Librarians are Gold!

Let the Learning Begin…..

INF506 – Assessment 1

A. Define Social Networking (in your own words).

From the readings I have read and reflected upon, social networking is defined as an online community of people, located in any country or of any age, with a common interest who use a website or other technology to communicate with each other. Social networking sites help to build relationships by allowing users to interact and share information, ideas and opinions about their interests with the people in their online community or network.

B. List the social networking technologies and sites you already use (for personal, work and study purposes).

Social networking technologies and sites that I already use are:

  • Twitter– professional use including following specific educational hashtags
  • Scoop it! – professional use, I have curated 3 topics related to education
  • Ning – professional use, in particular the Flat Classrooms Conference Ning
  • Delicious – set up to use mainly when completing my Masters
  • Diigo – professional use to collaborate and share websites with teachers in an eLearning group within my school
  • Wikis – professional use, Teachmeet wikis, iPad wikis, technology wikis
  • Pinterest – personal use relating to my hobbies
  • Wallwisher – professional use relating to collaborating and connecting after a conference
  • WordPress blog – set up to use mainly when completing my Masters
  • Edmodo – professional use to collaborate and communicate with likeminded teachers, as well as using the ‘groups’ setting to communicate with the classes I teach.

For the purposes of INF506 I have recently started accounts on Facebook, Linkedin and Flickr. I look forward to furthering my knowledge about many new and engaging social networking tools.

C. Describe what you expect to learn from completing INF506.

I expect to learn effective ways for Information Professionals, including Teacher Librarians, to use social networking sites effectively in the learning experiences of teachers and students. I would like to know more about Library 2.0 and Web 2.0 technologies such as facebook, twitter, flickr etc.. and how these technologies can be used to assist students in their learning journey both in the classroom and afterhours when completing school tasks at home.

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ETL401: Blog task #3

“Information literacy is more than a set of skills.”

Eisenberg (2008, p. 1) defines information literacy (IL) as “the set of skills and knowledge that allows us to find, evaluate and use the information we need… filter out the information we don’t need”. IL encompasses the lifelong learning skills taught in schools that are required for students to succeed in both the workplace and society (Herring, 2011, p. 33). I strongly believe IL is more than a set of skills, with a curriculum, learning needs and technology that is forever changing, IL skills encompass everything and anything that the students need to know in relation to organising information.

I agree with research findings from Herring and Bush (2011) indicating a need for developing a “culture of transfer” and “a common terminology for IL” across a school. In my school, the first thing I would do to assist the development of IL skills would be to play an active part in upskiling teaching staff about the meaning of IL and transferring IL skills. I would also instigate a professional staff discussion to agree on a common IL model to be used across the K-12 school, at present we have a number of IL models operating.

When working as a TL, in order to assist students develop their IL skills, I would collaboratively plan engaging, authentic learning tasks with classroom teachers for each unit of work. Research from Herring (2011) states “information fluency skills and strategies are an integral part of learning in any subject area. They can be most effectively taught by the librarian in collaboration with the classroom teacher, so that students are using these skills to learn essential content”.

When creating assessment tasks, the classroom teachers and I would focus on “The Australian and New Zealand information literacy framework” (Bundy, 2004). Then the team would discuss and plan which IL skills to teach and scaffold into each lesson. Followed by matching particular learning outcomes to the levels of performance in the form of an assessment rubric, displaying four levels of achievement and clear learning criteria for the assessment task (Mueller, 2005, p. 15).

We would also look closely at Toorak College Information Fluency Program, as a model for linking the ISTE Standards with the ACARA General Capabilities in the Australian Curriculum. This K-12 school has devised a framework outlining relevant skills, learning tasks and applications that reflect 21st century learning at each grade level (Luca, 2012). Other useful documents to assist with the development of an IL skills continuum and to create authentic tasks to benchmark the students learning are the YIS Technology and IL Standards and the NYC School Library continuum.

