ETL 402 Reflection 1

ETL 402

Reflection 1: I can’t say that I have ever thought too much about my own personal vision for the future of children’s literature, I suppose because I didn’t feel that I had that kind of control. Reflecting now, I can see that I am, along with my teaching colleagues, most certainly driving change in literature in the context of our immediate school. I have been striving to provide literature that meets students’ educational needs, reading for pleasure and interests whether it be those titles that have media-tie-ins as Harvey (2013) outlined. I will buy practically any book if I know that it will be enjoyed by a student, particularly a student who is not normally one to engage in reading activities. I would hope that children’s literature will continue to change, meeting the needs of diverse readers and nonreaders (readers to be). I like to keep a book request notepad on my desk so that students can make requests and I can notify them when their request has been fulfilled. Reshaping literature and making it more personalised and interactive hopefully will attract and sustain children’s interest in reading. Ultimately, I suppose children are the real drivers  of change.

INF 506 Assignment 1

Social networking to me, put simply, is the connection that users make with people they know and do not know through various online platforms such as Facebook and other sites.

 The social networking technologies and sites that I use for personal use are much the same as the ones I use for professional use.

The sites that I currently use are:

Personal: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, email

Professional: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, school website, Twitter, Google Classroom, Edmodo, Microsoft 365, email

Study Purposes: CSU Interact, email, Facebook

After completing INF506, I hope to learn how to effectively weed or sort through the copious amounts of irrelevant information that constantly floods my personal and professional social networking technologies. I don’t know if I follow too many people/groups or the wrong people/groups. I would like to develop better management skills for the operation of my social networking accounts e.g. how I can save time and effort. If I post something can it send out to all of the other social media platforms? I also hope to get some ideas from my peers studying this course on how they showcase their libraries. Ultimately it would be great to improve my practice of social networking, particularly in regards to understanding social, cultural and ethical issues which I may be confronted with. It would also be particularly beneficial to have a good grasp on how an information policy is developed and supported in order to combat these issues.  

ETL 504 My School’s Management Structure

 

Reflection:

My school is a NSW Public Primary School and although our principal makes decisions which affect our school, ultimately everyone within the school adheres to the policy and procedures outlined by the Department of Education (DoE).

In regards to management structure, we have a principal, an executive team consisting of four assistant principals who are responsible for each stage as well as release from face to face teachers including myself as librarian. Although my school has elements of the machinist management structure as outlined by Mintzberg (Kokemuller, 2017) it is predominantly ‘Professional.’ Professional because all DoE employees are employed based on their knowledge, specialised skills and level of professionalism.

The communication within our school is predominantly conveyed via regular weekly communication meetings, emails, online calendar, communication board, pigeon holes and the school’s PA system. More formal communication is conducted face to face with the principal, teaching staff and/or support of one of the executives.

 

Reference

Kokemuller, N. (2017). Mintzberg’s Five Types of Organizational Structure. In Hearst Newspapers:Small business. Retrieved from
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/mintzbergs-five-types-organizational-structure-60119.html

Part B: Reflective Practice

Part B: Reflective Practice

Working through the modules, literature and participating in the forum discussions has really broadened my knowledge and understanding of leadership and the actions that I am required to undertake as part of my role as a TL. Delving into the theory of leadership had me constantly evaluating leaders in my everyday life. For instance my school principal, the trainer at my gym, my husband as a leader at home (we even had a good discussion and laugh about this), my son’s favourite movie Lion King. Evaluating what type of leader I was was tricky initially as I thought that you could only be one type of leader, however through the readings I realised that leaders draw on different types of leadership behaviours in order to adapt to certain situations (Rubin, 2016).  

