OLJ / Evaluative Report – INF506 – Social Networking for Information Professionals

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Part 1 – OLJ Summary

Throughout this session of learning, there have been many opportunities to reflect and expand my understanding and knowledge of social networking and how that can occur using Web 2.0 technologies.  These experiences and reflections have been demonstrated through the use of this OLJ – Ah-ha! Clarity! Social media assists workflow!Web 2.0; ASU’s Library website; Social Networking and the Primary School Library; Competencies of Teacher Librarian 2.0;  Reasons Why School Libraries Should Be On Social Media (or at least Social Networking Online; Marketing the School LibraryTwitter – an Educator’s Playground.   The implementation of a practical project in our school library was also a major immersion experience and undertaking transforming our library website from Web 1.0 – users as information consumers to Web 2.0 – users are able to participate and contribute (www.gsfmtools4learning.weebly.com).

Part 2 – Evaluative Report

Part A – Evaluation of the learning process

Libraries have traditionally been the spaces where individuals can connect to the information they need to be informed in their communications. Librarians and teacher librarians have been the professionals that specialise in assisting individuals to connect.  With the advent of Web 2.0 technologies, or the read-write web, individuals were able to begin to not only connect and consume information but create, curate, collaborate and communicate the information they discovered.  Social networking, whilst a concept that has existed since human interaction has expanded its definition beyond an immediate, face to face, local community of citizens to a global, online community of citizens.  Individuals are in essence only limited by their own abilities and skills as to how far they can reach other individuals.  They are called to participate and engage in a community where they may not know every person through a face to face connection but an online connection (Monfared, Ajabi-Naeini & Parker, 2013).  Social networking is making the connections and this can include a plethora of platforms such as blogs, wikis and forums to those that are defined as social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In.

While I considered myself to be using these platforms, I found that during this session I was able to push myself even further to improve not only my experience of these platforms personally but also as an information professional.  These experiences are highlighted in the previous posts, Ah-ha! Clarity! Social media assists workflow! and Twitter – an Educator’s Playground.

The use of social networking and social media by librarians and teacher librarians is no longer one of should we? Some would say it is one of we must! The reasons for this belief is, firstly, libraries need to embed social media so that they can establish that they are still relevant in a global society where information can be retrieved at the tap of the screen or a click of the mouse.  A library’s purpose is still in their responsibility to their users in assisting with information flow and providing relevance as a space to connect for informational needs.  Librarians as information professionals therefore need to be abreast of the latest trends, apps and how to connect users to information quickly and effectively but also to advocate their library as a space that can best serve their information needs using a multitude of formats (Vanwynsberghe, Vanderlinde, Georges & Verdegem, 2015).

In analysing ASU’s Library website it was interesting to see the different platforms that were being used to connect and communicate with their users.  They were modelling how various tools such as You Tube can be used to create and communicate information.  They were reaching out to connect not only themselves but also to show the library space as a space that connect the users to each other.  This also started to highlight and clarify my own learning in that I had another moment of clarity in the advantages of creating my own images and the need to use Creative Commons friendly images if I was to be effective in modelling participation, creation and contribution on the web.  I was able to remix and repurpose Creative Commons images through the use of creation tools such as Thinglink and Canva (click links to see evidence of use).  Although it took time to work out how to use these creation tools it has meant for a much more interactive, anywhere, anytime presence for our school library.

As a K-6 teacher librarian, I thought I had created enough of a presence by creating a website with information and links and it was when I read Frederick’s article (2014), ‘ The Inside Out Librarian: Being A Virtual Librarian’ that I realised presence does not equal connection. The words that stood out to me in this article were, ‘take stock of the library site as it exists now.  If it is static, look for ways to pump up the action’ (Fredrick, 2014, p.22).  This became the turning point in my learning for this session and I then proceeded to implement my project by simply adding a blog to the library website and by no means was it as simple as simply. The adding of a blog (www.gsfmtools4learning.weebly.com) became my total immersion experience.  It became apparent to me that not only was the library space undergoing a transformation by undertaking this project but so was I and so was the whole learning community.  I had assumed there were skills our students possessed because the assumption was that students would have been taught how to connect and participate using Web 2.0 technologies.  The whole ‘digital native’ (Prensky, 2001) scenario had shown itself to be present despite me trying to pass myself as an educator who wanted nothing to do with the interpretation of this argument that students just knew.  The implementation of this project then became a redesign of the learning that I had planned through our lessons to be one of explicit teaching of how to respond and interact with other people when online ( http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/anotherbyteofknowledge/2016/04/21/social-networking-and-the-primary-school-library/).  It also became evident that by producing this blog, I needed to check my own digital citizenship skills and competencies and be seen as a role model for participation.  I needed to transform and evolve myself to Teacher Librarian 2.0.

