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ETL 401 Assignment 2: Part B – Critical Reflection

Throughout this semester my view on the role of the Teacher Librarian has dramatically changed. Before the commencement of this degree, I (like most) didn’t understand or know the extent of the role that the TL plays in the school. Being a classroom teacher of minimal experience, I have not been exposed to the daily tasks of the TL and therefore didn’t have a level of respect for them as I do now.

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A TL’s teaching role is an integral one which sets us apart from the rest of the library and information services staff. Statistics show that TL’s commence their careers as classroom teachers, and then look to obtaining professional qualifications in education and librarianship. In this regard, as Herring (2007) states that the TL takes opportunities to teach in the library context, extending what is taught in the classroom.

The Teacher Librarian’s role is not limited to being an information specialist, or a teacher, but further includes the support and implementation of the vision of our school communities through advocacy and building effective library and information services and programs (ALIA & ASLA, 2004). What advocacy looks like in the school context involves the Teacher Librarian being always aware of opportunities to develop strategies and possibly influence decision making for the betterment of the students, the school library, and the profession. With the twenty-first century proving to be a rapidly changing technological world, the role of the Teacher Librarian is to continue to be aware of, and implement, new strategies and approaches that advocate for the meaningful and beneficial existence of the school library and the Teacher Librarian (Bonanno & Moore, 2009; Waldron-Lamotte, M. 2014a).

When commencing topic 2, I was greatly influenced by the readings on Principal Support. Before beginning the topic I had not giving a single thought to the TL/principal relationship necessary for the school library to be successful, but I got the message loud and clear… collaboration cannot happen without the active support of the school’s principal and if the library and TL doesn’t have the principal’s support, well, they need to do something about that (Waldron-Lamotte, M. 2014b). As Haycock (2002, pg.32) states, “collaboration is not easy. But it is the single professional behaviour of teacher-librarians that most affects student achievement”. After all isn’t that what it’s all about?

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My initial thoughts when delving into the Inquiry Learning topic were negative and resistant. I look back and I think it was more the unknown and the initial complexity of the topic that caused this reaction. However after reading the many articles, as well as completing the last assignment, I have found that Inquiry Learning it definitely integral in today’s educational setting (though I would have assumed many classroom teachers and TLs are already actively engaged in teaching this to their students – regardless if they are following a set model or not).

Examining IL models as part of this task highlighted the benefits of using IL models in research tasks for students. I now understand that information literacy skills are an important part of the inquiry process and this is something that I need to teach more explicitly in my lessons and in collaboration with class teachers. Bundy (2004) further reinstates this, by stating that students recognise the need for information, can locate information, analyse the reliability of the source, critically evaluate information and use information effectively (Waldron-Lamotte, M. 2014c). I have worked in three different public schools now; and whilst all of those schools have a whole-school literacy program, none of these are effectively teaching Information Literacy and Guided Inquiry Learning. When I become a TL, I will endeavor to implement a school-wide literacy program that allows the proficient use of an IL model that caters to the dynamics of that school. Herring’s PLUS model is my preferred model at this point of my learning for its use of acronym, transferability and way of developing synthesise of information in students.

I have been pleased with the significant amount of reflection I have been able to engage in whilst studying this course (even

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though I have been unable to attend any of the online meetings – I have kept my blog rolling). Not just because Teacher Librarians engage in reflective practice to increase their effectiveness (Purcell, 2010) but for the reason that it has allowed me to better understand how to successfully perform the roles expected of me. With the death of my Nan half way through the semester and the emotional toll it has had on my family – I am proud of myself for forging ahead.

The Teacher Librarian holds a significant leadership role in promoting and supporting teaching and learning within multi-modal, multi-literate twenty-first century learning environments. Whether we are planning collaborative or individual teaching programs, creating and enhancing quality teaching and learning environments, performing library management duties, or advocating for the implementation of new programs or improvement of facilities, we are doing it for the opportunity to enhance and improve student learning and achievement. I look forward to the day when I can put what I have learnt into practice. Though just because I am not a TL yet, doesn’t mean I can’t implement change!

REFERENCES

Australian School Library Association (ASLA) & Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). (2004). Library standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/site/DefaultSite/filesystem/documents/TLstandards.pdf

Bonanno, K., & Moore, R. (2009). Advocacy: reason, responsibility and rhetoric. Australian School Library Association (ASLA). Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/advocacy/ School-library-advocacy.aspx

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). Retrieved from http://www.library.unisa.edu.au/learn/infolit/Infolit-2nd-edition.pdf

Herring, J. (2007). Teacher Librarians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.), Libraries in the twenty-first century: Charting new directions in information (pp. 27-42). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies Charles Sturt University.

Purcell, M. (2010). All librarians do is check out books right? A look at the roles of the school library media specialist. Library Media Connection 29(3), 30-33. Retrieved from http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/55822153/all-librarians-do-check-out-books-right-look-roles-school-library-media-specialist

Waldron-Lamotte, M. (2014a). OLJ ETL 401 Blog Task 1. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/melissawaldronlamotte/2014/08/11/olj-etl-401-blog-task-1/

Waldron-Lamotte, M. (2014b). Principal Support ETL 401 Online Learning Journal Blog Task 2. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/melissawaldronlamotte/2014/09/08/principal-support-etl-401-online-learning-journal-blog-task-2/

Waldron-Lamotte, M. (2014c). ETL 401 OLJ Blog Task 3 – Information literacy is more than a set of skills. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/melissawaldronlamotte/2014/09/29/etl-401-olj-blog-task-3/

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ETL 401 Assignment 2 Part A: IL Models

Executive summary

In today’s society, inquiry learning is a natural process. However, due to the ominous amounts of information readily available, students lack the necessary skills to be able to locate, select, organise, analyse, and evaluate information. These skills are necessary for students to achieve their learning outcomes. This report outlines how an Information Literacy model utilised in an educational setting can be beneficial for all stakeholders. Teachers and students shape inquiry learning through the use of IL models by various means. There are various Information Literacy (IL) models available for use in the teaching of the research and problem solving process such as Herring’s PLUS Model (2007), the New South Wales Information Skills Process (2007) and Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process (2009), all of which provide a clear framework for students to follow to achieve their learning outcomes. However, the IL model chosen must reflect the needs of your school context in order to be successful – not all will suit.