My new role as a TL is constantly evolving, I feel the constant pressure to keep up to date with the changing requirements of the teaching and managerial side of running the library. Being able to manage the library workload was a goal that I mentioned in my previous blog post for this subject. A weakness of mine is taking on too many tasks at once for fear of others not completing it to my standards.When I read case study 5, I could really resonate with the statement ‘work smarter not harder’, this is something I have started saying to myself. I now try to think of ways of being more organised or being more specific in tasks that I delegate to other members of the library team and how working together will be more effective in achieving our goals. I have started to collaboratively create an operation plan with my library assistant. Together we have mapped out her role, responsibilities and tasks to be completed along with the time frame (Isaac, 2016). Sharing the load will definitely help me in focusing on more of the bigger picture tasks that form part of my role e.g. budgets, stocktake, organising pd etc.

Communication as a leader was another aspect that I wanted to learn more about and a goal I set for myself in my previous post. I have gained a number of strategies such as conducting regular meetings with my library team, making the agenda and minutes easily accessible via a shared Google document, face to face communication as well as via email.

Engaging with the content for this subject has also helped inform my leadership practices I have learned the value in making positive connections with staff in order to build trust and strengthen relationships, attributes imperative to a good leader (forum post, Group 2, 1st October 2017). I am working on building stronger professional relationships with staff to better understand the services I can provide to support their delivery of the curriculum. After participating in Jo-Anne Urquhart’s  (11/09/2017) online meeting I also picked up on practical phrases I can say to teachers to show that I am there to support them as much as possible.

  • How can I help you?
  • What do you need from me?
  • Let’swork on that together.

After viewing Hope & Gordon’s (2016) presentation on collaboration, I felt not only was it part of my role as TL but I felt motivated and inspired to lead change via pd session to staff on strategies they too could use to support collaboration and the inquiry learning process. I particularly liked the Padlet platform and how social media can be used as a tool for learning and communication.  I have changed the way I promote the library and have moved to more of a digital approach. I set up a social media, Instagram account (@Wyong_PS_iCentre) where I now use photos and short video clips to promote the library, its services and resources to the school community.

 

References

 

Hope, M.W. & Gordon, E. (2016). Two TLs and a network. Take 2! Cook up great collaboration in your learning commons. Paper presented at Super Conference 2016, Toronto, Ontario. Retrieved from http://www.olasuperconference.ca/SC2016/event/two-tls-and-a-network-take-2-cook-up-great-collaboration-in-your-learning-commons/

 

Isaac, L. (2016). Purpose of an operational plan. In Online Learning for Sports Management. Retrieved from: http://ww.leoisaac.com/operations/top025.htm

 

Rubin, C.M. (2016, June 24). The best ways a teacher can demonstrate leadership in the classroom? [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/c-m-rubin/the-best-ways-a-teacher-can-demonstrate-leadership-in-the-classroom_b_7654578.html

 

ETL 503 Assignment 2 Reflection

Reflection

I have been the teacher librarian at Wyong Public School for the past 12 months. Completing this subject has given me a lot of ideas for how I can improve the structure of the library, particularly the development of my school’s collection. The readings gave me a lot to reflect on being new to the position.  A few key things that I took away from the literature that demonstrate my knowledge and understanding of the role and nature of school library collections included:

  • Ideas for cataloguing applications (apps), promoting apps using Pinterest and Pearltrees, as well as creating order request digital forms to manage teacher app requests (Cantwell, 2013).
  • I am having trouble showing my principal the value of Apple ibooks/ebooks being a part of the collection and how they can support the needs of learners accessing information. Borne’s (2013) research revealed that students are actually growing to prefer ereaders to traditional books.
  • After engaging with McKenzie (2009) I learned the value and importance of creating an annual report. I also learnt about what this involves, such as: analysing the borrowing data, breaking down expenditure, keeping track of goals, reinforcing collection growth through donations and book club and making this known to families. It also showed me how a teacher librarian such as myself can gain a higher profile by annually reporting on the libraries success and areas of improvement.
  • I found Conway’s (2016) literature on how to support students with vision impairment a valuable tool for my school. This term a new student is starting with a vision impairment so I will be able to use the Non Visual Desktop platform to support this student. I also noticed that you can customise voices which may also support some of my school’s students that speak English as their second language and who are from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Forum Post 1.2 – After researching the literature and reading forum posts from my peers, I can see the importance of creating a collection development policy at my school. Avery (2014, p.13), as cited by Haifa (2015) defines, “Library collection development is the decision-making process by which libraries seek to accumulate (collect) and disseminate (publish) useful resources over time”. Like many of my peers’ blog posts that I read on collection development, I too had great difficulty in locating a collection development policy in my school because it just does not exist. This is most likely due to the previous librarian not having enough time or expertise in the area of policy development. I have found the literature quite beneficial to get my head around in order for me to develop a collection management policy at my school. I particularly found the examples from Debowski (2001) and Braxton’s (2014) sample development policy helpful in knowing what to include and what it looks like.