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Image created using http://marvel.com/games/play/31/create_your_own_superhero

 The one challenge that I kept coming across was trying to find research regarding the use of social networking and social media in primary school (K-6) libraries.  This was documented in my previous post, Reasons Why School Libraries Should Be On Social Media (or at least Social Networking Online. There was very little to draw from in academic research (Grimes & Fields, 2012) and so there needed to be some exploration of experiences and advice online.  If anything, the experience of searching online for K-6 libraries that had a social networking presence was a challenge to say the least.  It made me ask the question, what is the point of having technology in schools if we aren’t using it to create and connect?  How have things changed with Web 2.0 for primary schools if they’re not sharing the work their students do?  What is the difference then to creating with pen and paper and creating with Web 2.0 technologies?  It should be audience but in the big scheme of the worldwide web, evidence was hard to come by.  It was refreshing to connect to information presented by Kristen Wideen and Mrs Yollis’ Class Blog as they provided me with the information and evidence I needed to keep persisting and committing to the task of establishing social networking within our library.

Another article which I found very useful throughout this session was a white paper by Grimes and Fields (2012), entitled, ‘Kids online: A new research agenda for understanding social networking forums.’  It helped me understand why K-6 schools may find it difficult to offer opportunities for their students to participate and engage with an audience outside their immediate school community.  The point was made that ‘digital divide’ may now need to not be defined in terms of access to digital devices but rather we now speak of a ‘participation divide’ (Grimes & Fields, 2012, p. 15).  This strengthened my resolve that whilst we do need to be certain to protect and keep our children safe online, we also need to offer them the education that prepares them for their future.  Students do not learn to read by not opening a book, they do not learn to cross the road by not being guided through the process, therefore, I can see that indeed the teaching of social networking processes in context and with authenticity in mind, K-6 schools can guide students to the appropriate expectations and etiquette when participating and engaging with Web 2.0 technologies.  They also need to be armed with the strategies of what to do if they experience any discomfort or inappropriate content through their participation.  Digital citizenship (or just plain citizenship) then, is vital when connecting and accessing the web at any time.  It is also an area that needs to be constantly reinforced before, during and after the experience of connecting.  It will be necessary for me to survey our learning community in the near future for example to listen to their experience of using and contributing to our library blog and to listen to what else they need.

Part B – How have I grown as a social networker?

Vanwynsberghe et al. (2015) identifies 4 different social media literacy profiles -“social media workers, social media laggards, social media literates and social media spare-time users” (p. 289).  After reading this article, I feel that I have grown in my confidence and application of social networking and media within my pedagogy and practice as a teacher librarian.  Part of this is because while I have immersed myself in many learning experiences, one of the biggest lessons I have learnt is to be literate is to be able to filter when, where and how I participate and engage with social networking.  While I use social networking consistently at home and in work, I can filter my networking according to my audience but I can also switch off.

I am becoming more strategic in what I integrate into the library space and how I introduce it to the students.  It is not an extra thing to do it is a way of improving workflow when used effectively.  I am working towards growing a team of contributors as the vision for our school library social networking needs to be sustainable, relevant and flexible (Ramsey & Vecchione, 2012). Social networking and the use of social media builds community in schools and as the school library is often seen as ‘the heart of learning’ it has been necessary for me to lead from the middle by reaching out not just to students but to the whole learning community. Part of the strategy not yet implemented is to set up a library Twitter account so that options are available as to how parents and wider community can connect not only with what is happening in the library space but also with their children and even each other.