Section 1: Definition and purposes

What is an IL model?

The Australian School Library Association (ASLA 2009) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA 2006) have defined information literacy as ‘an information process where students can access, use, organise, create, present and evaluate information.’ Teaching in a 21st century curriculum ‘is no longer a matter of teachers presenting expert information to students so that they can represent the information to show understanding,’ (Wall & Ryan, 2010). Information literacy is about students learning how to use information resources, extracting and then presenting the information. An Information Literacy Model guides students through this process. It is a multi-layered process that actively involves students following steps in an information search process to answer ‘the big question’.

Why is an IL model needed in the present information landscape?

Inquiry skills are used by human beings worldwide in everyday life. As teachers, it is our knowledge of children and how they learn that determines how we teach the acquisition of information and inquiry skills. Information Literacy models are essential in today’s information landscape. As Frey (2007) states, ‘we have transitioned from a time where information was scarce and precious; to today where information is vast and readily available.’ Due to this, students can gain access to a range of resources and without an IL model to guide them; they are just simply ‘cutting and pasting’ information. The understanding and teaching of information literacy skills through the use of an IL model has a positive effect on student learning. Students are able to identify their information needs, gather and assess information more readily and organise and present this information effectively – which are skills used across almost all of the curriculum areas (ALIA & ASLA, 2001).

How is an IL model used by teachers and students to shape inquiry learning in schools?

Information Literacy is the teacher librarian’s specialist subject, but it is a whole school responsibility. Teacher librarians, as collaborative teaching partners, support teaching and learning programs in information literacy, recognising that students need to be inspired, challenged and empowered with new knowledge. Herring (2007) states that, ‘one of the key elements in a library mission statement relates to the development of information literate students.’ It is with guidance from the teacher librarian that students can become competent ‘locaters, selectors, analysers, organisers and users of information’ (Wall, J. & Ryan, S. 2010). The teacher librarian must critically analyse all Information Literacy models to ensure best practice in their school (Bundy, 2004). By utilising an effective IL model that suits the dynamic of the school, all stakeholders can work collegially in implementing the model to guide the student’s inquiry process. The model may be effectively used throughout library sessions or as a whole school literacy process; that is embedded within teaching and learning programs (Eisenberg and Johnson, 1996).

Evaluation/Reflection – How an IL model might be employed in the assignments of your school.

An Information Literacy model is essential in today’s educational setting. Students have access to various multimodal texts that are readily available to them. In a digital age, students need to be given a framework in order to be able to effectively represent the information to show understanding.  O’Connell (2012) highlights that, for inquiry learning to be successful and digital literacy to be integrated into real-life problems then constructed into solutions that can make a difference in our world, everyone in the equation must become a researcher. There is a distinct shift away from teacher-led instruction to student-centered approaches. Tying this with a greater focus on formative assessment and perhaps the use of Digital Portfolios provide the data required by some parents and other teachers to buy in to the approach.

Assignments can be challenging for some students and often time consuming, resulting in ‘copying and pasting’ methods to complete the ominous task ahead. The IL model can be used as an assessment tool by integrating it into the overall assessment rubric. Students will need to demonstrate that they can meet the requirements of each stage of the IL model in order to achieve the overall learning outcomes. However, before implementing this approach into assessment rubrics, the model will have to be explicitly taught and explored before independent tasks are formulated.

As stated by Langford (1998), there seems to be a gap in the everyday classroom practice of Information literacy and the theory. Schools are still struggling with the concept, often seeing it as an add-on and not a genuine part of education. By introducing an IL model within the school, information literacy will become a part of the curriculum and will benefit student’s learning achievements. Quality teaching will be inevitable as students will be encouraged to locate, select, analyse, organise and use information effectively.

Section 2: Your two chosen models

The Information Search Process and Guided Inquiry

There are various IL models available for use in the teaching of the research and problem solving process such as Herring’s PLUS Model (2007), the New South Wales Information Skills Process (2007) and Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process (2009). The main purpose of all these models is similar; to provide teachers and students with a framework for the development of research skills.

Teacher librarians need to provide their students with practical strategies to then transfer the information and knowledge they have gained to other areas of their learning. This is what makes their learning meaningful to them. Kuhlthau’s (Kuhlthau, 2010) Information Search Process (ISP) model engages students in the learning process by asking them to:

  • Define their information needs;
  • Locate the information they think they need;
  • Select the information that is relevant to them, accurate etc;
  • Organise the information;
  • Create and share their information and;
  • Evaluate the information.

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A teacher’s knowledge of the ISP affects student learning outcomes across all year levels and all curriculum areas. Teacher librarians who have this knowledge are able to engage students in meaningful research learning, develop lifelong learning principles in their students, cater for individual students, challenge students to aim for higher goals and incorporate a variety of instructional strategies into their teaching. All of which lead to higher student learning outcomes as students taught by these teachers have a higher retention rate and a clearer understanding of core concepts and information (Hattie, 2003).

Kuhlthau’s model of the Information Search Process is a simple and complex process of searching for information (as defined in Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century). The result of inquiry is only formulated by complex searching that derives from the process followed. Kuhlthau has a seven process model:

  • initiation (uncertainty);
  • selection (optimism);
  • exploration (confusion/frustration/doubt);
  • collection (sense of direction/confidence);
  • presentation (satisfaction/disappointment) and;
  • assessment (sense of accomplishment).

