Web 2.0 and digital learners

My role as a teacher librarian is to make the library a place where students can create their own learning and engage in it.
This video highlights the need for us as teachers to change and to realise the children we are teaching have specific IT needs.
Are our students engaged?  Is our teaching style relevant to them? Are we allowing them to create and develop their own learning?

My currrent subject Information environment has enlightened me to all the possibilities of using Web 2.0 tools to engage students and help them create their own learning.  This will halp them to develop skills in their journey in life-long learning.

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Semester Two Begins

Well, here we go again another semester filled with many learning opportunities and experiences.  I am doing two subjects this semester but one is spanned over two semesters so won’t be so taxing.  I have already completed part of that subject with the study visit and am in the process of organising a 10 day prac sometime in January.  The second subject is Information Environment which is interesting and after reading the first few chapters of the prescribed book, looks like a real ‘hands on’ subject with lots of ideas for the classroom.  I am looking forward to it.  Part of the subject involves evaluating websites which I did a bit of in my last degree so I think that should be okay.  Looking forward to a bit of a lighter load this semester with full-time work again – found it very difficult last semester but managed to pass both subjects which is all that is needed.

Brisbane Study Visit

The four day study
visit was very worthwhile.  At first I
was dreading it as I had to travel from Sydney to Brisbane to do in but now
that it is completed, I am confident what I learnt is beneficial to my studies
and my future role as a teacher librarian. I have learnt
about so many things I did not know existed – RFID, QR codes, automatic book
sorters, repositories, different fiction cataloguing systems, staff modes of
interaction, and some of the various specialised roles librarians play in a
library setting.  Some of the titles a
librarian may have include clinical librarians, library collection access
supervisors, academic skills advisers, research support librarians, information
management coordinators, library services managers, library advisors, preservation
librarians and archivists.  In all the
visits it was a common thread that all libraries are there to serve their
community/users and they need to find out what their users’ needs are and
evaluate regularly.  It was comforting to
see that many of the roles a teacher librarian does and the skills they give
students is common across all libraries. The focus on collaboration was very
evident – not only in the school libraries but in all libraries.  This collaboration is found in many forms
including attending meetings with clinical professionals, lecturers, students,
teachers, local communities and users.
Another focus that was common across all libraries was teaching
information skills and IT skills which empower users to use and find information
effectively.  The links between the
various librarians was evident and no matter what type of library you work in
the librarian’s role is often the same. As summed up by the teacher librarian
at the Girl’s Grammar school – a librarians’ role is value adding, if you are
not doing that you are not doing your job.

After this study
visit, I feel more confident in my role, inspired to take on board new
technologies and try something new, more knowledgeable of how a library runs
and encouraged to advocate for librarians in all areas.

Resourcing the curriculum reflection

Developing a collection policy is a learning
experience for those undertaking it as they learn about the strengths and
weaknesses of the collection (Kennedy 2005, p. 16).  Before I began this course I was working in a
school library for six years in a private school after completing a graduate
diploma in information management.
Despite this I was unaware of the need for a collection development
policy.  The school I was working in had
no collection development policy and my current school has none but draws on
the policies from the NSW Handbook for School Libraries (1996).

 

A Collection development policy
helps with the selection of resources and can supports the librarian’s choices.
Putting together this policy has been a way to consolidate all we learnt in
this subject and has a revision exercise as I continually refer back to past
notes, forum posts, modules and readings.  All the learning, readings and modules
throughout the semester have come together in this collection development
policy.  As outlined by Williams &
Dillon (1993, p. 104), a selection policy is only effective if it is supported
and followed.  The aim is to now put the
policy in place and follow it.

 

On occasions as a teacher librarian
I have been challenged by parents and teachers about particular books in the
library.  A policy enables the librarian
to handle complaints against items in the collection (Kennedy 2005, p. 16). In
most cases I took the book off the shelf or made sure the children of those
parents didn’t borrow it.  It never
occurred to me that there should have been an enquiry into the controversial
resource.  I am also guilty of what Johnson
(2010, p. 98) explains as censorship by omission by avoiding controversial
materials.

 

I now believe every procedure that involves
the collection needs to be supported by the policy.  The collection development policy is a great
way to keep us justifying what resources we select, how they are managed and
how the collection will provide for the future.
Part of the course was looking at evaluation of the collection. I have
found that the best way to do this is to be involved in the collection and know
what is there.  Making an effort to be
the one to re-shelve and circulate the books ensures familiarity of the
collection and the physical state it is in.

