The Azure Blue Indoor Pool at Hearst Castle

I will be using a Visible Thinking routine called Connect, Extend, Challenge to scaffold my reflection.


How were the ideas and information presented in INF506 connected to what you already knew?

I was able to connect straight into INF506 as I had a working knowledge of many of the web2.0 tools that were mentioned in Modules 1 and 2. I had enjoyed using web2.0 to grow a global network of learners as a classroom teacher and blogger. I used social networks to ask for and receive help, ideas, professional development and support as I learned alongside my students the benefits, responsibilities and joys in establishing global networks for learning.

I have always believed that school and learning is all about relationships, and I could connect with the idea that social networking is all about relationships too – relationships with customers, with colleagues, with information and with services. According to Mott (2012) it’s “the relationships you build, the ideas you share and the purpose and passion you bring” but I still needed to learn how to fully develop these relationships from an Information Professional viewpoint, but I knew that relationships were at the heart of providing essential services on behalf of Belmore South Public School (BSPS) library.



What new ideas did you get from INF506 that extended or pushed your thinking in new directions?

The idea that connecting with users was much more than a one way street, that information, opinions, viewpoints and ideas came in as well as went out from the library and its online presence extended my thinking around the use of social media in my library. That together students, staff and school could build a learning place that brings in the combined knowledge and interests of participants as well as sending out new knowledge and interests made me sit up and think carefully about the ways I had been using my library blog. In an attempt to move my established classroom blog to a Library blog, I was simply providing content about what classes had been doing. Schrier (2011) warns against using social media merely to promote content and suggests that establishing trusting relationships with users should be the priority or purpose to using social media.

Schrier goes on to list five principles to use to plan for effective social media use: listening, participation, transparency, policy and planning.  I found these principles to be a useful list to start to think more deeply about the reasons to use social media, the people to connect with, the multiple ways to link authentically with customers, the need for explicit policies and planning for an integrated, thoughtful and focused move into social media use. The simple principles enabled me to start linking the (so far) disparate parts of social media into a useful whole.

My thinking and learning as a social networker was also extended by the many varied examples of libraries already using social media as integral components of their work. In the course modules example after example was given, showing ways in which blogs, wikis, Facebook, podcasting, and Twitter were being used to inform, educate, answer and entertain library users. I found this exciting and at times overwhelming as I realized that social media and social networking, whilst seen as still quite innovative and new in schools, is embraced as the norm outside of school.

To have models of practice available as demonstrations to scaffold my learning regarding the uses of social networking within the library  disrupted my current knowledge and forced me to take on board the fact that I still did not have a deep understanding of the principles and processes that a successful librarian2.0 needed. I had been quite comfortable using web2.0 tools and apps in my classroom, but I would definitely need to step up to live up to Librarian2.0!



What is still challenging or confusing for you to get your mind around? What questions, wonderings or puzzles do you now have?

I realize that I have consistently seen the role of the library and the Teacher Librarian as one of providing services to students; neglecting to focus on the responsibility I have to the staff and school and providing for their needs as well. The challenge for me is to position the library at the centre of the learning that happens at BSPS; to move it from its current irrelevance to that of a partner in the learning and information needs of the school and staff (as well as the students).

I need to meet staff where they are, to demonstrate my knowledge and understanding of social media to make our school library visible and important to the functioning of the school. I need to position myself, in my use of social media and social networks, to be able to become a librarian2.0 to fully support and enhance the learning programmes offered by my school and staff.

This session I have learnt a lot about social media, but I have learnt more about myself as a learner and a social networker and Information Professional. I have some way to go but am confident that I am developing the skills and strategies I need to get there 🙂 .




Mott, E. (2012). 7 tips to take social to the next level. In iMedia Connection. Retrieved from

Schrier, R.A. (2011). Digital librarianship & social media: The digital library as conversation facilitator, D-Lib Magazine, 17(7/8) July/August 2011. Retrieved from


Image: ‘The Azure Blue Indoor Pool at Hearst+Castle
The Azure Blue Indoor Pool at Hearst Castle
Found on



My social networking practices are in the area of professional training and development – I use Twitter and Facebook to connect with and learn from other educators around the world. I continue to build a Personal Learning Network that supports and encourages me, especially in the area of Teacher Librarianship as I am very new to this role. INF506 expanded my understanding of the role social media could play in defining my role as TL (Teacher Librarian), in providing a way to connect and a means to present and share the story of my library and learners. I still have a lot to learn about effectively using social media in the Library, but my current understandings have been heavily impacted by my participation in INF506.

