INF537 Final Reflections


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF537, required blog tasks | Posted on October 19, 2015

It is time to start reviewing what I have learnt and experienced over the past semester. I directly participated in four of the five guest presented colloquiums and am currently listening to the final presentation by Cathie Howie.  Presenters have covered such topics as the resources of ABC Splash (Annabel Astbury), big data (Simon Welsh), cosmogogy (Julie Lindsay), data control (Tim Klapdor) and MacICT (Cathie Howie).  With such a broad range of topics and concepts to consider it’s been hard to connect the dots at times and understand why we would be looking at them without a lot of background information given prior to the sessions, similar to what I have previously experienced in my earlier tertiary study.

However, this subject has continued to broaden my understandings in newer to me educational trends. I am still trying to get my head around some of the data sharing concepts and ideas and why we should be concerned with our data in the future. In some ways I am like my secondary students who are not concerned, or have no interest in understanding who owns my data, musings and other information shared on various on-line platforms.  This is something I will need to continue to keep abreast of, most likely via twitter and various educational blogs that I have followed over the course of the past two years while studying in the M Ed (Knowledge Networks & Digital Innovations) course. I am making more of an effort to read the e-newsletter by Stephen Downes, that I signed up to in INF530 originally, which often summarises topics like this. Some of these are more of a tertiary level concern. However, given that many things filter down into secondary schooling levels, it is useful to become aware of these trends.

Looking back over this subject, I can say that I have developed in my awareness of technological educational trends. Aspects of my digital scholarship paper, helped influence my case study, particularly in looking at how information can be accessed for learning and scholarship of all kinds. Allowing secondary school students access to their mobile phones in the classroom, under guidance can ensure that students have equitable access to learning materials that are globally available. Learning and teaching is no longer confined to the four walls of the classroom. Having access to other digital resources and audiences assists in making our students global learners. By preventing access to these materials and people, we are doing our students a disservice; they will not be able to fully appreciate and develop the skills they will need to interact with the society they are members of, and that their work will need. This subject has helped me be able to articulate these concepts to my teaching colleagues, some of whom are interested in seeing the results of my case study. It may not change their views on using mobile phones in the classroom, but they are aware of the disruptions they can be but are not entirely sure how to harness them to be an effective tool in the 21st century learning environment that educators are grappling with.

This subject has made me aware that I need to have conversations with my teaching colleagues about the possibilities of the here and now, as well as the future to ensure my students have success in their lives outside of school. I also need to discuss aspects of educational trends with students so they can potentially understand some of the potential issues arising from the way data is treated and used by various on-line platforms. They may be the ones to solve some of the concerns that educators have with the newer trends that are happening.

Colloquium #4: Who is in control of your data?


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF537, required blog tasks | Posted on August 17, 2015

This week’s presentation was from Tim Klapdor and expands on his blog post. It was interesting to hear. The idea of who owns our data is not a new question. However, the model of many current operators is that of the closing off the digital commons, like the closing off of the village commons. There are some operators/players that starting to open up the commons again, starting to get users to cooperate instead of collaborate. However many are not aware of these options.

The idea of empowering users to create their own node for information in an interesting one and I think one that will probably start to take off when people get tired of allowing Facebook and other social media businesses to dictate what they can do with our data that we share on the various sites. The federated wiki idea sounds quite interesting and one I’d like to consider exploring one day down the track.

Colloquium #3 Leader/Peer


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF537, required blog tasks | Posted on August 12, 2015

This week’s colloquium was different to the previous two. It was broken into 3 parts.

  1. Pedagogy to Cosmogogy
  2. Peer presentations on Wang, V. C. X. (Ed.). (2014).Handbook of research on education and technology in a changing society. IGI Global.
  3. Case Study introduction

Part 1

This was an interesting expansion of global learning from what I had already known. I struggle to implement this in the classroom. Mostly because I haven’t had the time and opportunity to try to implement these ideas. I do like norms of online global collaboration flow chart that was presented by Julie Lindsay. It starts to let me consider where I am on a continuum in online learning/teaching experience not just connecting globally to others.  It does also let me think about how advanced I am to other teachers and how some teachers are further along than I am. It also makes me consider where the schools are on a whole that I have worked in, mostly not very far along. I do want to go and read further in this area.