 

The teacher librarian needs to keep
up to date on all issues of copyright, new technologies, e-resources, curriculum
changes, literature and their own professional development.  As outlined by Kennedy (2005, pp. 127-130)
there will be a number of changes in the future in regard to how a collection
is managed but it is up to us to ensure that people are provided with the
educational and informational resources they need to effectively manage and
enjoy and lives.  Libraries are about
facilitating communication across space and time and libraries need to support
all sorts of media and embrace the new or lose their relevance to mainstream
culture (Horava 2010 p. 2).  Collection
development policies need to reflect this shift to maintain their
integrity.  The future of developing
collections in school libraries may be a challenging time for teacher librarians
but I am willing to take on the challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

Task C: Reflection on the role of the teacher librarian

When I first began this course  on teacher librarianship, I was a little apprehensive and not convinced I  needed to complete it. I completed a graduate diploma of information management  (librarianship) at another academic institution five years ago and have been  working in a primary school as a teacher librarian for the past six years.  When I decided to move from the private education system to the Department of Education, it was noted that my library  qualifications were insufficient to work as a teacher librarian in a NSW state
school.

After deciding to begin the Masters of Education course at CSU on teacher  librarianship, I begin to discover how much I had to learn!!  Although my role as teacher librarian was a  fulfilling role and I feel I accomplished a lot there was  so much more I could have done. There is a lot more to the role than  I imagined.  My initial thoughts on what a teacher librarian is have been extended since the beginning of this course.

Often people say they became a teacher librarian because  they loved reading and books but that is such a small part of it.  Literature and  helping children develop a love of literature seems a very small part of the  role. Barack (2011) suggest that students who read for pleasure have more chance of a professional career.  The forum on ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water (17 Mar 2011)’ was great discussion on this topic.  In a forty minute lesson one is supposed to  develop literature, implement new technologies, teach information literacy  skills and give the children an opportunity to borrow books. But as Herring  (2007, p. 3) explains  an excellent teacher librarian is one who can manage their time well and get  others to collaborate with them.

I knew that this course would change my ideas of what the role is and already I think it is clear to me that the teacher librarian needs to be an advocate and expand their role within the school by  collaborating.   Often school staff don’t know of the  extensive qualifications a teacher librarian has (Kaplan, 2007). It is important to remember that a teacher librarian is uniquely trained as both a teacher and a librarian.

I did not realize there were so many definitions for information literacy nor the number of models that can be used to teach and explain the information literacy process. Before I became a teacher librarian, I was not aware of the term information literacy and I believe that there are teachers who have not heard of it. An article I enjoyed reading was by DeAngleo, Maid etc (2004) which asks the question do we spend too much effort on try to find a definition for information literacy rather than try to work information across the curriculum in whatever definition it comes in.

I wrote about collaboration and teacher librarian as instructional partner in my first assignment and it can be a challenge to work collaboratively with other staff members.  After working at one school for ten years, I found it much easier when my role was respected and teachers openly discussed lessons with me.   I found  Montiel-Overall’s (2005) definition of
collaboration ‘… a trusting, working relationship between two or more equal participants involved in share thinking, shared planning and shared creation of integrated instruction’ (p.32) concise and made me realize that often when I think I am collaborating, it is really cooperating.

Throughout this course the forums have been hard to keep up with but I have learnt from them through reading and reflecting on their content and students commenting on my posts. After reading the standards for teacher librarians as set out by ASLA, it was heartening to read forum posts about how other teacher librarians felt – could  we really strive for excellence in all those areas?

Warlock (2007) outlines a definition of literacy that is ever-changing.  Warlick (2007) explains that it is hard to find a definition for information as we are dealing with a future we cannot describe, learners who are information savvy and an information landscape that is rapidly changing.  There is still so much more that we need to know about the role of the teacher librarian and how we can develop and enhance the learning of students. By staying connected with other teacher librarians through OZTL_NET and other networking
organisations.  Teacher librarians need to also keep up-to-date with new technologies and development in their role.  A video by David Warlick explains a changing
information world.