This subject has most certainly extended my knowledge and understanding of the role and nature of school library collections.

Future Proofing: Forum Post 1.2 – I found Mitchell’s (2011) reading, Resourcing 21st century online Australian curriculum: the role of school libraries very interesting in understanding the direction of future collections. I already feel that I have changed the direction of our curriculum since taking on the teacher librarian role a year ago.

The fact is that although we have part of an agreed curriculum published in 2011, we are in reality resourcing a curriculum that will change, and it is our role to keep an ever-watchful eye on what’s on the horizon and where we might be heading in the future

(Mitchell, 2011, p. 4).

This quote rang true to me as I feel that I am always reading literature in order to better understand my position and also make sure that I am personally driving the collection in the right direction to evolve with changes.

 

Resources

Debowski, S. (2001). Collection management policies. In K. Dillon, J. Henri & J. McGregor (Eds.), Providing more with less : collection management for school libraries (2nd ed.) (pp. 126-136). Wagga Wagga, NSW : Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. (e-reserve). Retrieved from: https://www.csu.edu.au/division/library/ereserve/pdf/debowski-s.pdf

 

Braxton, B. (2014). Sample Collection Policy. Retrieved from: http://500hats.edublogs.org/policies/sample-collection-policy/  Braxton, B. (2014). Sample Collection Policy. Retrieved from: http://500hats.edublogs.org/policies/sample-collection-policy/

 

Cantwell, K. (2013). Living appily ever after in the library. Connections, 86, 6-7. Retrieved from: http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/connections/issue_99/feature_article/improve_schools_perceptions_of_teacher_librarians.html

 

Conway, V. (2016). Resources. WebKeyIT. Retrieved from: http://www.webkeyit.com/resources/

 

McKenzie, D. (2009). Importance of creating an annual report. [blog]. Library Grits. Retrieved from http://librarygrits.blogspot.com.au/2009/06/importance-of-creating-annual-report.html

 

Mitchell, P. (2011). Resourcing 21st century online Australian curriculum: the role of school libraries. 10-15. Retrieved from http://www.slav.schools.net.au/fyi/autumn2011/mitchell.pdf

 

Haifa, Atatreh . (2015, December). Re: Forum 1.2 [Blog comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&forum_id=_74942_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_23324_1&course_id=_14217_1&message_id=_983680_1#msg__983680_1Id

Critical Reflection

My view of the role of the teacher librarian has not necessarily changed, but has most certainly gained depth. In my previous blog entry about the role of the teacher librarian, I did not really explain or have a very good understanding of the expectations of such a position. Being new to this role, I have found the module readings and discussions for this subject to be interesting, valuable and practical to my position as a TL. In short, my role consists first and foremost of being a teacher. I noticed in the readings that Herring (2007), Lamb (2011) and Purcell (2010) also recognise teaching as one of the most important aspects of the role of the TL. I have learned that the role of the TL is largely based on the context and needs of the students. The other aspects of my role consist of being an information manager, information specialist, technology innovator and leader, collaborator, financial planner (controlling budgets, expenditure etc) and literacy advocator. Valenza (2011), also recognised a number of other key TL responsibilities that I feel are applicable to my personal role as a TL. Valenza (2011) outlined that TLs teach and model inquiry research, digital citizenship, evaluation of resources in terms of their relevance and credibility, literary and media appreciation. All of the elements listed are crucial to the success of the role of the TL. With the role of the TL being diverse from school to school and quite complex, this can sometimes be a challenge for less experienced TLs like myself. Prioritising tasks according to Bonannos (2011) is key to the optimum running of the role of the TL.