Part 2

I liked how we each had to read a chapter from Wang and summarize it very briefly. It helped to gain an understanding of other parts of the book that would have been interesting to read. I know I struggled to narrow mine down and after reading in the forum from someone else who read a chapter I was keen on presenting, I decided to look at another of my 4 that I’d managed to narrow it down to read. This way others would get another chapter to consider rather than doubling up on what someone else has done.

Part 3

A basic introduction to what things I need to do for the case study which is a major assessment task in this assignment. For me this was a re-cap of things I that I experienced in INF536 and INF506 with their case study and case report.



Lindsay, J. (2015, June). Norms of Online Global Collaboration. Retrieved from
Wang, V. C. X. (Ed.). (2014). Handbook of Research on Education and Technology in a Changing Society: IGI Global.

Week 3 musings


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF537, required blog tasks | Posted on August 3, 2015

This week’s colloquium was on big data. Simon Welsh, manager of Adaptive Teaching and Learning Services, CSU, was an engaging presenter. He made me think about big data, something I hadn’t really done in depth since I did INF530.  As part of that course, I signed up for a weekly newsletter from Online Learning Daily. This week a number of big data articles were shared. And given the focus of the colloquium, I actually made time to read some of the articles instead of just the synopsis and commentary that was given in the newsletter. I also read Penetrating the fog that Simon shared with us before the colloquium.

“Big data is you take a whole bunch of junk data, if you get enough of it, it turns into gold” one of Simon Welsh’s colleague’s definition on big data.

You can find associations with this by applying statistical techniques that are designed to find associations. The key distinction is that they do not mean that they are causations.

I think that it is fair to say that educational institutions have not used some of their data effectively in the past in a timely manner. This idea was brought up in Long & Semiens (2011). This has been on note in the tertiary setting. However this is now seeping down to the secondary and primary education settings as well. One of the main points that sprang out at me while reading  Penetrating the fog is schools are getting “big’ on data; there’s lots of talk about it in the schools that I’ve been involved in the past 5 years. It’s hard however to get the general staff/teachers onside at the moment, as often they see it as another top down things they have to do on top of a already heavy workload. There seems to not be the support to train staff to gather data and what to do with it.

Hardt (2014), also writes on the ethical concerns with big data gathering and analysis.  This particularly can include bias of ethnic groups and gender groups as they may turn up in the data more frequently for some areas because they may be over represented in some areas. Fister (2015) also starts to consider ethical issues about who gathers the data and what it can be used for. She also highlights that anonymity can be reduced in big data sets when combined with other data sets.

“Learning is not a counting noun,” says Dave Cormier, “so what should we count?” Watters (2015)

Watters (2015) also ponders what can be counted about learning. It can be interesting to consider what we count/include to collect data on about learning. Do we use online content/learning management systems (LMS) to count different sorts of activity; forum posts, time in the online course, links followed? This is still problematic as we can’t necessarily define whether these are effective learning experiences or not. It’s still hard to decide what we can count to analyse student learning. It can be hard to start to analyse this, given the wide mix of learning experience opportunities for schools; there are issues accessing computing devices so relying on the use of LMS to gather data can be problematic in some schools.

Big data and learning analytics is something to start to consider particularly from an ethical point and how it can support learning experiences, in a timely manner.