Another aspect I have become more confident in is recognizing the need to continue to develop knowledge about digital citizenship and the ‘new literacies’ not just with students but with parents too. Discussions have already begun with the leadership team about the possibility of running parent workshops about these areas so that we build rather than divide and parents can be supported knowing that we are working with them to prepare their children for their future.

While I feel quite empowered with the learning that I have made during this session of study, I also realise that as a learning community it takes time and commitment for the implementation of social networking in a school community.  At the heart of it, it is about developing relationships that promote learning in an online environment where fear of what we don’t know can challenge us.  We need to listen, make connections, encourage feedback, take advantage of anytime, anywhere learning and extend our reach so we can all our learning community to recognise themselves as part of a global village.

References:

Fredrick, K.  (2014). The inside-out library: Being a virtual librarian. School Library Monthly, 30(6), 22-23.

Grimes, S. & Fields, D. (2012). Kids online: A new research agenda for understanding social networking forums. New York. The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Retrieved from: http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/jgcc_kidsonline.pdf

Huvila, I., Homberg, K., Kronqvist-Berg, M., Nivakoski, O., & Widén, G. (2013). What is Librarian 2.0 – New competencies or interactive relations? a library professional viewpoint. Journal of Librariansip and Information Science, 45(3), 198-205. doi: 10.1177/0961000613477122

King, D. L. (2015). Why Use Social Media?. Library Technology Reports51(1), 6-9

Monfared, S. S., Ajabi-Naeini, P., & Parker, D. (2013). Bringing Web 2.0 into the Learning Environment. In E. McKay (Ed.), ePedagogy in Online Learning: New Developments in Web Mediated Human Computer Interaction (pp. 109-118). Hershey, PA: . doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-3649-1.ch007

Ramsey, E., & Vecchione, A. (2014). Channeling Passions: Developing a Successful Social Media Strategy. Journal of Library Innovation, 5(2), 71-82. Retrieved from http://www.libraryinnovation.org/article/view/359/594

Vanwynsberghe, H., Vanderlinde, R., Georges, A. & Verdegem, P. (2015). The librarian 2.0: identifying a typology of librarian’s social media literacy. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 47(4), 283-293

 


Twitter – an educator’s professional playground.

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Twitter is an example of a micro-blogging platform.  It is a great space to develop and grow a Professional Learning Network (PLN) and to connect to other like-minded people.  It is limited by the number of characters one can post which can be advantageous and frustrating at the same time.  Advantageous in that one can become quite succinct in what is shared and there is no room for waffle.  Frustrating because some tweets can seem to not say enough.  It promotes conversation and participation through the ability to comment, retweet or add to favourites which is a benefit if you are running short of time to read some articles they can be favourited like a bookmark.

I took it one step further tonight and rather than observe which I usually do, I actually participated in a Twitter chat with #aussieED.  It was short, sharp conversations and sharing of ideas.  It was challenging keeping up as everyone had so much to share.

 

 

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Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 1.30.44 pmThere are definitely people ‘out there’ who think like me, so it was quite affirming and there was more covered in that chat than I think most staff meetings cover in the hour they assign.

Since proposing my project of adding a blog to our school library website I have been reading and rereading various articles about using Twitter in the primary classroom as there are not really many articles about setting up Twitter in the primary school library.  I have set up the account but at the moment it is me tweeting and me trying to build the network.  As mentioned in the earlier post, Marketing the School Library, I need to be strategic but part of me wanted to see the what if before presenting to students.  Kristen Wideen (2014) in her article, ‘Connect, Collaborate and Create with Twitter in the Classroom’ has pushed me to the point where I need to make some time to speak to members of our Leadership team and get the tweets to be the authentic voice of the students as soon as possible.

The more I interact with Twitter, the more I like the features it possesses to be a relevant feature in our school and library.

 


Marketing the school library Module 5

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LePage (2014) suggests 6 steps to creating a social media marketing strategy.  As seen in previous posts, advocacy is an important competence required by teacher librarians and I appreciated this blog post as in my own commitment to transforming our library website to feature more as a Web 2.0 space this is exactly what I need to continue to move our school library forward.  Creating a space that is relevant Ramsey & Vecchione, 2014) and innovative is necessary and social networking through social media provides a transparency to the activities of the library.

