Archive for Learning
Library 2.0 is an interesting concept that places the relationships between a library and its users in the hands of the librarian, who is charged with enabling open access to collections, services and knowledge through the thoughtful, judicious and calculated use of web2.0 applications.
My school library blog is a work in progress: moving it from a class based blog to one that demonstrates the learning that takes place in the library has been quite straight forward, but I am realizing that it will not take the place of a Library website as it is – there are changes to be made .
The post A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries (22 January, 2010) on the Social Networking for Libraries blog puts forward a number of ways that a librarian may use social media to extend the reach of the traditional library using web2.0 technologies. I will take five of the suggestions and reflect on how well (or not) these may be applied to my blog to help it embrace a Library 2.0 ethos.
“A = Active. In order for your library patrons to view you as being serious about your social networking and for it to work for you and your library, you need to use it on a regular basis.”
A timely (and time – less) problem for me at the moment. I am not posting as regularly as I could due for the most part to the fact that it is just me writing and posting with no feedback or responses AT ALL! There is no student voice on the blog at the moment, no posts by students, no comments or interactions amongst students, no sharing of work that makes THE STUDENTS proud.
I must establish links with other libraries and classes studying similar topics to encourage sharing and commenting. I need to encourage students to write posts about what they are doing and learning, and share this with the school and wider community.
“D = Direction. What are you planning to accomplish for your library with social networking?”
As a starting point in my Library 2.0 journey, I think that my Library blog is an effective way to form ongoing relationships with students and their families across the school. As a vehicle for sharing what is happening in the Library, the blog is great, however other essential aspects of the library such as information literacy, reference materials and reading advocacy must be available for students and families as well.
“G = Good Reads. Do your patrons need some ideas of what to read? Help them out with Good Reads.”
Now I know that Good reads have very recently been swallowed up by Amazon, but the idea of providing students with suggestions for what to read next is a good one! I know that Shelfari displays books that you are reading as a widget on your blog, but I will have to investigate if the group sharing part of the site is appropriate for primary school children.
“H = Help. Relying on only one or two people to build your library’s social networking presence will not work. It needs to be a whole team effort on behalf of your entire library staff.”
Haha – I AM the entire library staff! It is me or no-one :-0
“Z = Zeal. Is your library staff excited about the possibilities that social networking can offer your library?”
YES! I am excited about the possibilities of social networking for my library. I follow many librarians from around the world and am inspired by the many wonderful ways they engage with students and each other as part of the everyday work going on in a school library. I am determined to work some of their magic as a TL in a Library 2.0.
Found on flickrcc.net
Social networking occurs when groups of people, who share a specific concern or interest, connect with each other to share, compare and collaborate with each to expand knowledge, understanding and learning. A community forms that enriches members through sharing, commenting, helping, feedback, advice and support.
Use of Social Network Technologies so far:
I have been using a number of social networking technologies in my role as Primary school teacher since 2006 – most of these technologies stem from the class blog and the resulting connections and collaborations made with other teachers and classes around the world. Social networking technologies have allowed me (and my students) to feel as if we are learning for real purposes and in real or authentic ways.
Social networking has resulted in meeting other teachers and educational professionals from around the world – both in each other’s classrooms and at conferences and in homes. The feelings of being a part of a community, and the responsibilities that entails made the learning that was happening (both for myself professionally and for the students in my classroom) vitally important, meaningful and bigger than just attending school.
Some of the social networking sites I currently use are:
It is interesting to note that it is difficult to separate them into work, personal or study groups as they overlap so much.
Now in my second year as a Teacher Librarian I want to learn how to use social networking technologies to:
- Expand the opportunities of students across the school – to demonstrate and use social networking technologies to connect with information: experts, peers, an audience and collaborators for their learning.
- Support teaches in their use of these technologies for personal professional development and classroom use (to flatten walls and connect to the “outside” world).
- Harness the powers of these technologies to enhance the usefulness and authenticity of the school library in its role of providing information and recreational services to the school.
Expectations of INF506:
I expect to transfer or transform what I know about social networks and social media into a basis for pedagogically sound, innovative and authentic uses in the school library setting.
I expect to see best practice libraries and the uses they have for social media.
I expect to become far more knowledgeable on the legalities and technicalities of using social media and social networks across a whole school setting.
I expect to build a Professional Learning Network of informational professionals who can guide, support and who I can learn alongside of.
I expect to learn and think and collaborate and question and do!