Encouraging and promoting a love of reading amongst students is definitely a passion of mine and something that I feel even stronger about now after reading through some of the modules. Reading expert Stephen Krashen (2004, as cited by Hughes, 2013, p.19) indicates that wide reading and “access to reading materials through libraries are critical for literacy development, especially among students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.” The context of the school that I teach at has a low socio-economic background and I feel that promoting reading is even more of an important part of my role as a TL.

Throughout the modules and assignments, another aspect of the role in which I gained a deeper understanding of, was information literacy and guided enquiry. I had the opportunity to research a number of IL models, such as the Big 6 and Super 3, the NSW Information Skill Process and Kuhlthau’s (2010) Information Search Process. Since ‘hypothetically’ investigating which model would best suit the context of the school that I work at, I have initiated discussions with some of my executive colleagues to see if they have a preference for a particular IL model and how we could go about using a staff meeting to discuss our roles as educators in the IL integration process. Like Simpson and Walsh (2012) and O’Connell (2012), I think collaboration between educators will only benefit students understanding of information literacy. This collaboration could lead to our school developing an IL policy, something which we do not have yet.

Ultimately the role of the TL is a multi-faceted one (Herring, 2007, p. 30) and with this, the role of the teacher librarian will continue to change with the changing information landscape. Breivik and Gee (1989: 22, as cited by Langford, 1998) have stated “that literacy is in an evolving state that mirrors the expanding information needs of society.” With this change comes the evolving role of my role as a TL. In my new role as a TL, I have often felt overwhelmed with challenges, mainly feeling time poor. I know that I am new to the role but after completing this subject I can see that TLs really do have quite complex roles. According to Sandra Hughes-Hassell and Dana Hanson-Baldauf (2008),  some other challenges which I am now more aware of which affect the changing role of the TL is that although “media specialists recognize the importance of technology competence… many face barriers due to lack of resources, time, technical support, infrastructure, and professional development” (as cited by Lamb, 2011, p. 33). Professional development is one area that I hope to target in order to improve my skills as a TL coping in the ever changing information landscape.

References

Bonanno, K. (2011). Speech at ASLA, 2011 conference: A profession at the tipping point: Time to change the game plan.

Herring, J. (2006). A critical investigation of students’ and teachers’ views of the use of information literacy skills in school assignments. School Library Media Research, 9.

 

Hughes, H. (2013). Findings about Gold Coast Principal’s views of school libraries and teacher librarians. Chapter 8, School libraries, teacher librarians and their contribution to student literacy development in Gold Coast schools. Research report.

 

Kuhlthau, C. K. (2010). Building Guided Inquiry Teams for 21st-Century Learners. School Library Monthly, 26(5), 18.

 

Lamb, A. (2011). Bursting with potential: mixing a media specialist’s palette. Techtrends: linking research& practice to improve learning, 55(4), 27-36. doi: 10.1007/s11528-011-0509-3

Langford, L (1998). Information literacy: a clarification. Retrieved from http://www.fno.org/sept98/clarify.html

 

Purcell, M. (2010). All librarians do is check out books, right? A look at the roles of a school library media specialist. Library Media Connection, 29(3-), 30-33.

 

O’Connell, J. (2012). Change has arrived at an iSchool library near you. Information literacy beyond Library 2.0.