Bundy identifies IL skills as an essential element for lifelong learning, “communicating ideas and information is integral to information literacy” (2004, p. 5). Therefore I would suggest that TLs collaboratively plan with classroom teachers creative ways for the students to present their learned knowledge e.g. bio poems, time toast, edublogs, Photopeach, Edmodo, flickr. Allowing opportunities for the students to share their synthesized, newly acquired knowledge with their learning community.

IL is planning for and implementing the continuum of IL skills so that all students fully develop the essential skills 
at each grade level and build upon their skills each year. TLs play a key role in integrating IL skills throughout the curriculum by teaching research, inquiry, and technology skills to students and by providing professional development for teachers. IL is more than a set of skills and all teachers have a responsibility to guide students towards becoming information literate citizens 
in the 21st Century.

References

Bundy, A. (ed.) (2004). Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework: principles, standards and practice. 2nd ed. Adelaide: Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy (ANZIIL) and Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).

Eisenberg, M. B. (2008). Information literacy: Essential skills for the information age. Journal of Library & Information Technology, 28(2), 39-47.

Herring, J. E. (2011). Assumptions, information literacy and transfer in High Schools. Teacher Librarian. (38)3, pp. 32-36.

Herring, J. E. & Bush, S. J. (2011). Information literacy and transfer in schools: implications for teacher librarians. Australian Library Journal, 60(2), 123-132

Luca, J. (2012). Jenny Luca – ISTE San Diego. Retrieved from http://jennyluca.wikispaces.com/ISTE+San+Diego

Mueller, J. (2005). Authentic assessment in the classroom… and the library media center. Library Media Connection, 23(7), 14-18.

New York City School Library system information fluency continuum. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://schools.nycenet.edu/offices/teachlearn/sls/INFO_FLUENCY_CONT_K12Final.pdf

School Libraries and Information Literacy. (n.d.). NSW Department of Education and Training. Retrieved from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/index.htm

YIS Technology and Information Standards. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UxLaZkLDY3LFCRCzwv3nZZo4sR1SikpK5OyB3rswr3o/edit

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ETL401: Blog Task #2

The role of the TL with regard to implementing a Guided Inquiry (GI) approach.

“Guided inquiry equips students with abilities and competencies to address the challenges of an uncertain, changing world” (Kuhlthau, 2010, p. 18). The GI approach encourages students to gain an indepth understanding of a particular topic and become experts in their own field. Inquiry learning happens as part of a collaborative team and enables students to think, evaluate and learn at a higher level. The GI approach gives students the information literacy skills to assist them to succeed as 21st century learners.

Todd (2008) states that the role of the TL “must change to take on the instructional dimensions, ensuring that student learning is based on discovery, curiosity, inquiry, critical and reflective thinking so that students can construct deep knowledge” (pp. 23–24). Sheerman (2011, p. 24) suggests “the teacher librarian should advocate for change at a whole school level, even to the level of the school mission and goals, demonstrating that their practice in teaming to deliver authentic learning is backed by evidence”.

I believe that one important way for TLs to implement change at their school is to collaboratively plan and implement GI units for each grade. Teachers on their own do not have the expertise that TLs have in how to locate, evaluate and use relevant information for learning. This parallels the research findings from Kuhlthau et al. (as cited in Chu, Tse & Chow, 2011) for having a flexible three-member core team consisting of two subject teachers and a librarian for the implementation of GI projects. “This arrangement was effective in harnessing the domain knowledge of the subject teachers, as well as the information literacy skills of the librarian, thus promoting a more authentic inquiry experience for the students”.

Excellent TLs are part of collaborative teams who design learning tasks, rubrics, scaffolds and information literacy skills to create lifelong learners. GI is more than a personal interest project, it “is a way of learning that accomplishes the objectives of 21st century schools. It is the way to meet the many requirements of the curriculum through engaging, motivating and challenging learning” (Kuhlthau, 2010, p. 19).

