by Pauline Mak
In the first post I wrote in this blog I referred to Douglas Thomas’ “A New Culture of Learning” and how he could identify four components of learning:
These words really provide an ‘in a nutshell’ way of thinking. I have found the learning in INF530 challenging and at times I was quite anxious about my own ability to keep up and contribute as I have connected with an exceptional cohort of partners in learning. As I reflect what I have learnt over this first session I find that again I can fit my learning into these four components.
I have rediscovered my passion for my role as teacher librarian and am now able to advocate for our school library environments when they say things like, “But aren’t you worried that you’ve taught yourself out of the classroom? Libraries might not be needed when we have the Internet” and of course, “You’re so lucky! I’d love to just read books and show kids how to find information.” This is why I chose to finish with my digital essay, “Why Do We Need School Libraries? We have technology” I have found my passion for my role as teacher librarian to be more relevant than ever. I see my students at all different stages of abilities in their digital literacy and digital citizenship development. The idea of the just-in-time learner really challenged me as I thought it was just a phrase being thrown around as almost an Navigating Web 2.0 is something that our students need us to guide them before we let them go on alone. Then eventually the lightbulb lit up and I realised I am a ‘just-in-time’ learner as much as I am a lifelong learner. My passion is not learning content but learning how to learn not just teaching it but refining my own skills so that I can ‘walk the talk.’
My imagination is the what are the possibilities I can dream from here? I have had my eyes opened wide to the possibilities of integrating even more technologies within the environment. Knowing there is video conferencing capabilities in the school that I have never seen utilised. Knowing that there is a 3-D printer that could be used by students to create some amazing products of their learning.
I am passionate about reimagining and designing our library to be both a formal setting for learning and an informal space for collaboration and networking. Conole (2012) discusses the affordances of Web 2.0 as “fostering collaboration and for co-construction and sharing of knowledge but raise a number of issues of copyright and privacy” (p.56). I am passionate about this idea of collaboration as I realise that learning is dialogue, it is building upon each other’s understandings, it is a collective activity and therefore it requires collaboration and participation to keep the dialogue going (Ravenscroft, Wegerif & Hartley, 2007). On the other hand though it is important that we assist our students in understanding that there are ethical ways of using information and develop a healthy skepticism about expertise (Walters, 2015).
Bring on the revolution indeed. I imagine an education system that embraces differences, in opinion and ways of learning, that will create a global culture of understanding with many voices. Perhaps it isn’t just the problem-solving, critical thinking skills but also empathy and tolerance that can grow by immersing ourselves and our students in the globalised network of learning.
Oh, how this idea can have so many meanings. Firstly, it can relate to the idea of not having time, budgets, devices, professional development. Some consider these barriers but I continue to question, can we keep allowing ourselves the time not to adopt? not to spend? not to train? Why are we continuing to put constraints on our students learning?
Digital technologies allow learning to happen anywhere, anytime and perhaps it is time we embrace IT rather than trying to constrain what is expected by us – connectivity and the ability to participate (Conole, 2012).
This idea of play was complemented by my learning in INF541 Game-based Learning. I had never thought deeply of games or participating with Web 2.0 as an extension of our own creativity. Routledge (2009), stated “Games are not a replacement for teachers but they should enhance the teaching experience” (p.280). What if we replaced the word games in this quote for Web 2.0 ? Web 3.0? One way I have ‘played’ this session is by starting to participate in Twitter and it has now become my preferred social media as it is access to experts of many fields, anytime, anywhere. It has become my Professional & Personal) Learning Network. I then thought and know that after this experience of learning and being the student, I have appreciated the opportunity to play. I no longer see myself as a “lesser” because I am the student, I now recognise that even my teachers (lecturers) are learners too.
So, in a nutshell – it can’t be the end of this first session, I feel like I have just gotten started!
Conole, G. (2012). Open, social and participatory media. In G. Conole (Ed.), Designing for learning in an open world. New York: Springer.
Ravenscroft, A., Wegerif, R., & Hartley, R. (2007). Reclaiming thinking: Dialectic, dialogic and learning in the digital age. Learning Through Digital Technologies, 11(5), 39-57.
Routledge, H. (2009). Games-based learning in the classroom and how it can work!. In T. Connolly, M. Stansfield, & L. Boyle (Eds.) Games-Based Learning Advancements for Multi-Sensory Human Computer Interfaces: Techniques and Effective Practices (pp. 274-286). Hershey, PA: . doi:10.4018/978-1-60566-360-9.ch016
Walters, M. (2015, April 25). Says who? [Blog Post] Retrieved from: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/fromheretothere/2015/04/25/says-who/