Research suggests that because of the information made readily available on the internet, students’ conceptions of research have changed. Without effort or too much thought, student’s can access information on the given topic with ease and by doing so; they expect to find information quickly without utilising the effective skills and processes outlined in the IL models (Kuhlthau, C., et al 2008).  When students feel under pressure, faced with deadlines to complete tasks, they become frustrated and become more focused on completing a task rather than achieving the learning outcome. Student’s information-to-knowledge experiences are vitally important in their educational journey. Therefore it is critical that during these experiences, teachers are able to identify key moments when instructional intervention should occur. Rather than gathering and synthesising information (which is a crucial part of the research process), students are often too focused and driven by the end result. It becomes a matter of ‘quantity rather than quality’ (McGregor and Streitenberger, 2004). As they move through the search process stages of the ISP model and learn more about their topics, their relevance criteria also undergo development and refinement. As they become more competent at selecting relevant information, they develop more specific searches and become more critical of the found information (Kuhlthau, C., et al 2008).

 

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By using the framework as a guide, collecting and compiling information is less important than becoming involved in a critical thought process. They begin to explore ideas more extensively and develop their own deep understanding and analysis of the research; which has been formulated by their own opinion and conclusion of the topic searched. Students avoid missing the critical stages of learning when they are given the extra time to reflect and formulate during the exploration and collection of information. It has become evident that the model and learning is extremely important for teacher and librarians to guide students through this process (Kuhlthau et al. 2007).

Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari (2007) define Guided Inquiry (GI) as, “an integrated unit of inquiry planned and guided by an instructional team of a school librarian and teachers, together allowing students to gain deeper understandings of subject area curriculum content and information literacy concepts….” Quite clearly, GI requires school community support and close collaboration with teachers. As discussed by Mitchell (2011) ‘Guided inquiry learning is fast becoming the buzz word of school libraries for the 21st century.’ Schools are moving away from teacher-centered lessons where students learn passively and are adopting a guided inquiry approach to learning with teacher librarians acting as facilitators. ‘This guided inquiry approach helps students to construct meaning, think creatively and solve problems.’(Mitchell, 2011) Teacher librarians need to give students a purpose for their inquiry and should not assume that students know how to search for accurate information without being explicitly taught. It is important to structure learning experiences using a research model and support the stages of the teaching and learning cycle. Teacher librarians need to model strategies, jointly work with students to assist the mastery of research skills and support students to use research skills independently.

A key component of the guided inquiry approach to learning is that knowledge can be personal. It allows students to feel fully engaged, develop ownership and take responsibility for their own learning path whilst being guided. A guided inquiry approach in a classroom consists of students working on specially designed inquiry materials. As there is an increasing demand for customised learning plans the guided learning approach ensures students are working at their own level and at their own pace but with a defined purpose.

The GI process clearly achieves the dual purpose of the TL’s role as both educator and information manager. The TL as educator role, or, “every subject expert” (Michigan School Library Initiative Group, 2009) is evidenced in their curricular knowledge and is reflected by their collaboration with other teachers in the focus of the Guided Inquiry, whether students are investigating the immune system or the history of jazz. The TL as information manager reflects the TL’s capacity to integrate information literacy throughout the school, mentor teachers to ‘push’ technology into the classroom and ensure that traditional and digital resources meet the changing needs of the curriculum to best prepare students for high school and eventually employment. As Herring (2007) suggests, TL’s need to mentally and strategically move away from the notion of the library as just supporting the school, towards the vision of the library as a vital part of the school. As TL’s, we need to embrace our leadership role and be prepared with evidence of the improved student achievement to effectively implement Guided Inquiry in our schools.

The guided inquiry approach to teaching and learning is not a new approach in classroom instruction and is best described as a process-orientated approach. Students are developing their knowledge and skills in order to be successful citizens in our increasingly changing society. As stated by Hansen (2004), ‘Our students need to be critical thinkers and problem solvers to survive.’

Herring’s PLUS Model

 

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Herring’s PLUS model is a simplified approach to information literacy while still including the processes of Kuhlthau’s ISP model (just code named differently). This model of the information skills process aims to integrate the key elements of previous models while adding emphasis on thinking skills and self evaluation. PLUS incorporates the elements of: Purpose, Location, Use and Self-evaluation.

The range of skills included in the PLUS model includes:

1. Purpose

  • Identifying existing knowledge by brainstorming concepts; that formulate questions; resulting in identifying the information resources relevant to the task (Herring, J. 1996, 1999, 2004).

2.Location

  • Developing skills to assist in locating relevant information by utilising library catalogues, books, journals, CD-ROMs as well as developing IT skills in using electronic sources such as the internet (Herring, J. 1996, 1999, 2004).

3. Use

  • The ability to find relevant information or ideas through skim and scan techniques and understand what is being read, viewed or listened to. This knowledge gained should then be compared and related to existing knowledge.
  • Be able to select and evaluate the appropriate information.
  • Develop the ability to take notes in a systematic way which relates to understanding and purpose whilst collecting all relevant information and devising a summary of all of the facts and information about a topic and relating this to existing knowledge.
  • Most importantly, writing or presentation skills including the ability to use the information and ideas to write a well structured essay, report or project (Herring, J. 1996, 1999, 2004).

4. Self-evaluation

  • The ability to reflect on the processes involved and to identify areas of improvement in the effective use of information resources in the future (Herring, J. 1996, 1999, 2004).

To teach in a school with a school-wide approach to literacy would reinforce the process to students over time and enable them to transfer information literacy between subjects as well as year levels. This model will effectively engage students in their research tasks as it is a simplified method, which also allows students to memorise the steps by use of the acronym.

Recommended Model – Explanation

Students come to the learning situation with some prior knowledge of the topic and it is the teacher librarian’s role to tap into this prior knowledge, engage with students, stimulate and build upon this knowledge, in order to encourage them to be actively involved in the research process. Within an information process framework it is the teacher librarian’s role to support the student through scaffolding learning tasks and providing tools such as concept mapping or brainstorming tools, graphic organisers, note-taking tools and summarising tools.