Librarian 2.0 was a concept explained in detail in Module 3 and was one of the most interesting and inspiring parts of the session. A number of important concepts, theories and practices of Library2.0 were introduced in the module and collaboration, conversations, community and creation were shown as the 4c’s of Web2.0. (Hay, Wallis, O’Connell, Crease, 2013). In the blog post “Librarian2.0 Essentials” I was able to identify a number of aspects that really excite me about working with the school community to provide, share and create new learning and knowledge.

Collaborating with current and prospective customers and working with them to provide for their needs and wants is the first step in building a vital community of users, who are willing and able to share conversations around the core business of Library. With the goal of creating together new learning and understandings, the TL 2.0 needs to be ready, willing and able to source information, products and experiences that will enable and enhance the work and recreational needs and wants of the customers (in my case the students and staff).

Much of the essential knowledge, skills and attributes of an information professional in a Web 2.0 world as discussed in my blog post (“Librarian2.0 Essentials”) relate to the critical examination of various social networking tools to meet the information needs of my students. I feel that a TL2.0 must be

  • fearless and courageous – in providing information in the required formats such as blogging to inform and share and wikis to collate information,
  • be a lifelong learner – delivering the best programs and facilities for the community it serves. For example,  by  exploring game based learning and Edmodo,
  • respond positively –  and back up opinions and views with cohesive examples and research of the successful use of social tools and apps to support learning and sharing,
  •  play with change – use it as a chance to experiment and work to take advantage of new tools, apps, services and ways of approaching information collection, curation and communication.

All of these skills and attitudes result in being willing and able to effectively examine the features  and functions of  new tools and apps in order to select the best ones for the many purposes within the school. As an advocate for staff and students in the field of information literacy, I have shown, in my blog post that this is a responsibility of a Librarian2.0.

In my blog post “Participate!” I commented on a number of important new literacy skills that addressed participatory culture and how this could support the informational and collaborative needs of our students. In his paper, Jenkins (2006) puts forward eleven new skills that he recommends to educators to harness the social communities our students are already engaged with in a more educationally explicit manner.

Many social networking technologies are already being used by students out of school and whilst some of these technologies are not supported yet within schools, the idea of using social media for learning is starting to take hold and apps such as Edmodo, wikis and blogs are seen to be educationally relevant and support the informational, collaborative and safety needs of students, staff and schools.

Investigating some of the social, cultural, educational, ethical, and technical management issues that exist in a socially networked world was another important area of INF506 in which I had a lot to learn. Using the You Tube clip “Did You Know v.4” as a provocative starting point  I was able to use the scenarios it brought up to reflect on the readings I had undertaken in Module 5 in my blog post “Did You Know?”.

A number of interesting points were made by Bryson (2007, p. 125) in regards to information policies that I found to be well supported in this clip. The use of policies can be general or specific and can help to:

  • Solve a recurrent problem
  • Provide guidance in decision making
  • Ensure consistency in approach across the organization
  • Declare an intention or enable a stance to be taken on a contemporary issue
  • Clarify organizational values and intentions
  • Make a commitment
  • Grant rights or entitlements

INF506 has enabled me to reflect on my use of social media and has informed and challenged me to use social media in a deliberate and mindful manner as part of my library 2.0 toolkit.


Bryson, J. (2007). Chapter 10: Policy making. Managing information services: A transformational approach (pp/125-130). Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate e-Book. [ebook]

Hay, L., Wallis, J., O’Connell, J., Crease, R. (2013). What is Library 2.0? [INF506 Module 3] Retrieved May 30, 2013, from Charles Sturt University website:

Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A. J., & Weigel, M. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Available

Xplanevisualthinking (2009,September 14,). Did You Know v.4[Video file]. Retrieved from

 Image:  “chapter 8 – community building through social+networking”
chapter 8 - community building through social networking
Found on

A to Z

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.

Photo Attribution:
Found on

The Joy of ISTE – The Joy of Learning

Thousands of kilometres and many hours away from San Diego and ISTE 2012 I am buoyed and excited by the tweets and blog posts that are coming thick and fast from the USA.

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

new ideas

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.


Image: #271 eLearning


2009 – The Year That Was

2009 was a huge year of personal learning outside of my classroom and I’d like to recognise that the opportunities that arose over the past 12 months were a direct result of the work I had been doing in my classroom in 2006, 2007 and 2008 (so thanks to all of those talented and amazing students who taught me so well and allowed me to work along-side them).