Image: ‘Jump on the social media bandwagon‘ By Matt Hamm
From feeling very envious and slightly jealous of the social happenings and get-togethers that are being shared, I am now inspired by watching the learning that is taking place by the attendees:
ideas - tweeted from workshops
discovery – of personal connections to these ideas
joy - when realising the relevance of the ideas
plans – to try the ideas back home
sharing – the discovery with others via twitter and blogs
elaborating - on the first idea
collaborating – and hooking up with others who are sharing the idea
curiosity – about where the idea has come from
looking up – researching some background
thinking – how the new idea fits with what you do
buzzing – with excitement
possibilities – bouncing around in your head
What an authentic and wonderful snapshot of learning taking place.
Thoughts, theories and practices being shaped and grown in a positive and supportive atmosphere of “it is possible”.
I can only imagine the opportunities and experiences that await classrooms when the attendees return.
Thank you to everyone who has tweeted and blogged ISTE 2012 into my life this past week or so.
My teacher-librarian (TL) learning journey started with me deliberately and defiantly staying exactly where I was! In starting this course I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of information I was processing from the readings, and trying to cope with running the library at my school for the first time ever, that I concluded that the primary and over arching role of the TL was that of a teacher.
I now know, through a Kuhlthau reading that I was doing what George Kelly called “forming new constructs and reconstructing old ones” (Kuhlthau, 2004, p. 17). Having been a classroom teacher for over twenty years I needed to keep the pattern or frame of reference of what I knew when confronted with new experiences. I felt that teaching students and staff, contributing to student outcomes and making a difference in the way teaches taught and students learnt was the role that a TL was expected to play. Ideas and thoughts firmly rooted in my classroom teacher perspective.
Contributing to the Topic 3 Forum on “TL and the Curriculum” I was beginning to look at a bigger picture view of what the TL offered to the staff and students in a school. From planning with staff across the school and for various stage groups of students, through sharing expertise and knowledge of the curriculum K-6, to what I, as the TL, would add to the planning, I was beginning to see that the TL role encompassed more specialized knowledge and skills particularly in the are of information specialist.
The Kuhlthau reading from Module 4: Information Literacy really grabbed my attention, and impacted on my understanding of the role of the TL as information specialist (Kuhlthau, 2004). I had positioned myself in my “What sort of library?” post as aiming for an active, learner-centered library. This reading walked me through constructivist theory, which gave me confidence and background information about learning.
The exploration of information literacy and the various models, processes and definitions opened my eyes to the ways in which the TL worked with information to develop the skills and competencies in students so that learning could take place. The TL role in providing multiple perspectives, formats and types of information to both students and staff was also made clear and reflected on in my Information Literacy and The Constructive Process posts
Reading the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner document really tied up all of the aspects of the TL role neatly for me. In the Topic 4 Forum I shared how this document really positioned the learner at the centre of their learning and demonstrated how learners needed to be very proactive in their own learning.
This document also brought home to me the importance of ethical and moral use of information. Once again it was a case of a reading tying up my ideas neatly, and then enlarging or expanding my thinking and knowledge. The linking of information literacy and technology was made in a Forum 4 posting and I began thinking of how my role of TL was about “enabling [students] to make informed and positive choices in the future, [so that] we are doing what we can to ensure that whatever technologies come our way we and our students have the skills and knowledge to work with them.”
Over the ETL401 course, my knowledge and understandings about the role of the TL have grown and developed along side my knowledge and understandings of the power and pervasiveness of information. Although I am in no way ready to call myself an information specialist, I can see that this is one area that a TL must have deep knowledge and understanding in. In this information age it is necessary to ensure that all students have the skills, strategies and mindsets to be able to critically, competently and confidently navigate with information to make informed decisions. This is one of the most important roles of the TL and the one that has made the most impact on me over the semester.
Kuhlthau, C.C. (2004). Learning as a process, in Seeking meaning: A process approach to library and information services, Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.
I need to address the “what” and “why” before we can move on to the “how” and “when”.
I need to look at best practice examples of Guided Inquiry , have opportunities to learn from these examples and then look at ways to support each other as we work together to apply this model in the school.
I need to make a great case for taking the trouble to plan and work together collaboratively, when most of the staff are used to working autonomously in their classrooms, formulating and driving their investigations in Key Learning Areas. It will be quite a challenge for some staff to see the point of information literacy skills and guided inquiries and letting go of being the sole leader in their room.
