Here is a slide from a professional development session that we gave at IDEACon, Illinois's state ed-tech conference a couple of weeks ago.
Lucy and I, on the right, wrote a book for Book Creator. Book Creator is an app that students can use on any device to write and publish their own books. The book we wrote is called Supporting Language Learners with Book Creator. Someday I will write a post about the process of writing a book for an app company. This post is about how that all came to be. Book Creator's parent company, Tools for Schools, is located in Bristol, England, UK. I'm not exactly sure how Dan Kemp and Dr. Beth Holland got to know each other. I assume it was through social media and Beth's work at Ed Tech Teacher a based Boston based company. I know Beth because I worked for Ed Tech Teacher when they did workshops in Chicago back in 2013. Beth was a lead trainer for Ed Tech Teacher for many years. I attended a workshop and the next year I found myself working for them as a helper in the room when they provided subsequent professional development sessions over the next 3 summers in Chicago. Beth and I continued to keep in touch over the years, mostly through Twitter and Twitter DMs. Beth lives in Rhode Island. Fast forward to the spring of 2018. Dan Kemp, BC Marketing and Community Manager approached Beth to see if she knew anyone who used Book Creator with ESL students. Beth immediately thought of my team leader and me. We are a very tech-focused and innovative district. Beth reached out, to my team leader at the time, to see if she and I were interested in writing a book for Book Creator. At the time my team leader had too much on her plate, so she said no to the opportunity. I, on the other hand, don't know how to say NO. I asked the new biliteracy coach in our district if she was interested in writing the book with me. She said YES! In reality, I could not have done it without her. Her knowledge and expertise in this area was invaluable. Not only was Lucy our new biliteracy coach, but I taught her children when I was a classroom teacher. Over the next 4 months, we navigated writing and editing a book! It was a stressful and wonderful experience all at once! I got paid to write a book! How cool is that?!!!!
The moral or lesson here is to keep and honor those professional relationships that you make. You never know when you might be able to leverage them for good! Part of a good PD session is being a good storyteller and I love telling this story of connection and leveraging relationships.