The guided inquiry process fosters innovation and creativity and can involve students working in groups where they feel motivated and energised. Students can share knowledge and request clarification from each other. ‘Education as inquiry provides an opportunity for learners to explore topics collaboratively using the perspectives offered. In this way, curriculum becomes a metaphor for the lives we want to live and the people we want to be,’ (Harste, Jerome, 2001).

Technology is continuing to impact on education and teacher librarians must consider the important, central role the internet plays in harvesting current information. With the interactive nature of the web, the guided inquiry approach promotes discovery and the role of the teacher librarian is to help children organise the wealth of information presented to them.

For GI to be successful, the TL must raise the profile of the Library, research, provide evidence and create a whole school approach to information literacy. They must establish and nurture collaboration with all key stakeholders, especially the Principal and teachers. Recognising that these steps must be taken, how does the TL become the champion of information literacy? The answer to this question is intrinsic to the GI approach itself – provide the stakeholders with evidence of the improvements in student achievement, firstly in Library projects, then transferred to the classroom. For example, Kuhlthau et. al, (2007, p.133) reported that a follow-up survey of teachers and librarians who had implemented Guide Inquiry projects found that the resultant student learning was ‘richer and deeper and more personalised over time’.

Evaluation/Reflection

The diagnostic value of these models seems even more crucial in today’s digital age. Research evidence suggests that students appear to settle for the first related information found. Due to the nature of information today (and it being readily available at the click of a button), students skip the initial stages of exploratory searching and analysing information found and just proceed to collecting information for their project or task. This is all done without considering the implications to their learning and skill development. They complete a task without building background knowledge and formulating essential questions that drive and direct their information seeking. Awareness of the processes outlined in the models is not only valuable for teachers but also for students as it facilitates both their learning process and emotional experience.

Professional literature (Langford, 1999; Spence, 2005) confirms that TLs are the links to producing information literate students. To assist students during the research process TLs use information skills models to scaffold student learning. Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process (ISP) and Herring’s PLUS provide vocabulary to students, teachers and TLs to describe the steps in the research process, the information skills required and a reference point in the research process. The models encourage students to think at Bloom’s upper levels (evaluate, synthesise) rather than information retrieval. ISP is particularly insightful for TLs and teachers because it highlights students’ feelings (affective domain) during the information seeking process (Kuhlthau, 2007); which may result in attention being devoted to individual students’ needs.

Henri (as cited in La Marca & Manning, 2004, p. 36) believes it is normal for students to feel different emotions during research stages, such as anxiety, whereas previously teachers may mistake these emotions for inattentiveness. A whole-school information literacy continuum that is embedded into the curriculum (and NOT in isolation); and that sequentially develops students’ skills and strategies at each year level; enhances students’ acquisition and the transferability of these skills. Loertscher (2009) supports this notion arguing that separate library curriculum or information skills are inefficient methods of information literacy teaching compared to “just in time instruction about the research process” (Loertscher 2009, p.43).

References

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)/Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2009)

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). Retrieved from http://www.library.unisa.edu.au/learn/infolit/Infolit-2nd-edition.pdf

Eisenberg, M. and Johnson, D (1996). “Computer Literacy and Information Literacy: A Natural Combination.” The Emergency Librarian.

Hansen, David.M. (2012) Instructor’s Guide to Process-Orientated Guided Learning.POGIL website.

Hansen, David. M & Daniel.K.Apple (2004). Process-The Missing Element.

Henri, J. (2004). The information literate school community: Lessons for teachers. In S. La Marcha & M. Manning (Eds.). Reality bytes: Information literacy for independent learning (pp. 33-47).

Herring, J. (1996) Teaching information skills in schools. London, Library Association.

Herring, J. (1999) Exploiting the Internet as an information resource. London, Library Association.

Herring, J. (2004) The Internet and information skills. London, Facet Publishing.

Herring,J.(2007). Teacher librarians and the school library. In S.Ferguson (Ed) Libraries in the twenty-first century: charting new directions in information (pp27-42)

Kuhlthau, C. (1991). Inside the search process: Information seeking from the user’s perspective. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 42(5), 361-371.

Kuhlthau, C. (1993). Implementing a process approach to information skills: A study identifying indicators… School Library Media Quarterly, 22(1), 11-18.

Kuhlthau, C. (2009). Guided inquiry: Learning in the 21st century. Paper presented at the IASL School libraries in the picture: preparing pupils and students for the future.

Kuhlthau, C. (2010). Guided Inquiry: School Libraries in the 21st Century. School Libraries Worldwide, 16(1), 1-12.

Kuhlthau, C., Heinström, J., & Todd, R. (2008). The ‘information search process’ revisited: is the model still useful?. Informationr.net. Retrieved from http://www.informationr.net/ir/13-4/paper355.html

Kuhlthau, C., & Maniotes, L. (2010). Building guided inquiry teams for 21st-century learners. School Library Monthly, 26(5).

Kuhlthau, C. C., Maniotes, L. K., & Caspari, A. K. (2007). Assessment in guided inquiry. In Guided inquiry: Learning in the 21st century (pp. 111-131).

Langford, L. (1999). Information literacy? Seeking clarification. In J. Henri & K. Bonnano (Eds.) The information literate school community: Best practice (pp. 45-56).

Loertscher, D.V. (2009). The best library is a learning commons. Teacher Librarian, 36(4), 43.

McGregor, J.H., & Streitenberger, D.C. (2004). Do scribes learn? Copying and information use. In M. K. Chelton and C. Cool (Eds.), Youth information-seeking behavior: theories, models and issues (pp. 95-118).

Mitchell, P. & Spence,S. (2009) Inquiry into Guided Inquiry. Vol.23, No.4, Nov 2009.

O’Connell, J. (2012). So you think they can learn? Scan, Vol 31. May, 5-11.

Spence, S. (2005). The teacher librarian toolkit for an information literate school community. In Henri, J. & Asselin, M. (Eds.). The Information Literate School Community 2: Issues of Leadership (pp. 135-146).