 

Simpson, A. & Walsh, M. (2012). The impact of technology on reading practices for 21C learners. Scan; v.31 n.1 p.34-39; February 2012. Retrieved from: http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/fullText;dn=191036;res=AEIPT

 

Valenza, J. (2010). A revised manifesto.  Retrieved from: http://blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch/2010/12/03/a-revised-manifesto

 

 

 

Managing Work Load

In order to be a productive teacher librarian in my school community good management skills are vital. Time management is an area that I personally need to strengthen, along with negotiating time with office administrators to carry out tasks in the library. This is where I found Sanders’ (2004) reading on Conflict Resolution to be particularly interesting and relevant to my own professional development. Not that I have conflict with any of my colleagues but it is certainly good to know strategies in case I found myself in that type of situation while negotiating my library administration time. Being new to the position, I often get quite overwhelmed with the duties expected of the teacher librarian. Purcell (2010) encourages teacher librarians and media specialists to identify the tasks that they complete on a day to day basis, highlighting any clerical tasks and noting those tasks as barriers to student inquiry learning (p. 31). I found comfort in this statement and often write notes for my assistant including clerical tasks that can be done by someone else other than myself, this definitely minimises my workload. I even encourage my student monitors and parent helpers to assist in some of these tasks.

 

References

 

Bonanno, K. (2011). Speech at ASLA, 2011 conference: A profession at the tipping point: Time to change the game plan.

 

Sanders, R. (2004). Chapter 13: Conflict resolution. In Australian library supervision and management (2nd ed., pp.127-132). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies.

Challenges

In the context of the school that I teach at, collaborative practice where teachers are leaders in areas where they feel their strengths lie occurs regularly. This is something that I love about my school. If there was a circumstance where teachers felt working with other teachers was as a major challenge, I would probably explain the strengths of collaborative practice and highlight the expectations of their role within this process. I would also ask them if there was anything that I could do in order to support them through this process.  One of my favourite roles as TL at my school is working with my colleagues to plan lessons, give them creative ideas for integrating technology into their lessons and simply suggesting valuable resources that I think would be useful for their units of work.

Convergence

To my knowledge, the school that I work at does not have an information literacy policy. We consider ourselves to be a 21st century school so this is something that I will definitely be looking more into. I don’t feel that we (staff at my school) discuss the IL approaches that we follow so it is therefore not consistent across our school. Obviously, in the context of my school, as per curriculum, it is being integrated across key learning areas but not explicitly addressed in terms of navigating through useful information without becoming overwhelmed. This is something that I feel is part of my role as the teacher librarian. Like Simpson, Walsh (2012) and O’Connell (2012), I think collaboration between educators will only benefit students understanding of IL. Therefore, I see the importance of ensuring that I start a collaborative discussion with my fellow teaching colleagues to formulate an information policy for our school which explicitly meets the needs of our school’s students.

 

References

 

O’Connell, J. (2012). Change has arrived at an iSchool library near you.Information literacy beyond Library 2.0.

 

Simpson, A. & Walsh, M. (2012). The impact of technology on reading practices for 21C learners. Scan; v.31 n.1 p.34-39; February 2012. Retrieved from: http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/fullText;dn=191036;res=AEIPT

Information Literacy

There is a plethora of literature supporting information literacy, what it means, its value and parametres within the education system (Herring, 2006, p. 2-3). Defining information literacy is not as easy as it sounds. I was quite overwhelmed after reading through the module readings. According to Herring (2006), although there are a number of different viewpoints on the definition of information literacy it is collectively agreed that information literacy is “important and integral to student learning” (p. 3). For this reason, it is paramount that we ensure we as educators have a solid understanding of what information literacy is. Herring (2006, p. 3) claims that “information literacy is the ability to access, evaluate and use information from a variety of sources, to recognize when information is needed, and to know how to learn.”

 

References

Bundy, A. (ed.) (2004). Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework: principles, standards and practice. 2nd ed. Adelaide: Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy (ANZIIL) and Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).

Herring, J. (2006). Progress in developing information literacy in a secondary school using the PLUS model. Retrieved fromhttps://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/execute/displayLearningUnit?course_id=_14224_1&content_id=_949210_1

Langford. L. (1998). Information Literacy- A Clarification. School Libraries Worldwide. 4. (1), 59-72.

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