One of the biggest hurdles is that social media is often regarded as not belonging in the K-6 environment due to the obvious duty of care schools have towards their students.  This belief could be challenged though in that all K-6 schools are not just serving the students in their care, they are also serve the parents and the wider community who are made up of future parents.  As I am working to promote and create a library blog, I am wanting to promote the blog via Twitter to perhaps connect, communicate and collaborate with other K-6 libraries or classrooms so that our students can see they are part of a much larger educational agenda than what they see contained within the boundaries of the school playground and classrooms.

The first part of taking the blog to the next level and promoting using Twitter then is to clarify in my mind why do we need to use social media to market the library? This then should be part of the marketing strategy.  What is is that using social media to promote the library is going to achieve?  What is the end goal (Solomon, 2013)?  As my ongoing project is adding a blog to the static library website that has existed for a few years, I believe my goal in using Twitter to promote the blog is to expand our readership to a more global audience.  Through doing this, it brings so many teachable moments into the learning that occurs within the information space of the library, especially digital citizenship.  It allows parents to know and to see that their children are receiving a structured learning environment where they can learn to be active participants AND contributors to society.

Another of the challenges faced in a K-6 library is that of sustainability for social networking to market the library.  It takes time and it takes a team (Ramsay & Vecchione, 2014), both of which are in short supply in a K-6 library (as in most classrooms and libraries) but from most of the readings, again, there is very little about marketing the K-6 library using social media.  In an academic library from what I am reading there are a number of people on the library staff/ team that can share and conquer this idea of marketing the library using social media.  In a K-6 library, the Teacher Librarian (or Teacher in the Library) might be it.  This challenge can be overcome but it will take strategy to build the team from leadership, other interested colleagues and the students themselves.  In a way, it builds more community and collegiality by not just keeping it as the domain of the library staff.

After reading Mrs Wideen’s Blog (a primary school teacher) about how to set up Twitter in the classroom some valuable advice was given.  It will take time and collaboration.  Time to lay the groundwork and time to communicate the guidelines to the learning community.  Most of all though it definitely needs to be strategic.  Another example of setting up Twitter in a strategic way is shown in the YouTube clip below, again by another primary school teacher.  Spink (2014) demonstrates the reality of student needs in her classroom and how she strategically taught with Twitter which provided authenticity to the learning her students made.  It can be seen that their learning was not compartmentalised into subjects but rather across the curriculum.

Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzNyIuvUoF0

To create a draft marketing strategy using social media in a K-6 library, I believe then that the following need to be addressed.

  1.  What is the goal of using social media to promote the library / school?
  2. Which form of social media would be best to promote the library / school? Awareness of user needs.
  3. Who would be the content creators using the social media?
  4. What guidelines / expectations are in place for participation using the social media?
  5. Who are the expected audience?

 

REFERENCES:

LePage, E. (2014, October 29). How to create a social media marketing plan in 6 steps. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-create-a-social-media-marketing-plan

Ramsey, E. & Vecchione, A. (2014). Channeling passions: Developing a successful social media strategyJournal of Library Innovation, 5(2)

Solomon, L. (2013). Getting started. In The librarian’s nitty-gritty guide to social media, p. 15-24. Chicago: ALA Editions.

 


Reasons Why Libraries Should be on Social Media (or at least Social Networking online)

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In the search for K-6 libraries that are harnessing Web 2.0 technologies and or at the very least online was an interesting exercise.  It has been a struggle to find information and research about social networking in K-6 school libraries.  It brought to mind a few questions from the outset of this task – Why are K-6 school libraries not embracing social networking via digital devices?  Most that I discovered had an online presence via a website but no way to interact or begin conversations between the library and its users and definitely not much scope for the users to interact with each other. This then would be the first reason I would use to persuade school libraries to be on social media or at least starting to expose students to social networking.  Connecting the library with its users and making connections between the users themselves.