Upton,M. (2013) Inquiry Learning vs Information Literacy. ASLA Conference 2013.

Wall, J. & Ryan, S. (2010) Resourcing for Curriculum Innovation: Learning in a Changing World

 

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ETL 411 Assignment 2 Part B Critical Reflection

Introduction

In today’s society, one is only too comfortable with technology. Technology is no longer an indulgence; it’s a life skill” (Backes, L. 2012). Let’s face it; technology has become a part of our everyday lives. It surrounds us (Backes, L. 2012). So naturally, the education system has also adapted to cater for these changes to society. It has become a way of communicating with the outside world, sourcing information, sharing ideas, accessing media releases and most importantly, accessing teaching and learning content (Dubose, 2011).

Image retrieved from http://askatechteacher.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/bubble.jpg

The 21st century student has access to a range of digital technologies that provide an engaging and resourceful way of learning. Teaching and learning programs are enriched by multimodal resources that provide the opportunity to enhance student learning outcomes (Nobles, Dredger & Gerheart, 2012). This is achieved by enabling students to experience first-hand their content and be able to specifically visualise topics that may otherwise be out of reach e.g. before smart boards and computer access in all classrooms, students studying Antarctica could only visualise pictures in printed books. Now students can watch video clips and source both audio and visual media to deepen their understanding of the topic.

Web 2.0 tools are essential in today’s classroom as they support and enhance the teaching and learning experiences as students are engaged and motivated to learn. Their understanding and knowledge is deepened as they are able to access a wide range of resources that require them to select, interpret and evaluate as well as other digital literacy skills (Gokcek & Howard, 2013). The aim here is to create students who are information fluent. That is, they can “subconsciously and intuitively interpret information in all forms and formats in order to extract the essential knowledge, authenticate it, and perceive its significance,” (O’Connell, 2012, p. 7). As teachers, we need to expose students to the digital technologies that are shaping their future. Web 2.0 tools provide various avenues for students to explore multimodal resources. As Boss and Krauss (2008, p.13) assert: “When teachers facilitate well-designed projects that use digital tools, they do much more than create memorable learning experiences. They prepare students to thrive in a world that’s certain to continue changing.”

Integration of ICTs in Curriculum Programs

The role of the teacher librarian is progressively evolving, therefore what is expected of a Teacher Librarian and what they are accountable for is also changing. To shift the common misconception that teacher librarians sit at a desk all day and occasionally scan a barcode, is a slow and challenging task, as it has been this view for so long. However, with the Digital Education Revolution here, teacher librarians as media specialists have an opportunity to significantly change that misconception and lead their school into the 21st century. What is current is only the beginning for what is to come in the future.

The teacher librarian’s information specialist role is now more important than ever. Students need to be educated to become competent, ethical seekers and users of information in a technological world (Mann, 2011). Students need the help of the teacher librarian to confront the challenges of their information needs and develop knowledge and skills they will use for the rest of their lives (Harris, 2011).

In the learning environment of today, students demand access to information and ICT (Hay, 2006). Many authors including Herring (2007), Purcell (2010), Mann (2011), Twomey (2007) and Leppard (2003) agree that we need to be skilled information specialists who are able to select, locate, organise and use a range of information resources and technologies. However, our role as information specialist is more than just being able to locate relevant information for a particular topic or subject area. The knowledge that the teacher librarian can impart in the application of the information skills process has significant benefits in planning, the development of units of work and assessment tasks and strategies (Gibbs, 2003; Lamb & Johnson, 2008). We need to interpret and evaluate the library’s collection on a given topic in the context of the curriculum program, as well as developing information literacy skills (Herring, 2007; Purcell, 2010).  In addition, the teacher librarian must teach students the skill of evaluation (Harris, 2011; Sample job description: School library media specialist, 2009).

A collegial work environment is desired in terms of teacher librarian and school staff working together towards a common goal. By the teacher librarian taking on the role as information/ media specialist, it provides an opportunity for the TL to share their expertise in ICT. Staff development can be led by the TL as they share their knowledge and expertise of web 2.0 tools and ICT integration. Literature reveals that teachers’ attitude and pedagogical beliefs toward technology represent one of the most critical issues (Ertmer, et al., 2012; Richardson, 1996). Therefore, if classroom teachers feel supported in the area of ICT by the teacher librarian, the success rate will be much higher and the students will benefit greatly.

Analysis of Learning
Prior to experiencing ETL411, I thought that I was competent in the use of ICT. It is only now that I realise how limited my knowledge was. I had heard of web 2.0 tools in discussions with other teachers previously, but had never raised an eyebrow or intended to seek more information. Being a classroom teacher of 3 years I am still learning the ropes and obviously still have a lot to learn. It has been through completing this course that I realise how beneficial web 2.0 tools can be in teaching and learning programs.

Image retrieved from http://www.techconnect20.com/image-files/web20wordle.jpg

One of the major benefits of integrating Web 2.0 tools within curriculum is the engagement and motivation it provokes in students (Backes, 2012; Combes, 2014). Not only was I oblivious to the meaning and benefits of web 2.0 tools, but also the range of tools out in the big World Wide Web.

It was only after the first assignment that I became well informed and engrossed in researching the many web 2.0 tools available for a range of different purposes. There is definitely no shortage of what teachers can access to engage and enhance student learning outcomes, it is just a matter of looking for it (which is not hard at all). I found Jeff Dunn’s, ‘The 100 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools Chosen by You’ website (2011) extremely useful (it is an annotated bibliography) and it is a resource I have utilised several times now and have also shared with my colleagues.

The Wiki is a tool I have never used before (as well as a blog). I have found it very interesting and can visualise how students could effectively utilise this tool throughout their educational journey. However, i feel as though I would use it in a secondary setting rather than primary. This judgement has been made based on the other tolls students need to become competent in before attempting a Wiki.