2009 presented the chance to share what I had been up to with others far removed from my little classroom in a suburb of Sydney. So here’s how it went:

January – saw me travelling throughout the UK on my Premier’s English Scholarship, making and meeting friends and seeing first hand Games Based Learning in classrooms. I was very excited to attend my first Teachmeet (on my birthday) at BETT09, and amazed to catch up f2f with many of my PLN.


February – March: I had the opportunity to present at a number of conferences and Professional Learning workshops at a local, region and state level, sharing how I used web2.0 technologies in my classroom.



April – May: Back with the DET I was involved with the Blog trial and took part in f2f meetings with like-minded educators from around the state to assist in the department developing a blog platform for all DET students and teachers. Began writing a Narrative Unit for the Curriculum Directorate based on a digital game for use with Stage 2 students.

June – July: Travelled to Washington, USA for NECC09 where I took part in many fantastic workshops, tutorials, discussions and events. Met up with some in my US PLN and joined in my first “Web2.0 Smackdown”! Moved on to Barcelona where I nervously presented at my first international conference, and then learnt a great deal at an imagination conference in Vancouver. Whew! A really busy month or so :-}


August – September: Back at school and trialling a wiiMusic project with my class – fun, interesting and many more possibilities to be explored here! Presented again at Sydney University for eLit (Primary English Teachers Association).

October: Headed back to the US to present at a Visual Literacy Conference in Chicago where I showcased the visual literacy aspects and opportunities of web2.0 tools and applications. Had the chance to visit Yellowstone Park whilst travelling – unbelievable :-0


November: Visited Canberra and Parliament House to receive my National Teaching Award for Excellence by a Teacher. An exciting and really proud moment of my career and year!


December: Found out that my joint proposal for a workshop at ISTE 2010 (in Denver Colorado in June 2010) was accepted so can look forward to further travels mid year 2010 already.


So that’s it – a busy year out of my classroom where I have grown as a learner, presenter and person. I’ve been able to see a bigger picture and refine my thinking in many areas, but have been affirmed in many of my deep beliefs about learning, children, and authenticity.

Thanks to the countless people who have shared so much of themselves with me this year – f2f, on twitter, through blogs and conferences. I love learning with such a diverse and supportive group of dedicated professionals.

With 2010 upon us lets take a breath, think peaceful thoughts and then get on with another great year of learning and sharing. We WILL make a difference!



A big “hat tip” and heart felt thanks to Teaching Australia for the wonderful celebration they put together last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Canberra. The organization of the event, the variety of sessions and the venues were top class and really enjoyable.

There were many highlights:

The ceremony at Parliament House, and meeting the Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard made the honour “real” and won’t be forgotten any time soon.

Meeting the terrific Anne Mirtschin f-2-f. Anne’s friendliness and sense of humour kept me laughing (and talking!) the whole time. PA300334





Sharing the amazing things that are happening in schools around the country, and being inspired by the teachers and leaders who are instigating the innovation and successes. Truly exciting!

Learning new sharing and thinking techniques and strategies courtesy of Eric Frangenheim.PA300336





Talking to teachers and leaders from across the country, across sectors and across stages – thinking, exploring and wondering together – trying to solve problems and make a difference.

Laughing during Peter FitzSimons’ after dinner speech at the National Portrait Gallery. I wish I could tell jokes like that – they just don’t come out funny when I try to re-tell them. Guess you had to be there – ;-0PA290331





The friendliness and support of the Teaching Australia crew – Peter, Anita and Helen. Thanks for your care.

Listening to Andrew Douch reflect on the wonderful opportunities he has taken advantage of whilst remaining true to himself and his beliefs. I like what he said about the need to share what you are passionate about with others – stand up and let people hear what you have to say – its not about you but about the students and what’s best for them.








It was an honour to be part of this celebration / event, it’s not often that teachers are recognised in this way. Thank you to all.

When Web2.0 Meets Reading2.0

I think my brain is about to explode!

Today was the third 7 hour, all day workshop that I’ve attended over the past four days – have to make the most of my NECC experience!

A plethora of web2.0 tools were presented enthusiastically as a way of teaching various (and varied) reading skills across the grades. From phonic awareness, to vocabulary, to comprehension, to talking and listening – all apects of reading instruction were comprehensively covered.

Linking assessment  was always stressed and ways and examples were demonstrated. The importance of always ensuring that the use of a tool is based on its relevance to the learning task and outcomes, was also constantly reinforced.