This then leads to another reason why school libraries should use social media to build community by encouraging connection.  A big part of learning in primary school is how to get along with a diverse number of people.  It is where students start to realise that they have opinions and they don’t always agree with others.  Through using social networking then school libraries would allow students to read and to write in response to differing comments.

Another question I had was if K-6 school libraries are trying to set foundations for (digital) citizenship and information seeking, then why aren’t K-6 schools able to provide a space for ‘hands-on’ learning?  Social networking does not have to use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and Instagram, as most people like myself equated social networking to be.  The addition of a blog or wiki in a primary school can allow students safe spaces to contribute and participate in the online space and to utilise the affordances of Web 2.0.  If we are using the apps and the tools such as GAFE to create, then shouldn’t we be providing a space to share with an audience, otherwise, how is it different to making a poster and pinning it to the classroom wall. Preparing students for their future is what education is about and their future is being able to interact, use and share what they can do using digital tools and technologies with a more global audience.  Primary schools need to be aware of keeping students safe but how can we develop global tolerance, knowledge and skills if we don’t allow them to participate.

Another reason, I would suggest that school libraries need to use some form of social networking is that it showcases the value of the library and promotes the school community.  The teacher librarian aligns themselves and what they do with the mission and learning vision of the school.  School libraries are central to the school environment and for some students can be the first contact they have with a library.  It is interesting to note that when our Principal has interviews with prospective Kinder parents one of the comments that is made is about the library and how their child loves books.

Advocacy then is another big reason for school libraries to have an online presence.  Libraries are so much more than books on shelves and what the user sees when they walk into the space.  Primary school libraries have digital collections, makerspaces and quite often are safe havens for students who feel lost in the playground.  Primary school libraries are spaces where students can not only experience the formalised learning of information literacy, reading, digital literacy and whatever other ‘new literacy’ term one can think of but spaces where they can create their own informal learning as well.


Competencies of Teacher Librarian 2.0

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One of the main roles of a teacher librarian is to connect the learners in their community to the information in a variety of formats from a variety of devices that their learners seek (Partridge, Lee & Munro, 2010).  As such they have needed to adopt a leadership from the middle mentality so that they can keep their library as relevant as possible in a climate where some may feel that libraries are a luxury rather than a necessity in schools.  Teacher librarians need to be advocates of not only the space but their role as information specialists so that the attitude of ‘why do we need libraries when we have the technology?’ does not become the norm.  In this age of Web 2.0 technologies, teacher librarians need to not only evolve and redesign library spaces, they need to evolve and redesign their own competencies and attitudes to advocate for their profession as information specialists.

The first way that teacher librarian needs to transform to possessing 2.0 capabilities is through the use of Web 2.0 technologies in the way they deliver curriculum and learning.  Pedagogy needs to be not only in the delivery of lessons in the ‘new literacies’ as do this and do that but rather a modelled and seamless integration into an authentic learning experience.  The context of the learning needs to be relevant as well as authentic to the learners’ lives in and beyond the walls of the library, classroom and school gates.  It is imperative then that teacher librarians are aware and informed of the needs of the learners in their learning communities so that what they present as their library space is based on their user needs making the space user friendly (Huvila, Holmberg, Kronqvist-Berg, Nivakoski & Widen, 2013).   Teacher Librarian 2.0 views learning as a lifelong process that is available anywhere, anytime from any device.  Teacher Librarian 2.0 needs to collaborate with colleagues (Bishop, 2011) about their learners’ needs and this may include those of their colleagues who are on their own lifelong learning journey.

Teacher Librarian 2.0 needs to be aware that Digital Citizenship is so much more than cyberbullying and be working to blur the lines between online and offline participation in society.  Teacher Librarian 2.0 models and promotes not just the tool or device that is used for connecting but how the interaction with these devices can affect individuals and the society at large.  The 9 elements of digital citizenship need to be addressed and as Web 2.0 is about participation through connection, creation, collaboration and communication then the expectation needs to be taught as young as possible – What would you do if you were face to face with your mum/dad/trusted adult? What would you do if you were face to face with your friends? What would you do if you wanted to buy something at the supermarket?