Our last assignment enabled us to delve into curriculum design. By critically thinking about how we could integrate a web 2.0 tool into our unit of works, I could visualise how I can (tomorrow) implement in my own classroom. The step by step analysis made me question effectiveness, conflicts, solutions, resources and student outcomes. Assignment 2 was definitely beneficial to my everyday program and I am excited to share my findings with colleagues in attempt to entice them to integrate ICT into their teaching and learning programs more effectively (not just Microsoft Word and PowerPoint).

Conclusion

In conclusion, “the school library provides information and ideas that are fundamental to functioning successfully in today’s information and knowledge-based society” (International Association of School Libraries, 2006). The Teacher Librarian has a crucial role in the integration of both ICT and information literacy within curriculum programs. By leading teachers and students into the 21st century, teacher librarians are shaping the future of education. Technology is an integral part of teaching and learning today and can effectively enhance student achievement through the many resources it has to offer, in particular the use of web 2.0 tools.

References
Backes, L. (2012). 5 reasons to add technology to your classroom. The Inspired Classroom [blog]. Retrieved http://theinspiredclassroom.com/2012/04/5-reasons-to-add-technology-to-your-classroom/

Boss, S. and Krauss, J. Reinventing project-based learning. This chapter excerpt from the book provides an overview of project-based learning within the Web 2.0 world.
Combes, B. (2014). Integrating ICTs [ETL411 Module 3.1]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL411_201460_W_D/page/72d99a18-b38c-44cb-80f6-da2bfe987e7f

Dunn, J. (2011). The 100 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools Chosen By You | Edudemic. Retrieved from http://www.edudemic.com/best-web-tools/

Ertmer, P. A., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., Sadik, Ol, Sendurur, E., & Sendurur, P. (2012). Teacher beliefs and technology integration practices: A critical relationship. Computers & Education,59(2), 423-435.

Gibbs, R. (2003). Reframing the role of the teacher-librarian: the case for collaboration and flexibility. Scan, 22(3), 4-7.

Harris, F. J. (2011). The school librarian as information specialist: a vibrant species.Knowledge Quest, 39(5), 28-32.

Hay, L. (2006). School libraries as flexible and dynamic learning laboratories… that’s what Aussie kids want. Scan, 25(2), 19-27.

Herring, J. (2007). Teacher librarians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.), Libraries in the twenty-first century: charting new directions in information (pp. 27-42). Wagga Wagga: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2008). School library media specialist 2.0: a dynamic collaborator, teacher, and technologist. Teacher Librarian, 36(2), 74-78.

Leppard, L. (2003). The role of the teacher librarian in essential learning. Access, 17(3), 9-11.
Mann, S. (2011). 21st-century school librarians: envisioning the future. School Library Monthly, 28(2), 29-30.
O’Connell, J. (2012). So you think they can learn? Scan, Vol 31. May, 5-11.
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.
Sample Job description: School library media specialist. (2009). Knowledge Quest, 38(2), 80-82.

Twomey, M. (2007). Empowering learners: how the teacher librarian, through enactment of the role, empowers learners to shape and enrich a changing world. Access, 21(4), 33-39.

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ETL 411 Assignment 2 Part A ICT Program Proposal

Part A: ICT proposal
Program title: Composers of the Digital Age

 ICT Program Proposal
English

 Stage 2: Year 3 & 4
Selected Web 2.0 tool for integration: Story Jumper.

Image retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/melissawaldronlamotte/files/2014/08/5486577-17oni0x.png


RATIONALE
The integration of technology has become an integral part of teaching and learning in today’s education system. This rationale clearly outlines how the web 2.0 tool, Story Jumper can be used effectively within programming to enhance student’s engagement and learning outcomes.

  • Story Jumper is very easy to use – even for those apprehensive teachers.
  • Low literacy achieving students can be engaged and access their learning at their own individual level (Backes, 2012; Combes, 2014). Story Jumper allows for differentiation.
  • Story Jumper allows students to access their previous learning and utilise it to make connections between all key learning areas (Wanago, 2013; Berger & Trexler, 2010).
  • ICT is an area highlighted in the Australia Curriculum that details the need for students to develop efficient skills in the use of ICT. This can be achieved through the integration of technology throughout all key learning areas (ACARA, 2011).
  • By exposing students to interesting ways of creating and publishing texts (through the use of Story Jumper), they will be engaged and develop of love of reading and writing (Ohler, 2008).
  • Story Jumper can be integrated into any teaching and learning program ranging from Kindergarten to year 12. It is because of this flexibility that all student learning abilities are catered for.
  • Story Jumper allows for group work, which in turn builds effective social skills. Students can support and encourage their fellow classmates as they work together to achieve a common goal (Pegrum, 2010, Grennon-Brooks, 2004, Lee & McLoughlin, 2008, Hayes, 2007).
  • The process of Story Jumper provides teachers with an opportunity for integrated assessment (Lee & McLoughlin, 2008).

 


TARGET AUDIENCE PROFILE

Background information: Nulkaba Public School is a primary school in the Hunter / Central Coast region; with a current enrolment of 407 students. In S2W there are 27 students: 17 boys and 15 girls. It is a composite stage 2 class with a range of learning abilities. Five students have been identified with expressive and receptive language delay; two students have autism; one student has a FM radio and an itinerant support teacher and one student (who has moved recently to Australia from Thailand) is an EAL/D student. At the start of the year, most students presented with a PM Benchmark reading level in the low 20’s. In recent assessments the majority have reached level 30 plus (all except 5 students). Nulkaba Public School proudly introduced the Accelerated Literacy (AL) program a few years ago. Since its introduction, literacy standards have been high and student’s knowledge integration has benefited. Students are actively engaged in AL as they utilise all areas of English in the one program instead of it being taught in segregation. “Accelerated Literacy doesn’t simply teach spelling, grammar and vocabulary. It also teaches the ways of thinking – the discourses, or cultural knowledge – that underpin what these mean. This knowledge is an essential part of being able to decode text and therefore succeed educationally. When AL is taught effectively, teachers are able to awaken a sense of the ‘what’, the ‘how’, the ‘when’, the ‘where’, and ultimately the ‘why’, of language choices in a text. As a result of AL teaching, students gain control over how to put it all together” (Nalp, 2014).