Downes, S. (2015). Stephen’s Web ~ Stephen’s Web. Retrieved August 3, 2015, from

Fister, B. (2015, July 30). Negotiating a New Social Contract for Digital Data. Retrieved August 3, 2015, from

Hardt, M. (2014, September 26). How big data is unfair. Retrieved August 3, 2015, from

Long, P., & Siemens, G. (2011). Penetrating the fog: analytics in learning and education. Educause Review, 46(5), 30–40. Retrieved from

Watters, A. (2015, July 27). Rethinking “What Counts.” Retrieved August 3, 2015, from

OLJ Task: Social Media Policy Working Party


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF506, required blog tasks | Posted on February 8, 2015


these article and blog posts which provide a rationale for organisations to develop a social media policy and advice on the types of issues and content that could form part of a social media policy or policies:

Lauby, S. (2009) Should Your Company Have a Social Media Policy? Mashable, 27 April [blog]

Lauby, S. (2009) 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy, Mashable, 6 February [blog]

David Fleet’s Social Media Policies E-book (2009). Available

Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Europe. (2009). CIPR Social Media Guidelines (January).

Society for New Communications Research. (n.d.) Best practices for developing a social media policy. Available

Arendt, A.M. (2009). Social Media Tools and the Policies Associated with Them, Best Practices in Policy Management Conference. Utah Valley University, November. Complete paper and Powerpoint slides available Essential reading for all people working in education institutions, esp. colleges/universities

Anderson, J. (2009). Social Media Policies & Museums, Indianapolis Museum of Art blog (8 April).


Based on the above advice regarding the development of social media policies in organisations, identify 5 key points which you would use to advise a Social Media Policy Working Party regarding the development of a policy for organisation with regard to either (a) clients or customers’ use of social media while using your computers/network access or your organisation’s social networking sites, or (b) employees use of Web 2.0 tools and spaces for work and personal use while using your organisations’ computers/network and time.

Post a 350 word summary of your advise to your learning journal.


Focus: Student & Staff use of social media while using school computer network access (in education department schools).

There are a number of reasons to develop a Social Media Policy. One of the reasons to consider would be that social media is moving to mainstream communication (Lauby, 2009) Another is to consider how your organisation is seen in the public social media and social networking sphere.  There are a number of reasons to consider using social media within the school setting, including setting students up to be good digital citizens and life-long learners using 21st century skills (Arendt, 2009, p. 40).

Schools appear to be trickier for developing a Social Media Policy than many other organisations. Part of this is because there are minors involved, which brings in privacy issues potentially for students and their parents/caregivers. Another consideration is, are students blogging/using social media/social networking platforms to promote the school, and/or, are they considered employees of the school? Teachers and other staff are more clear cut about working out how they represent the school organisation in a more traditional employee/employer relationship.

It has been suggested that Social Media Policies can be extended from current policy documents (Society for New Communications Research., n.d.). In this case, it would be helpful to consider the computer usage policy that many schools already have.

These are some points which I would suggest that a Social Media Policy Working Party consider, particularly if students are using social media through school networks.  It would be anticipated that the working party also include students as well as they can articulate to their fellow students why things are written the way they are.

Points for students to consider

  • is what you want to post school/learning related?
  • would the postings be considered harassment & bullying? (this could have legal implications)

Points for staff to consider

  • will students have an authentic audience for their work?
  • will students post negative “reviews” of the school?

Points for the administration staff to consider

  •  Should we have a school twitter/blog/facebook page for parents to connect with us?

Points for the education department to consider (or points to consider putting forward to the education department)

  • Do we need to have the filters which block many social media & social networking sites?
    • It would be better to educate students & staff on appropriate use of these platforms and potential implications particularly seeing as people are now seen as life-long learners.



Arendt, A. M. (2009). Social Media Tools and the Policies Associated with Them. Presented at the Best Practices in Policy Management Conference, Utah Valley University. Retrieved from

Lauby, S. (2009, April 27). Should Your Company Have a Social Media Policy? Retrieved February 7, 2015, from

Society for New Communications Research. (n.d.). Best practices for developing a social media policy. Retrieved February 6, 2015, from




Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF506, required blog tasks | Posted on February 5, 2015


View this slideshow on creating an online personal learning network (PLN) by Bethany Smith:

Then read Jeff Utecht’s post Stages of PLN adoption (3 April, 2008) on his blog The Thinking Stick.

Using a concept mapping or graphic organising tool, develop a meme map of your own PLN which involves social networking sites, people and organizations.