An important element of citizenship is the idea of fair use and copyright. Again, just because the information is able to be accessed so readily and available for download, does not make it able to be used as your own.  I like to use the analogy, if I walk into a supermarket and they have a display of chocolates can I just take one? It’s the same with information on the worldwide web, individuals have created works such as written texts, images, videos and to have their efforts taken without acknowledgement is not fair. Students, even in primary school, are very verbal when discussing the fairness of copying from each other and there aren’t many students who like their work being copied without being asked.  Teacher Librarian 2.0 strives to provide students with the knowledge and skills to work with Creative Commons so that they can use the affordances of Web 2.0 technologies as effectively as they can.

Teacher Librarian 2.0 also needs to possess a growth mindset whereby if something does not work the first time when engaging and utilising Web 2.0 technologies, they reflect, evaluate and try another way. They need to be flexible and adaptive to the state of constant change that information can take and will continue to take.  The following YouTube clip created by Laura Cohen provides some great insights into the personal attitudes and capabilities needed by Librarian 2.0.

Retrieved from:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZblrRs3fkSU&feature=youtu.be

It is only through engaging in and with Web 2.0 technologies that teacher librarians can promote the information services that are now on offer. It is a privileged age we work in with access to print and digital information but the latter does not make school libraries or those that work in school libraries redundant or unnecessary.   There is always going to be a need to connect learners with information and if anything information specialists will be required more than ever.  Teacher Librarian 2.0 can be an invaluable asset to any school when there is a collaboration between leadership, other colleagues and the wider community (O’Connell, 2012).  The position of teacher librarian is one of relationships and technologies and being able to connect the two in both an offline and online environment.

 

REFERENCES:

Bishop,Kay (2011). Connecting Libraries with Classrooms: The Curricular Roles of theMedia Specialist. Retrieved from eblib.com

Cohen, L. (2006) A librarian’s 2.0 manifesto. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZblrRs3fkSU&feature=youtu.be

Huvila, I., Homberg, K., Kronqvist-Berg, M., Nivakoski, O., & Widén, G. (2013). What is Librarian 2.0 – New competencies or interactive relations? a library professional viewpoint. Journal of Librariansip and Information Science, 45(3), 198-205. doi: 10.1177/0961000613477122

O’Connell,J. (2012). Learning without frontiers: School libraries and meta-literacy in action. Access, 26(1), 4-7.

Partridge, H., Lee, J., & Munro, C. (2010). Becoming “Librarian 2.0”: The skills, knowledge, and attributes required by library and information ccience professionals in a Web 2.0 world (and beyond). Library Trends,59(1-2), 315-335.http://muse.jhu.edu.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/journals/library_trends/v059/59.1-2.partridge.html


Social Networking and the Primary School Library

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Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.44.24 pmIt is a privilege and a joy working as a teacher librarian in a primary school library.  Even the challenging days are worth it because you hope that  you are planting the seeds for a lifetime of learning, so now more than ever we need to be proactive in connecting with students not only while they are within the school grounds but also when they go home.  If a major part of our role is connecting students to learning then we need to be accessible and social networking through social media platforms seems more important than ever.  Social media however, can be challenging to incorporate into a primary school library and that is why I have decided to embark on the addition of a blog to our already existent website.

The blog was launched on the 21st March and I found it more challenging than simple.  The first hurdle, I needed to jump was clarifying in my mind the purpose of the blog.  Would it be for parents, teachers, students?  It is developing into a space shared by the learning community to showcase what is happening in the library and to promote it as a space that connects our learners to learning but also to each other.  It is hoped that eventually we may be able to connect with other K-6 libraries around the world building an understanding that participation with a digital device opens up our network of learning to a diverse range of opinions, understandings and learning.

As I spend more time immersing myself in social networking I can see that this is an opportunity to drive the learning and provide a space to learn about and practice citizenship skills required by the students for their future.  Comments are moderated so that students learn to comment in an effective and dialogic way that is appropriate in tone and content.  One of the assumptions that I had made was that students would know how to comment and interact on the blog.  This has proven to be a teachable moment as my assumptions were incorrect.  Emoji and one word reactions were the initial comments that were being posted and this meant that I needed to explicitly teach what makes a comment that can be responded to.  It was necessary for some Blog Commenting Guidelines to be formulated.  First, we harnessed the skills and talents from Mrs Yollis’ Class blog and investigated the learning that classroom of students were doing and how they commented on their blog.  Then we brainstormed and I was able to create a poster of Blog Commenting Guidelines that suited our community of learners based on their ideas.