 

ISSUES RELATING TO THE INTEGRATION OF STORY JUMPER

There are a number of issues that need to be assessed and solutions provided in relation to embedding the Web 2.0 tool ‘Story Jumper’ into a unit of work.

1. School Infrastructure

Issue

Solution

Availability and   access to technology.
  •   There is one class set of laptops per stage. The classroom teacher   (CT) needs to book (in advance) the laptops for a nominated session to gain   access.
  •   Alternatively, in the library there is a computer lab, the CT can arrange   with the Teacher Librarian to book in a session where access can be granted.
  •   Story Jumper has a unique safety feature, the ‘duration   field’. Setting class duration significantly decreases the chance that   students in a shared computing environment accidentally or intentionally   access other students’ accounts” (Story Jumper, 2014). Because of this   feature, students can only use their account at school. Students are unable   to work on their books unless the class is open by the teacher within their   school environment. Alternatively, parents can unlock this feature to allow   their child to use this within their home. This feature has been added so   that an adult can carefully monitor the work that is being publicly   displayed.

2. Privacy and security

Issue

Solution

Security
  •   The classroom teacher and the teacher librarian   should be well informed of the DEC Information Security policy. https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/policies/administrative/ict/information_security/implementation_1_PD20130453.shtml?level=
  •   Classroom teacher or teacher librarian to open   accounts and distribute access information to students.
  •   Students understand the importance of cyber   safety.
  •   Students and parents have signed the school   ‘acceptable use of technology’ policy document. This document includes issues   relating to acceptable use of school ICT, cyber bullying and awareness of   ‘digital footprints’.

3. Teacher

Issue

Solution

Limited   experience in ICT or lack of knowledge in the integration of web 2.0 tools. Literature reveals that teachers’   attitude and pedagogical beliefs toward technology represent one of the most   critical issues (Ertmer, et al., 2012; Richardson, 1996).

  •   Teacher librarian to run workshops demonstrating the   use of Story Jumper and highlighting the benefits of integrating it within   all key learning areas.
  •   IT specialist to support and encourage the use of   technology within the classroom.
  •   Working collegially as a staff to up skill all staff   members in the use of ICT in the classroom.

4. Time

Issue

Solution

Finding time   throughout the school week to effectively utilise Story Jumper
  •   Students allowed access to computers outside class time   e.g. at lunch to complete Story Jumper projects.
  •   Designate tasks as homework or projects.

5. Copyright

Issue

Solution

Copyright   infringes of images sourced from the internet.
  •   Students are informed of copyright.
  •   Encourage students to create their own images.   Opportunity to integrate art lessons with technology: create an artwork/   illustration for their story, then scan and insert the image into their   online book.

 


 

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

Curriculum Area

Outcomes

Example from the Unit

English –   Australian Curriculum
  •   Plans, composes and   reviews a range of texts that are more demanding in terms of topic, audience   and language (NSW Board of Studies,   2014).
  •   Use a range of software including word   processing programs to construct, edit and publish written text, and select,   edit and place visual, print and audio elements (NSW Board of Studies, 2014).

 

  •   Students plan their   story based on topics covered throughout the term, using the studied text as   a scaffold.
  •   Students use Story   Jumper as a tool to publish their story. They become indulged in the   experiences of an author and illustrator when consequently their book can be   published for other account holders to view.
General   Capabilities ICT
  •   Students have   the opportunity to become competent, discriminating and creative users of ICT   as they learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately when investigating,   creating and communicating ideas and information. Students will learn about   the ethics of information communication through technology (NSW Board of Studies,   2014).
  •   Collaborate,   share and exchange.
  •   Visual   knowledge.

 

  •   Before the   commencement of publishing their stories, students will be informed of   security and online etiquette while using technology within the classroom.   They will be encouraged to apply this at home as well.
  •    Students will work collaboratively in groups   in order to explore the tools and features available in Story Jumper.   Students will share their findings in order to assist fellow class mates.   Ideas will be exchanged as their stories become a creative masterpiece.
  •   Students demonstrate the ability to select   appropriate visual images to include in their story being illustrated (ACARA,   2011).

 

ASSESSMENT OPPORTUNITIES

ICT and literacy outcome based assessments will be ongoing. Students should be informed of the outcomes they are being assessed on at the commencement of this unit.

Type of Assessment

Example in Program

Formative   Assessment Teacher   observation will be a key assessment strategy throughout the program. The   classroom teacher or teacher librarian will record their observations   utilising checklists or rubrics to measure achievement attained by students.   Teachers / TL should also acquire a student work sample.
Formative   Assessment Peer and self   evaluation is a great way for students to reflect on what they have learnt as   well as identifying areas for improvement (NT Department of Education &   Training, n.d.). At the conclusion of this unit, students will share their   published work and their peers will provide (written or oral) feedback. The   student is also encouraged to provide (written or oral) feedback on their own   work. 
Summative   Assessment Utilising a   rubric and professional judgement, during presentations, the classroom   teacher or teacher librarian will assess the published story. Classroom Teacher   or Teacher Librarian to document areas for improvement as well as documenting   the student’s strengths. Not only does this feedback benefit the individuals   but also the teacher, as they are able to identify areas that need   reinforcing. 

 

CURRICULLUM DESIGN

  • At the commencement of this program, students will be introduced to the text they will be studying throughout the term. Students will be exposed to range of print and online texts to demonstrate diversity to the students.
  • Students will be engaged in lessons that demonstrate how to search for images that are not subject to copyright. They will also be encouraged to source digital stories to visualise publication methods and ideas.
  • The classroom teacher or teacher librarian will demonstrate the proficient use of Story Board and then reiterate using step by step instructions as students follow, accessing their own computer or laptop.
  • Students will then be able to access fellow account holders’ published stories on their Story Board accounts. YouTube clips can also be accessed if necessary for students to reinform themselves on how to use the web 2.0 tool from home (if access is granted by a parent).
  • Finally, when students have written a draft for their story and have planned their illustrations, they may begin to publish and edit their book using Story Board.