Based on Utecht’s 5 stages of PLN adoption, identify which stage you currently see yourself experiencing and how this impacts on your personal and working lives. Also identify any ‘gaps’ in your existing PLN (ie. areas which you feel you would like to develop further/in the future).

Write up your findings as a post (of no more than 400 words in your OLJ).

PLN map


The five stages of PLN adoption, according to Utecht are Stage 1 Immersion, Stage 2 Evaluation, Stage 3 Know it all, Stage 4 Perspective, Stage 5 Balance.

I would say that I am working between Stage 1, 2, 4 and 5. I am trying out different social networking sites and seeing if they fit me for where I want and need to go. Through the M ED (DI & KN) I am being exposed to different social media and social networking platforms that I would not have considered using before. I wasn’t interested in Google+, Twitter, blogging. I was on Facebook for personal social networking. So I am definitely in the immersion stage with many of my networks. As I’m working through this course, I’m also evalutating whether these tools are useful for me or not in the secondary school setting. A number of sites are blocked by the education department, so that has in a way limited me in the adoption of the different networks as I’m limited to after school hours access on some. I would say that I’ve had a brief stop off at stage 3 know it all but because I have young family, it has meant that I can’t devote endless amounts of out of school time to playing non stop in a social networking site. It also means that I regularly spend time putting things into perspective in regard to my PLN. I am starting to try and find the balance between learning and living (stage 5).

Content of PLN is still a work in progress. I’ve covered the library area reasonably well. However my teaching subjects are a different story as this changes regularly. Being a contract teacher, I’ve had different subjects nearly every year. This has meant that I haven’t tried to make the connections in my PLN. However, I’d like to start looking at the broad subject areas (Geography, History, English & Maths) to start making connections to do this. I’ve general teaching areas covered in my PLN via the Facebook groups that I’m a member of.


Edited to add: I forgot to include my e-lists in my diagram (oztl_net & slasa_net) both of which are school library related.

OLJ Task: ASU Libraries


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF506, required blog tasks | Posted on February 4, 2015


Visit ASU’s collection of The Library Minute videos and view five (5) of these one minute videos, then visit two (2) of the other Web 2.0 tools used as part of the ASU Library Channel suite at

Write a critical evaluation on ASU Libraries? use of these platforms to achieve the 4Cs of social media (in no more than 350 words).

The 4Cs are collaboration, conversation, community and content creation (or co-creation).

The ASU Library definitely grabs attention and makes their presence known. The use of the library minute youtube videos certainly gives a small snippet of information about the library ending with a cultural reference. An example of this is the ending of  The Library Minute: Fun Things at the Libraries which has references to the James Bond movies. (content creation)


ASU library is reasonably active on Twitter. Plenty of updates are posted regularly. They also interact with followers about any issues and good news on twitter. (coversation and community)

Flicker is also well used by ASU. There are over 1200 photos uploaded to their photostream. Most are related to activities that the library has hosted to promote the libraries. However some include other activities in the library. There are a wide range of ages pictured and a range of ethnicities which shows the range of people that use the resources provided by ASU. All of the photos appear to be uploaded by ASU. (community)


The ASU clearly uses 3 of the 4 Cs of social media through their library channel, twitter and flicker. The collaboration is possibly there but it’s not as clear as the other three areas: conversation, community & content creation.

OLJ task: Second Life


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF506, required blog tasks | Posted on January 30, 2015

If you wish to use this task as one of your three (3) OLJ tasks for Assignment 2, you will need to write a short evaluation (no more than 400 words) of your use of Second Life as a 3D virtual world throughout this session. Include a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of different features/functions and learning experiences encountered, as well as a brief statement on the different ways an information organisation may be able to utilise Second Life to support information services, learning and/or collaboration of users and/or employees. 

A review of my experiences in Second Life. I first attempted Second Life back in 2007 for my previous M Ed (Teacher Librarianship) degree. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it to run on my laptop at the time so abandoned it. I couldn’t remember my avatar name when I went to login this time and the email address that I used to log in was closed as the provider no longer provides access to emails so I couldn’t get a reminder email.