Throughout my readings many innovative and motivating Web 2.0 tools to assist students research needs when implementing a GI approach. Some of these strategies are Pathfinders, wikis, blogs, word clouds, google docs. Scheffers (2008) also suggests class blogs and web quests as useful teaching strategies to engage students throughout their GI unit. At my current school I have observed Pathfinders in infants classes successfully being as a tool for assisting students who lack content knowledge of a specific topic.

The GI approach differs greatly from the old fashioned teaching method of searching for information to fill in the blanks on a photocopied sheet. Whilst reading Robins (2005), I enjoyed reminiscing back to the days of my first teaching practicum 18 years ago, when the style of teaching mentioned in the “Bird Unit” was the norm. Being an educator today in a GI context allows for a continuum of learning directed by the student curiosity, interested and inquisitiveness to take place.

References

Chu K. W. S., Tse S. K., & Chow K. (2011). Using collaborative teaching and inquiry project-based learning to help primary school students develop information literacy and information skills. Library & Information Science Research, 33(2), 132–143. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2010.07.017

Kuhlthau C. (2010). Guided inquiry: school libraries in the 21st Century. School Libraries Worldwide 16(1). 17-28. Retrieved from http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~kuhlthau/docs/GI-School-Librarians-in-the-21-Century.pd

Robins, J. (2005). Beyond the bird unit. Teacher Librarian, 33(2), 8-19.

Scheffers, J. (2008). Guided inquiry: A learning journey. Scan, 27(4), 34-42.

Sheerman, A. (2011). Accepting the challenge: Evidence based practice at Broughton Anglican College. Scan, 30(2), 24-33.

Todd, R. J. (2008). The dynamics of classroom teacher and TL instructional collaborations. Scan, 27(2), 19-28.

Todd, R. J. (2009). School Librarianship and Evidence Based Practice: Progress, Perspectives, and Challenges. Evidence Based Library And Information Practice, 4(2), 78-96. Retrieved from http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP/article/view/4637

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ETL401: Assignment Item 5 Critical Reflection

Provide a critical synthesis of your reflection on how your view of the role of the teacher librarian (TL) may have changed during the subject.

Throughout ETL401 my view of the role of the TL has changed greatly because I have learnt more about the vital role a TL plays in educating students and meeting student outcomes. Prior to studying ETL401 I thought TLs spent most of their time returning books and ordering high quality resources. I now understand more about the ASLA Library standards of professional excellence and appreciate the critical role TLs play in assisting to implement guided inquiry (GI) and information literacy (IL) into the school curriculum.

TLs need to do more than let students borrow books, TLs need to be aware of The Australian School Library Association’s twelve standards which “represent the goals to which all Australian TLs should aspire, and provides inspiration for quality teaching and ongoing professional practice” (ASLA, as cited in Herring, 2007, p. 29).

“Successful collaboration is directly related to quality of relationships, goals and rewards” (Brown, 2004). When TLs collaboratively plan with teachers, participants feel ownership that their ideas and efforts are appreciated and hence a more collaborative atmosphere will be evident amongst staff in the school and the learning outcomes of students will be supported. As an instructional partner, the TL should participate in curriculum design and assessment, help teachers develop instructional activities and provide expertise in materials and technology.

Excellent TLs assist the implementation of a GI approach into schools. This would be an ideal opportunity for the TL to collaborate with teachers and offer his / her expertise into the research process. GI units give teachers the opportunity to work alongside TLs in creating inquiry units and also to work alongside students assisting them to move through the various stages of research. “GI tasks should be linked to the curriculum” where teachers and TLs guide students through an open ended task (FitzGerald, 2011).