I have developed a deeper understanding of the intricate and professional role the teacher librarian has in the school.  I have the ability to make many changes and lead others in many ways. Keeping up to date with changes in pedagogy, new technologies and new teaching strategies will continue to be challenging and exciting as I continue my teacher librarian journey.

REFERENCES

Barack, L. (2011). Pleasure reading leads to professional careers, Study Says.  School  library Journal.

Retrieved from: http://www.slj.com/slj/articlereview/890530-451/teens_who_read_for_pleasure.html.csp

D’Angelo,  B. and Maid, B. (2004). Moving Beyond Definitions: Implementing Information Literacy  Across the Curriculum.  Journal  of Academic Librarianship, 30(3).

Herring, J (2007). ‘Teacher librarians and the school  library’ IN Ferguson, S ed, Libraries in the 21st century: charting new  directions in information services. Centre for Information Studies, Charles  Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Kaplan, A. G. (2007). Is Your  School Librarian ‘Highly Qualified?’.  Phi  Delta Kappan, 89(4), pp. 300-303.

Montiel-Overall, P. (2005).  A theoretical understanding of teacher and librarian collaboration.  School  Libraries Worldwide, 11(2),  pp. 24-48.

Warlick,  D. (2007). Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB) Conference in Alaska.  Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCnqF132l1c&feature=related

information literacy and collection development

I am in the process of trying to complete two assignemtns for the Masters degree.  I have found the informaiton literacy assignment involves a lot of reading and different opinions on what information literacy is and how it should be implemented in classrooms.  I have a tendencey to lean towards Abilock’s (2004) . Abilock describes information literacy as ‘a transformational process in which the learner needs to find, understand, evaluate and use information in various forms to create for personal, social or global purposes’ (p.1)

To me this definition covers all types of literacies (even those we haven’t met yet) and it stresses that information literacy is a transformational process which means it is a life-long process that can be used in many situations.

If I thought the amount of definitions for information literacy were plenty, investigating information literacy models was just as daunting.  I am familiar with the Kulhta model from my librarian studies in 2005 and I use the NSW model in library lessons, but I was totally unaware of the other 15 or so out there.  Including one developed by our lecturer James Herring.  When looking at these models, they all have similarities and although they use different terminology their ideas are much the same.  As Herring (2010) suggests maybe students need to develop their own after using a few different ones and finding one that suits their style.  looking at informaiton literacy as a whole school approach is something teacher librarians feel passionate about but I think it will need a lot of push from the librarian to get all staff memebers on board.

Putting together a collection development policy, when the school has none and has never had one from what I can gather, is proving to be a huge task.  I have looked at quite a number of collection development policies and hope to use their examples to develop one for my school.   As cited by Kennedy (2005, p.26) Whitehead (1989, p. 27) suggests that ‘it is simportant to avoid starting from scratch: this is immensely confusing and time-consuming.  freely adapt the most appropriate looking policy” Darnall (1998, p. 47) also agrees.

Anyway, I better get back to the writing of these assignments and stop procastinating once again!!

References:

Darnell, J. (1998). A most delicate monster: The one person special library.  Centre for Information Studies.  Wagga Wagga NSW.

Kennedy J. (2005). Collection management: A
concise introduction
(rev. ed.). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information
Studies, Charles Sturt University.

Copyright and so much more!

For the past month, things have been extremely hectic as I completed two assignments, finished up for the term and am now embarking on the next two assignments.  There hasn’t been a day where I haven’t read forum posts and module notes.  Now it is time to add to the blog.

I found the subject on copyright extremely interesting, confusing and terrifying.  There are so many things we do during our teaching career that we know may in some breach copyright.  I learnt that the programs that I have written and used in a different school are no longer mine but belong to the school.  I have learnt a lot about creative commons and the wonderful things that it allows you to do with someone else’s work.

As a teacher librarian we need to be informed about copyright rules and we need to inform other staff members in a diplomatic way.  I found the forum discussions on this topic very informative and there was great discussion being had.  Particularly the discussions on VHS and converting these into DVD format or something similar so they can be used in the classroom.  I now know that if the VHS has already been converted commercially into a DVD you cannot convert your VHS copy int DVD.  If there is no commercial copy to be found then you can convert the VHS to DVD.

The Smartcopying website has all the information needed for schools and is a handy resource to make available to all teachers – www.smartcopying.edu.au