I explored Second Life twice through INF506, 11 December 2014 & 21 January 2015.  I have included some photos of my visits at the end of this post.

In some ways I found the first time a lot easier to control my avatar. The second time I got stuck in a lowered area in the Standford Uni Plaza and had a lot of trouble trying to get out to see what everyone was doing. I was concentrating so hard on getting out that I missed what Carole was saying about the area and had to ask for a repeat of what we were supposed to be doing.

The first visit was basic and simple with expectations of what we were to attempt to do. Apparently I had my hand up while sitting on the floor rather than a chair which I thought I was sitting on.  With only one teleport location to go to it was fairly easy to get around the location.

While the second visit did go to more places, I had trouble directing my avatar a lot more in general space. I was not the only person to get stuck in something, one of the others got stuck in an artwork at Uni WA.

Some of the places we visited I could see having some use in the secondary classroom setting, the exploratorium was interesting and engaging. However, there are concerns with the potential adult content that students could encounter, which at this stage, is a little too off-putting for me. I can’t see education departments letting students have ready access to this at school for this reason. Many still block most social media/networking sites for students. South Australian education department has blocked/limited much of the networking capabilities of Microsoft Office 365 which doesn’t lead me to expect Second Life to have much of a chance of being able to be used in the secondary school setting.

The bandwidth needed to have smooth operation of the avatar is also of note, the second visit for some reason for me was a lot more jagged and stuttery in the movement of the avatar. This didn’t help my finesse of movement and actually detracted from the experience for me.  I suspect that if students were trying Second Life, this could be a turn off, along with the need for time to practice movements, which many may feel lessens the time that they could be spending time learning other things related to their subject.

Overall, at this stage I don’t see Second Life being taken up by many secondary schools. The main concern being the adult content that can be readily accessed and the blocking of many social networking sites by education departments. Areas may be useful and worth exploring but until education leaders in schools/departments are ready to come on board with such experiences possible in Second Life, I don’t think it will have a huge uptake amongst secondary schools.

Snapshots of 11 December visit to Second Life

Snapshot 11 dec

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Snapshots from 21 January visit

Uni WA  #4

Uni WA #4

Uni WA #3

Uni WA #3

Uni WA #2

Uni WA #2

standford 5 book garden 2

standford 5 book garden 2

standford 4 book garden 1

standford 4 book garden 1



Standford archives

Standford archives



Exploratorium #1



OLJ Task: RSS feeds


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF506, required blog tasks | Posted on January 13, 2015


Now that you have explored some examples of how libraries and the media make use of RSS to deliver updated information and the applications that can tailor and aggregate feeds for specific users, find two (2) additional examples of ‘RSS in action’, and develop a 350 word post to your OLJ on how RSS can enhance a library or information service’s ability to meet the information needs of its users.

RSS in action

NSW Department of Education and Communities School Libraries and Information Literacy RSS

This looks interesting especially as a teacher librarian. A pity for me that it’s NSW based and I’m in SA and looks not have been updated for a while. 2010 seems to be the latest article.

Prince Alfred College (PAC), Adelaide, South Australia

Private school library with several RSS feeds in operation, ABC radio & news sites, The Advertiser (local state paper). It also offers a RSS subscription for updates to the page.

Berri Barmera Library (school & public library in country South Australia)

This looks more like a public library than a school library. However some rural schools also host the local public library as a community library as a combined resource in the community. Berri Barmera library look like they only offer RSS feed for book reviews.


I can see the use of having some RSS feeds on the library page. However, this would depend a little on the clientèle of the library.  In a school library, I can see that having a feed for the local/state newspaper would be useful, particularly in secondary schools where students need to research a current issue/topic for class. Being able to create the library page updates to go on a rss feed would also be useful to students and parents. It would probably also encourage the updating of the library page regularly. The PAC page hadn’t been updated since Sept 2014 when I looked. I thought it might have updated in October at least, given that Yr 12 students are completing work until late October/early November in South Australia.

Of the 10 ways libraries can use RSS, there are some that I would not use in the school library setting.

