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INF506 – Part B: Personal Reflection

on May 28, 2013

The subject content investigated and learning journey undertaken throughout INF506 has enabled me to think deeply and reflect upon my thoughts and ideas about social media. Harvey (2009) suggests a teacher “should be a person who is experimenting with new technologies as they come along.” After researching, exploring and evaluating many new forms of social media I have furthered my knowledge and understanding of the educational benefits to people of all ages who immerse themselves in social networking environments.

I enjoyed the practical nature of this subject where I was able to trial and evaluate many different social media tools. I am now an active member of Goodreads, Linked in, Facebook, delicious, flickr and investigated many other tools such as Second Life and RSS. Although I am currently on leave and not working in a school at the moment, I found this subject very useful to assist me in carrying out further research into social media tools that I could implement in the classroom when I begin my new position in August 2013. I enjoying evaluating these tools and examining which ones could be successfully used in a middle school classroom to engage students and enhance their learning outcomes.

My new teaching role will be ‘Educational Integration Specialist’ in a middle school working with teenagers in Years 6-8. I will be using my newfound knowledge about social media tools gained throughout INF506 to implement social media tools that will engage students. My previous teaching experience is with primary age students where the terms and conditions state many social media tools are limited to above 13 year olds only. I am now looking forward to working with students who will have more access to social media tools and an already gained knowledge about social media.

Hanson (2013) states, “integrating social media into
 your work develops digital literacy, builds relationships, helps you meet teens where they are, and helps to provide access to information”. I agree with Hanson and can now (at the end of INF506) see the many educational benefits from using social media in the classroom. I am grateful that I have completed INF506 and have had the time to experiment with many social media tools. I can now take this newfound knowledge to my workplace and assist other colleagues to implement social media tools that best assist students to effectively meet syllabus outcomes.

Another piece of advice that I will be able to take with me into my workplace is to understand the fears teachers have and then give them concrete examples of ways 
to use social media in the classroom. Hanson (2013) suggests “modeling digital literacy practices for our school community” to support teachers using social media tools in practice. Fear of failure and lack of time to learn how to 
use the tools are factors that librarians believe are holding teachers back. Addressing these fears when talking to teachers will help to encourage them to introduce social media seamlessly into their classrooms.

Hanson (2013) recommends “finding out what current research says about using social media with teens in school”. I took on board this advice throughout this unit and curated a collection of blogs and websites to collate the best current examples of social networking tools for students and teachers. I created a new page on the social networking tool Scoop it! titled ‘Social Networking for Educators and Information Professionals’.

Utecht’s (2009) ‘Thinking Stick – Stages of PLN Adoption’ is a model that I will be able to refer to in my new teaching role as I assist teachers expand their professional learning networks in an online environment.

“Goodreads has fast become one of the more popular social sharing sites on the web. Not only is their site every bookworm’s dream, but their ability to create a very social atmosphere is an enviable model for every online business” (NetHosting Releases Case Study on Book Recommendations from Goodreads, 2013). I thoroughly enjoyed implementing the Goodreads project as part of Assignment 1 in INF506. “To use these tools successfully with students, teachers themselves need to become confident with them” (McGuinness, 2010). I now have the knowledge and experience needed to model this social media tool to colleagues and will be able to support them when introducing Goodreads into the classroom to enhance literacy outcomes. Another reason why I found the Goodreads project so interesting and worthwhile is that Goodreads “can last beyond the classroom and encourages reading far beyond the scheduled semester, grade and school life” (Crow, n.d.).

I agree that in a Web 2.0 world, “networking (or one’s ability to network) has become an important part of a Librarian 2.0’s professional toolkit” (Hay et al., 2013). I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to partake in INF506 and hence feel as though I have become better prepared with the experience of Web 2.0 technologies to implement as an ‘information professional’.


Crow. (n.d.) Making Reading Social. In Ms. Crow’s Digital Portfolio. Retrieved from

Hanson, A. (2013). Can we talk? How school librarians discuss social media with stakeholders. Young Adult Library Services, Winter 2013, 35-37.

Harvey, M. (2009). What does it mean to be a Science Librarian 2.0? Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, (Summer). Retrieved from

Hay, L., Wallis, J., O’Connell, J. & Crease, R. (2013). Module 3: Library 2.0 and participatory library services. Librarian 2.0. [INF506 Module 3.3]. Retrieved May 17, 2013, from Charles Sturt University website:

McGuinness, B. (2010). Applying social media in schools. Curriculum Leadership, 8(26). Retrieved from,32196.html?issueID=12201

NetHosting Releases Case Study on Book Recommendations from Goodreads. (2013). Retrieved from

Utecht, J. (2008, 3 April). Stages of PLN Adoption [Blog post]. In The Thinking Stick. Retrieved from


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