#INF530 Digital Essay and Critical Reflection

Due to several issues with illness and technical difficulties, the Digital Essay “Visual Literacy in Secondary Schools” is available in the first instance in Joomag. However, even Adobe Acrobat Pro failed to enable the 126 links in this format, and with time running out, I resorted to an interactive PDF available via the link below.

Digital Essay complete

In addition, I created a Visual Literacy Pinterest board to support the digital essay.

CRITICAL REFLECTION:

INF530 has been a remarkable journey of information overwhelm, fascinating paths of discovery and absolute frustration learning to become ‘new’ technology literate. This course has opened my eyes to how those who are less confident with learning and using new technologies, let alone teaching and assessing them, feel; as I am reasonably IT literate and the demand placed on my time and energy, keeping up with social media and new web 2.0 tools was a real challenge.

I have enjoyed reading all of the social media interactions, despite finding it difficult to contribute as much as I would have liked, and particularly enjoyed reading the blog posts, as we have all had different perspectives and interests. I was drawn to:

  • Modules 1.6, as Digital Literacy falls squarely into the Teacher librarian role;
  • Modules 2.3 and 2.7, which made me rethink not only my beliefs about learning theory, but also how I actually apply these theories in my classes (and fail to);
  • Module 3 was my favourite, and the one that I delved into the most, digging down through the readings digital media literacy, information fluency and content curation, resulting in my selecting Visual Literacy for my digital essay.

Selecting a topic that I enjoyed reading about and was highly motivated to learn more about, meant that I spent far too much time finding even more readings, videos, blogs and slideshares, than a 1500 word essay warranted. On the upside, the topic of Visual Literacy resulted in many fascinating conversations with my work colleagues about how we are and are not teaching visual literacy in the secondary school; what we call it; how we assess it, if at all, and which key learning areas are incorporating VL into their curriculum.

Unfortunately, the word limit (I did expect a larger limit for a Masters essay) and the depth and breadth of the topic, meant that I found myself unable to include more information and a research component that would have made this essay even more relevant to my school. It has highlighted that I will probably use the essay research to develop a matrix of elements of visual literacy from  the ACRL standards, ISTEs and the QCS CCEs for years 7, 8 and 11 across several KLAs, for inclusion in our information literacy 101 and 102 lessons for 2015. I will incorporate examples from the Visual Literacy Project and I have bought Serafini’s book, Reading the Visual, for future reference.

So INF530 has opened up my mind to growing how we teach those aspects of information literacy that I am passionate about, but more than that, it has opened my eyes to some of the new opportunities that I had not considered for our library – makerspaces, gamification, digital literature and wikipedia, to name a few. The blogs of my peers have been enlightening, as their perspectives have tempted me to investigate new ideas, and I will make it my business to read and follow them all in the coming weeks. Most importantly, I have moved from following a lot of my favourite bloggers, to committing to contributing more to my own, and to continue with my commitment to sharing and curating via Twitter and on my Pinterest boards, Digital Citizenship for Schools Facebook page, Diigo and more.

All my teaching life, I have been told  – Evolution, not Revolution, we need to change slowly – but INF530 has convinced me that we need the revolution, yesterday, last year and last decade. Could you imagine a school filled with graduates of Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovations? Now that would be a revolution, indeed.

 References

Association of College and Research Libraries. (2014). ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for higher Education. http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/visualliteracy

ISTE. (2014). Nets for Students 2007. http://www.iste.org/standards/standards-for-students/nets-student-standards-2007

Serafini, F. (2014). Reading the Visual: an introduction to teaching multimodal literacy. Teachers College Press. NY. http://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=kdjMAQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=role+of+visual+literacy&ots=b-_koDxJwH&sig=ke_FBtxbRP2NKJn-R5sEV8TxdXI#v=onepage&q=role%20of%20visual%20literacy&f=false

Wright, J. (2014). The Visual Literacy Project. http://www.readingart.net/

 

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