5.  Create an RSS feed for press releases and other media advisories.

7.  Create an RSS feed for library job openings.

10.  Subscribe to a few professional RSS feeds and share with library staff on the library intranet.

I’d probably encourage any library staff to follow professional RSS feeds but I wouldn’t be sharing them on the school library site. At this stage I’m not sure that #5 & #7 would be appropriate for school libraries that I have usually worked in. It would be pointless having job opportunities in the library page for a school library, however this could be okay on a public library or university library page. Most of the time these would be on the school’s main site (or advertised via the education department’s website).

However, I would like to consider using or creating RSS feeds for the following in a secondary school library.

1.  Create an RSS feed for new additions to the online catalog.

2.  Create an RSS feed tied to a library card account for hold notifications and/or overdue materials.

3.  Create an RSS feed for new programs and events posted on the library website.

4.  Create an RSS feed for the library’s electronic newsletter.

6.  Create an RSS feed for library closings, including emergency closings.

8.  Subscribe to a few RSS feeds, such as local news websites, and share the content on the library’s website. This could be included on a page containing other local resources and local links.

9.  Subscribe to RSS feeds of interest to library customers and share the content on the customer’s personalized library webpage. Customers can choose to access selected RSS feeds, their library account information, subscription databases, and email/chat with a librarian all in one spot.

I’m not sure #2 would work in a school library context but it may, if students have authenticated logins for the library page. #9 may work in a school library but I don’t know how many RSS feeds of school library information there would be able to be with reasonable  time constraints to set up. Often it seems that the school library is staffed by one or two people (larger schools may have more).


I think that I’d like to include some RSS feeds in my next school library. I’d like to have a basic (at least) website that I could include some of these RSS feeds in. Most of my previous schools haven’t had a dedicated school library webpage. It would certainly help senior students at the least with Research Project ideas and resources.



Berri Barmera Council. (2015). Berri Barmera Library Service. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Cathryn Harris, M. G. (n.d.). LibGuides. The Frederic Chapple Library. Library Home. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

School Libraries and Information Literacy RSS. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Wolfe, C. (n.d.). 10 Ways Libraries Can Use RSS. Retrieved from

OLJ Task: Tagging


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF506, required blog tasks | Posted on January 12, 2015


Set up an account a social bookmarking service such as Diigo – or Delicious

Explore the functionality for storing, tagging and sharing your bookmarked resources.

Get started – go out and tag a few resources!

If you wish to use this task as one of your three OLJ tasks.  You could write a short evaluation (no more than 350 words) of your use of social bookmarking – include a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of different features and/or functions, as well as a brief statement on the different ways an information organisation may be able to utilise such a tool to support information services, learning and/or collaboration of users and/or employees.

I’d created a Diigo account early in 2014 as a part of my INF530 studies and then INF536 studies and started occasionally tagging into Diigo. I haven’t really started to use this as fully as it could be.  One reason is probably time and another that I haven’t been able to easily add the extension to my school laptop to tag things easily. Another problem for me in using Diigo better is that I don’t tend to browse of search for stuff generally on the web. I typically use ideas from textbooks, or if I’m looking for a particular topic & type of media, I’ve saved it in a bookmark in my google chrome bookmarks bar as I’ve usually got access to that at home & school. Although I did find that I was having trouble accessing some saved resources as my bookmarks weren’t updating at school unless I’d taken my laptop home to allow it to sync outside of the school network. However, this has made me consider using Diigo more. I have set up an educators account and an working on developing my Diigo use throughout 2015 and beyond.

Having seen how often some M Ed (DI&KN) people tweet about what they’ve saved to Diigo, I’m starting to understand and see how useful it can be, especially sharing articles & resources with others who are interested in similar topics. I can see the possibilities for helping students who are doing research topics that I can provide some resources on a topic to get them started or to further their research and ideas.

I can see how Diigo can be useful. I just need to use it more for my school related bookmarks more and make sure I know what the url for Diigo is so that I can easily add it to my school computing device wherever and whatever that may be.

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