Hmmm – this is an important step in moving forward ……
In her work on inquiry learning, Carol Kuhlthau is heralded as being the first person to incorporate feelings into a model of the inquiry learning process. Upon reflection, there is a lot more to incorporating thinking, feeling and acting in learning than just identifying the feelings students are having at particular times in the process. Kuhlthau’s model has let me know where in the inquiry learning process my students are most likely to have uncomfortable and negative feelings, and be ready to give up. But more importantly, she has matched these feelings with what the students are doing cognitively at this time.
This will enable me to provide scaffolds, organisers and learning experiences to support my students in their cognitive tasks at these points in the process.
By electing to use these scaffolds, organisers and learning experiences students should be able to reflect, infer, predict or see patterns in their information and therefore technically be in a better, more supported/confident/aware and positive position to make the jump to the next step in the inquiry learning process.
So my role is to have on hand a selection of learning experiences, scaffolds and routines for students to use at various times in the learning process, but especially at those times when their feelings are low and negative.
My learning of and about the inquiry learning process is deepening my understandings of what is involved in the information process and will hopefully lead me to be able to transfer this knowledge in practical and meaningful ways across age groups, grade levels and Key Learning Areas.
Image: “Icelandic Faces”
Here are some definitions of Information Literacy:
Langford (1998,p.59): information literacy is a type of literacy that has been transformed to work with the technologies of the time.
My comment: Literacy is active and changing and as the types, sources, reliability and access to information change and develop through the use of the internet and web2.0 applications, students must be able to make sense of this information.
Abilock (2004, p. 1): information literacy is a transformational process where information is taken and used.
My comment: This is an active sort of definition – information literacy is a process or strategy to work with information in a purposeful way.
Herring & Tartar (2006, p. 3): list of things information literate students will be able to do.
My comment: Add the idea of reflecting on the way the information was used to serve an identified purpose.
All of the authors added extra dimensions and aspects to my understandings of information literacy.
Langford’s references to information literacy complementing technology is very relevant as students are dealing with many types of information in many formats and from varied sources. They need strategies and skills in identifying, deciphering and evaluating the information they come into contact with.
Abilock’s idea of using information for personal, social and global purposes support both constructivist and connectivist thinking where students are learning for an authentic purpose and audience.
Herring & Tartar identify actions that students are able to do with information in a step by step manner.
It seems to me that information literacy is a process to help students “help themselves” learn. So much about learning is not just content related facts. Students need to be able to collect, sort and use information in many ways to make meaning from what they read, view and hear. Information literacy is both a process and strategies to help them do this.
Herring, J. and Tartar, A. (2006). Progress in developing information literacy in a secondary school using the PLUS model. School Libraries in View, 23, 23-27
I have been reading about the roles of the TL for Assignment 1 and am excited about the active and purposeful ways that the TL can impact on the learning of the students, staff and school. I have read about some wonderful ways in which the TL can share her expertise in technology, information and literature with the staff to achieve outcomes and develop school priorities.
This has got me thinking about the type of library I want to develop with my school, and I have used my on-line friends’ examples and shared stories to allow me to see what a great library can be like. Each of the people or library blogs I follow shares an aspect, idea, environment or view that I admire and want to try and utilise or adapt to my setting.
A great library environment is:
- familiar, owned by students
- a working place
- a sharing and collaborating place
- a finding out, inquiring place
- an active, busy and purposeful place
- a reflective and calm place as well!
- make or have an impact
When there is a strong vision and plan for a school, which has been discussed and negotiated with the school community and actively embraced by the staff, all staff are able to proceed in their roles with confidence. When this process is led by the Principal who encourages teacher leadership at all levels, having and using this school plan is very important in providing the structures and scaffolds necessary for the freedom entrusted to staff.
Oberg (2006, p.13) suggests that the Principal’s contributions in terms of ” vision building, evolutionary planning, empowering others, resource mobilization, and problem coping and monitoring” are critical in implementing change in schools. Having the support of the Principal, and through her/him the school plan means that the investment of money, time, effort, resources, planning, and collaborating must have a real pay off in terms of student learning.
For the teacher librarian to have the support of the Principal means that the work done in and through the Library programmes is visible, validated and contributes to the learning outcomes of the whole school.The Principal’s expectations evidenced in the support (in various forms including time for collaborating, focus, prominence of information literacy programs) offers the TL (teacher librarian) opportunities to affect learning in many areas across the school:
- Teacher Professional Learning
- special interest groups – both Teacher or Student