Ideas and examples of teachers and classes using these tools in a variety of ways was really helpful to visualise the use of web2.0 in the reading classroom:


  • Using simple voice recordings (and using Vocaroo to embed on blog or wiki) for multiple purposes – such as identifying rhyming words, syllabification,fluency, reading out loud, oral instructions, books onto a podcast for listening to whenever you like (family members can record books for class to listen to).
  • Making simple word/vocabulary alphabets for class topics and units or basic English words for ESL students using Yodio – where you add voice to digital photos.
  • have lots of games that you can adapt to your class’s needs. There’s a random name picker – try matching rhyming words or homophones or opposites.
  • Some great hands on and practical examples of using Voicethread were also shown to help students develop fluency when reading, to develop critical thinking and responses.
I got a lot of great ideas from this session and it made me realise that even though I know and use most of these tools already, there are any number of new ways of using them with kids in the classroom. It wasn’t the tools that were new – it was the ideas of other teachers that really inspired me this time.
I would also like to explore in my classroom the kids being the ones who are making these resources. In the examples shown today it was mostly the teacher who made the resources for the kids to use. In my classroom I think I would like my students to make the resources as a demonstration of their proficiency in many areas of reading.
Thanks so much to Elizabeth and Shawndra for your work and dedication shown throughout this session – lots of work to be done back in the classroom!


8 Things Using Video


A frenetic paced session where Hall Davidson from Discovery Education  illustrated the many ways that students could demonstrate their learning using video.

I must admit that I haven’t used video as much as I should in my classroom – all of those cords and missing bits and pieces that went with the school video recorder – but it’s just getting easier and easier with video capable cameras and phones – and the FLIP cameras we have now.

Using the tools readily available in classrooms, Hall took us step by step through the technical aspects (usually just click, copy, paste) of the programs and apps he was using.

He shared how easily students were able to control and manage the videoing of their learning and he shared quite a few very interesting and fun projects to try.

Sessions such as this act as a springboard for ideas for teachers who then are able to pass on the excitement, tools and opportunities for their students to use.

Keeping the videos in the hands of the students must remain a priority – to ensure that it’s the students driving their own learning.

I’d hate to be the one in control of the video – that would be taking all of the powerful learning, organizing, planning, rehearsing, delegating and negotiating fun away the people who need to be demonstrating these very skills.

BOSS – Can I book our FLIP video cameras for ALL of next term?? Please???




Angela Maiers writes one of my favourite web sites, full of interesting and practical ideas to get kids, and teachers, talking about thinking and learning.

She presented this morning, as part of the NECC Unplugged sessions, on Literacy in a 21st century world. Along side her were Ben Grey, and David Warlick so it really was a session not to be missed!

Ben Grey encouraged us to talk about Literacy and the need to see literacy not as a set of skills to be learnt, but as a learning skill that will enable us to learn what we need to know in order to learn. Ben stressed communication was the context and students needed working skills to enable them to learn from people who know.

Angela used the Luke and Freebody model of reading as her 21st century framework for learning, and likened reading to driving a car, where readers are in charge of all simultaneous processes at the same time, rather than just using one skill at a time in a step-by-step fashion (as reading has been taught in the past).

This really resonated with me and quite a few pieces of the literacy puzzle seemed to slip into place during this session. NSW schools have used the Luke and Freebody model in reading for many years so I was quite familiar with the model itself. However, the difference is in looking at all areas of literacy and how this model provides a framework for the many different aspects (and even types) of literacy that we use and teach today in our classrooms.

Lots more here to think about and work on.

Thanks Angela, Ben and David award to you as the biggest AHA moment at NECC09!



iPods in Education


I attended a number of sessions around using the iPod touch and iPhone in classrooms and across schools.

Everyone in the sessions seemed to have one and wanted to know how they can use them in class. Our students have these in their pockets and as teachers, we need to show how they can be best used.

Some teachers are using these devices already and are willing to share their experiences and speak of the way their students are using them in class.

The number and quality of education apps was not great at the start so teachers were adapting other apps to use within the class, while quite a number of enterprising teachers have begun writing their own apps to use in the classroom.

A database of apps will be published through the Classroom2.0 ning at the end of July. This database will allow teachers to easily and quickly scan lists of apps that are good to use with students.

Great fun was had in a session when a group of unlikely musicians were called from the audience to join in playing various instruments in a jam session using a music app.

I think that this sort of experience (ie linking to real world – off phone) is the way that I would like to move towards – being able to extend my students experiences through using the iPh

one rather than just doing the same things with a new technology. I think the iPhone adds to the opportunities I can provide within the classroom – by bringing in any number of instruments to play and experiment with.

All this thinking is hypothetical at the moment because mobile phones are banned in NSW schools at the moment. Might have to get my hands on some iPod Touches though!