The other issue that I am trying to overcome is being able to keep the blog sustainable.  If the blog is to be representative of our students then my aim is to try and become more of a facilitator and have students contribute posts about what they are reading, viewing, playing, learning.  This can be challenging in that some teachers and students see this as an extra, so one issue to overcome is how to embed such an activity as part of learning.

I believe this blogging idea is going to require commitment so that it really takes off and the other issue is can I maintain my own blog for my own learning needs?

 

 

 


ASU’s Library Minute and Use of Social Media

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Whether every individual believes it or not it cannot be denied that the responsibility of the flow of information and connecting individuals to information has been a responsibility and chief purpose of libraries long before Web 2.0 technologies.  These technologies provide a way to continue the relevance of libraries as places and spaces for connecting users with the information and resources they require.

One way that Arizona State University Library has chosen to advocate their relevance is through the use of one minute video clips using the You Tube channel to create their own channel.  The benefits of these clips is that they are a terrific way to market their library as an information provider that is interested in their users and as such are keeping up-to-date with the current digital trends.  They promote their location, the services they offer and useful tips in mobile device use and security.  They are short enough to keep the user interested and have just information to pique a user’s curiosity.  It is interesting that the clips with the highest number of views are those where the user may need some information on how to use the library catalogue and how to contact a librarian which could infer that users still want to connect with information via library spaces.

Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNe6yBSaORc

Other forms of social networking that the library uses is that of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  These social media platforms assist the library in getting library news out quickly to their patrons and allows for regular updates about short term news and use of the library.  While the You Tube channel needs preparation, organisation and staff who are skilled in collaboration and creation of videos, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow for quick posting of news and events.  The user then has the choice as to which platform they feel the most at ease in using in order to connect with the library.

The other social networking technology that ASU Library uses is the use of a blog.  The advantage of the blog is that it is attached to the website and provides more detail than Facebook or Twitter whilst still providing regular updates of events and collection management details that may affect the users.  It is interesting to note that there is no comment feature on this blog to allow the user to share their voice.  Is the feedback only provided via Facebook and Twitter?

This library is definitely making connections with their learning community and recognises that the learning community extends beyond the locale of the physical campus and that some students or interested members may only have access online.  It addresses the need to be accessible at the convenience of the user.

 


What is Web 2.0?

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Web 2.0 is a term that was coined by O’Reilly (2005) to describe the transformation of the Internet from a one way form of digital communication to a two way form of communication (Monfared, Ajabi-Naeini & Parker, 2013).  Rather than the user passively receiving content, the user of Web 2.0 is an active participant in a community of users that can be from any part of the globe at any time of the day.

Web 2.0 offers a number of possibilities for education, such as connecting with a diverse number of peoples across the globe, the building of information from a basic beginning to deeper knowledge and the idea of building communities of like-minded people.  Other possibilities would seem to be the notion of audience.  People are now able to create and innovate to communicate their knowledge, thoughts and opinions and this could include student voices and work.  It provides opportunities for authentic learning about and with the tools of their generation.

Whilst there are many opportunities there are also some barriers to the use of Web 2.0 in education.  For example, fear.  Fear of the connections that may be made, cybersafety and cyberbullying issues.  Our students safety is paramount and we have a duty of care as educators, what happens when something goes wrong? Access is still an issue, as schools try to keep up with devices and introduce 1:1 iPad programmes, the infrastructure can still cause issues for connecting in some schools and  homes. Other barriers can be educators knowledge and understanding of  Web 2.0 and how to integrate these technologies into the classroom so that the needs of the students are being met.

