrel, and a Discovery Education STAR and Guru. In 1995, Kathy created the award-winning site, Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators, to help teachers easily wade through the many resources on the Web. In 1999, she partnered with Discovery Education and maintained the site until late 2012 when the site was retired. Kathy’s current online resources may be found on Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything!
In addition to teaching online, Kathy writes, speaks, blogs, tweets, and conducts professional development workshops, presentations, and keynotes both nationally and internationally. She is known for her practical presentations dealing with pedagogically sound practices for the embedding of technology seamlessly into teaching and learning. Kathy’s passions are online tools to support classroom instruction, the role of emerging technologies in the classroom, infographics, tablets in the classroom, assessment and rubrics, copyright and intellectual property, and gadgets of any type! You can find her on Twitter (@kathyschrock), Skype (kathyschrock), Google+, and on many other social networks!
Kathy has written hundreds of articles dealing with technology and education and has also authored several books on educational technology topics. In addition, she has received numerous awards for her work, including a People’s Choice Webby, both the ISTE and MassCUE Making IT Happen Award, the NCTIES Service Learning Award, has served on the ISTE Board of Directors for two terms, and has worked with the US Department of Education on several educational technology initiatives.
Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything: http://schrockguide.net
iPads for Teaching and Learning: http://ipads4teaching.net
Blog: Kathy Schrock’s Kaffeeklatsch: http://blog.kathyschrock.net
Blog: Kathy Schrock’s Katch of the Month: http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/blog/category/kathys-katch/