Recent studies have indicated that GI is more effective in promoting learning outcomes such as deep thinking, the ability to apply knowledge, and reasoning skills. In the GI process, students actively research and seek out knowledge, and the TLs (along with the classroom teachers) are the facilitators of the students learning. Research shows that the combination of collaborative teaching and a GI approach contributes to the development of information literacy and IT skills (Chu et al., 2011, p. 12). It is widely held that projects related to guided inquiry help students develop content knowledge as well as information literacy skills (Thomas, 2011, p. 56). In guided inquiry “students are seen as active agents in their construction of their own personal topical comprehension” (Kuhlthau & Todd, as cited in Thomas, 2011, p. 54).

I agree with Kuhlthau who states “school librarians are primary agents in schools for 21st century learners. School libraries are dynamic learning centres in information age schools” (2010, p. 17). GI is learner centred and combines well with IL skills that are focused on individual, lifelong learning. The presence of the TL and teacher at each stage of the GI project to intervene, plan and offer expertise, both in planned and unplanned ways (FitzGerald, 2011, p. 28).

It was interesting to note that the American Association School Librarians (AASL) Standards for the 21st Century Learner have expanded their professional standards to incorprate GI. However, the Australian School Library Association’s (ASLA) Library standards of professional excellence for TLs don’t mention the word inquiry. This to me says that inquiry based learning plays a greater part in the role of the TL in the American education system than the Australia education system.

The New York School Library Continuum (n.d.) states ”librarians play a key role in integrating independent learning skills throughout the curriculum by teaching research, inquiry, and technology skills to students and by providing professional development for teachers”. 21st century school libraries remain the backbone of schools, libraries are changing – reflecting our world and our values. (Hay & Todd, 2010, p. 32). The unique work of the TL focuses on student learning and literacy, however it is excellent TLs who are lifelong learners and collaborative planners.

The school and the TL are an integral part of the school learning community. TLs support students learning outcomes by “ensuring that their programs are responsive to the needs of learners in the school community” (ASLA, 2004, p. 3). TLs extend what has been taught in the classroom by teaching students to develop information skills and then integrate the skills taught with classroom teaching.

References

AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/guidelinesandstandards/learningstandards/standards

Australian School Library Association. (2004). Library standards of professional excellence for TLs. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.aspx

Brown, C. (2004). America’s most wanted: teachers who collaborate. TL, 32(1), 13-18.

Chu Kai Wah S., Tse S.K., & Chow K. (2011). Using collaborative teaching and inquiry project-based learning to help primary school students develop information literacy and information skills. Library & Information Science Research, 33(2), 132–143. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2010.07.017

de Groot, J., & Branch, J. L. (2011). Looking Toward the Future: Competences for 21st-Century Teacher-Librarians. Alberta Journal Of Educational Research, 57(3), 288-297.

FitzGerald, L. (2011). The twin purposes of guided inquiry: guiding student inquiry and evidence based practice. Scan, 30(1), 26-41. Retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/fullText;dn=187248;res=AEIPT

Hay, L. & Todd, R. (2010). School libraries 21C: the conversation begins. Scan, 29(1), 30-42. Retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/fullText;dn=183676;res=AEIPT

Herring, J. (2007). TLs and the school library. Libraries in the twenty-first century: charting new directions in information, 27-42. Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

Kuhlthau, C.C. (2010). Guided inquiry: school libraries in the 21st century. School Libraries Worldwide, 16(1), 17-28. Retrieved from http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~kuhlthau/docs/GI-School-Librarians-in-the-21-Century.pdf

New York City School Library system information fluency continuum. (n.d.) Retrieved from: http://schools.nycenet.edu/offices/teachlearn/sls/INFO_FLUENCY_CONT_K12Final.pdf

Thomas, N. P., Crow, S. R., & Franklin, L. L. (2011). Chapter 3: The Information Search Process: Kuhlthau’s legacy. In Information literacy and information skills instruction: Applying research to practice in the 21st century school library (3rd ed., pp. 33-58). Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited. Retrieved from http://CSUAU.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=715256

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