 

REFERENCES:

Monfared, S. S., Ajabi-Naeini, P., & Parker, D. (2013). Bringing Web 2.0 into the Learning Environment. In E. McKay (Ed.), ePedagogy in Online Learning: New Developments in Web Mediated Human Computer Interaction (pp. 109-118). Hershey, PA: . doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-3649-1.ch007

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1192837/Web-20

http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

 

 


Ah-Ha! Clarity – Social Media Assists Workflow

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Retrieved from: https://pixabay.com/en/mind-think-spirit-soap-bubble-767591/

Retrieved from: https://pixabay.com/en/mind-think-spirit-soap-bubble-767591/

 

Kevin Kelly’s words challenged me when he said ‘we have to use things in order to find out how they work.”  I thought I had an understanding of social networking and a number of social media platforms as discussed in my previous post. I really considered in my professional world that I was limited in the way I could approach the use of social media with students, as they are only in primary school.  I have long had the belief and the students I teach will probably tell you that whatever we would view as acceptable in face to face interactions is equally the same with digital interactions.  I often say to my students citizenship is citizenship, it can just seem different and tricky when using a digital device.

I realised today that I have been ‘doubling up’ on the way I communicate and have made the decision that no longer will I be writing a separate Library Newsletter, emailing teachers about wonderful websites and learning opportunities.  I mean, the library website with the library blog is just as efficient and has the capabilities to reduce my workload, it’s all about harnessing the affordances of social media.  So here I share the link to our school library website and I will continue to share the journey of my learning about social media.  I am a firm believer in the idea that everything is a work in progress so welcome any comments or feedback you have.

I then had another attempt at Linked In as a social networking space.  I’ve sent out invitations and connected with people, accepted connections from patient friends and colleagues, added information to my profile and contributed my first post promoting the library website.  That wasn’t my big moment of clarity and I almost feel embarrassed to share this but the feature I loved was that I could ‘tweet’ my post from within Linked In!  Am thinking Linked In definitely has a place in my toolbox of social media.

Clarity gained and excitement aplenty!


Initial Thoughts of Social Networking

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Retrieved from: https://pixabay.com/en/icon-set-social-media-world-digital-1232558/

Retrieved from: https://pixabay.com/en/icon-set-social-media-world-digital-1232558/

Social networking initially is understood to be a network of people who join together and interact with each other to share personally or professionally.  It is therefore as successful as those who join the community or network of people who have chosen to participate.  Social networking has always existed throughout history but since the inception of Web 2.0 the opportunities and possibility to connect with a much wider global community has meant the ability to expand ideas and thoughts.  Many more voices provides much more depth to the dialogue.

Social networking allows individuals or groups to develop connection and increase learning based on their interests and passions.  There are so many social networking sites that individual preference, passion and purpose determines which social networking sites are used by the individual (Ishizuka, 2010).  Social networking allows people to continue along their quest for knowledge and the importance of concepts such as lifelong learning are another of the benefits of this participatory, collaborative connection between people.  It highlights the need for individuals to develop knowledge and skills about recognising fact from fiction, developing their boundaries through critical thinking before contributing or sharing too much.  Social networking requires people to be able to bring the digital and the face to face into a one world view rather than a belief that is what happens online is different to what happens offline.  The question is, how private? how public? how much is too much? in this ever accessible network of people.  Is it really healthy to be connected to the technologies being offered by Web 2.0?

I have used various social network sites but my purpose and experience is quite different for each one.  Facebook, Instagram are by far my personal playground.  They are where I share anecdotes with family and friends as we live quite some distance from each other.  Twitter is where I find useful professional information with links to educational specialists and gurus from around the world and I tried to use Linked In for a while but found it not as effective as Twitter.  I have a Pinterest account to curate resources that could be useful for that rainy day, or meals to make for my family.  I have a You Tube account, a Google + account and these are new areas for me.  Anything that involves me sharing actual footage of myself I tend to not contribute but appreciate and comment on the efforts of others.

Throughout this unit though I hope to learn how to utilise the benefits of social networking in a primary (K – 6) educational setting.  What is it that needs to be considered?  How can the vision of a primary school library use social networking platforms to serve the needs of the learning community?

References:

Ishizuka, K. (2010). People who need peopleSchool Library Journal56(2), 32.