 

TEACHING OPPORTUNITIES – TEACHER LIBRARIAN ROLE

Area

Content

Opportunity

ICT

  •   The use of Story Board.
  •   Searching images that are not subject to copyright.

 

  •   Demonstrating the   effective use of the web 2.0 tool. Expose students to a range of stories that   have been previously published on the Story Board site. Discuss the purpose,   audience, structure of the texts that have been written. Ask students to   reflect on and evaluate the stories shown/read. What was effective? Why/why   not?
  •   Explain what the term   copyright means. Discuss circumstances where a breach of copyright might   occur. Demonstrate best practice when selecting images to use in their Story   Board publication.
  •   Guide students in   effective research techniques to source both images and digital stories they   may use as a scaffold for their own book they are creating.

 

Literature

  •   Writing literature that is captivating and entices their intended   audience.

 

 Source a range of   print and digital texts to show the class. This will guide their creative   process. Explore the way authors have written their stories. Discuss this   with the students, encouraging them to think critically about the way they   will write and publish their own story.

Safety

  •   Online etiquette
  •   Digital footprint
  •   Acceptable use

 

  •   Teacher librarian   informs the students of online etiquette. It should be reinforced that cyber   bullying is not tolerated and whatever is published, although it can be   deleted, will leave a ‘digital footprint’. This term needs to be discussed in   length.
  •   Students should also   be made aware of their rights and responsibilities when using the computers   at school (with an emphasis on internet use). The CT or TL may read through   the DET Acceptable   ICT use policy documents ensuring all students are aware of their   responsibilities in regard to school internet usage. CT or TL monitors   student safety throughout unit.

 


 

EVALUATION PROCESS

At the conclusion of the program students, classroom teacher and the teacher librarian will participate in an evaluation. This evaluation will assist in the future direction of this program.

Who

What

Details

Student

Survey

Students   participate in a survey answering questions based on:

  •   Ease of use;
  •   Problems encountered;
  •   Enjoyment;
  •   Safety features and;
  •   Recommendations for   the future.

 

Classroom Teacher and Teacher Librarian

Discussion

The teacher librarian and the classroom   teacher will reflect on the program and discuss:

  •   Strengths;
  •   Weaknesses;
  •   Future   direction;
  •   Engagement   rate;
  •   Ease of use;
  •   Successful   integration into other key learning areas and;
  •   Discuss how it   could continue to be implemented if it was found to be successful.

 

 


References
Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. [ACARA] (2011).The Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/

Backes, L. (2012). 5 reasons to add technology to your classroom. The Inspired Classroom [blog]. Retrieved http://theinspiredclassroom.com/2012/04/5-reasons-to-add-technology-to-your-classroom/

Berger, P. & Trexler, S. (2010). Choosing Web 2.0 Tools for Learning and Teaching in a Digital World. Libraries Unlimited: Santa Barbara, California.

Board of Studies. (2013). Personal development, Health and Physical Education: Years 7 – 10 Syllabus. Retrieved from http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_sc/pdf_doc/pdhpe-7-10-syllabus.pdf

Combes, B. (2014). Integrating ICTs [ETL411 Module 3.1]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL411_201460_W_D/page/72d99a18-b38c-44cb-80f6-da2bfe987e7f

Ertmer, P. A., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., Sadik, Ol, Sendurur, E., & Sendurur, P. (2012). Teacher beliefs and technology integration practices: A critical relationship. Computers & Education,59(2), 423-435.

Grennon Brooks, J. (2004) Workshop: Constuctivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning. Educational Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved from http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index_sub3.html

Hayes, D. (2007) ICT and learning: Lessons from Australian classrooms. Computer and Education, 49 385 – 395. Retrieved from http://ac.els-cdn.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/S0360131505001314/1-s2.0-S0360131505001314-main.pdf?_tid=eb0ae55e-298e-11e4-9078-0000aacb35d&acdnat=1408665633_2c86c6b2f48127ee186e7849d2025c55

Lee, M. J. & McLoughlin, C. (2008). Harnessing the affordances of Web 2.0 and social software tools: can we finally make ‘student centred’ learning a reality? Association for the Advancement of Computing Education, Chesapeake, VA, USA. Retrieved from http://bilby.unilinc.edu.au:1801/webclient/StreamGate?folder_id=0&dvs=1408670483856~654&usePid1=true&usePid2=true

Nalp (2014). What is AL? | NALP. Retrieved from http://www.nalp.edu.au/what-is-accelerated-literacy/overview-final.html

NSW Board of Studies (2014). English K–10 : Outcomes linked to content. Syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au. Retrieved from http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/english/english-k10/content-and-outcomes/

Northern Territory Government (n.d.) NT Curriculum Framework Assessment Guidelines: Transition to Year 9. Retrieved from http://www.education.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/7830/NTCF_AssessmentGuidelines.pdf

Ohler, J. (2008). Digital storytelling in the classroom. 1st ed. Chicago: American Library Association.

Pegrum, M. (2012). Emergent technologies in the classroom. University of WA. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoUi2dkczRM

Wanago, N. (2013). Effective Web 2.0 tools: for your classroom. Techniques, 88(1), 18.

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ETL 411 – Topic 5 – ICT Integration Issues

Image retrieved from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DEF37fZBEM4/Ukpix9qLkBI/AAAAAAAAAZw/nR26KUDDEg0/s640/images.jpg

Although valuable lessons may be learned from best practices around the world, there is no one formula for determining the optimal level of ICT integration in the educational system. Significant challenges that policymakers and planners, educators, education administrators, and other stakeholders need to consider include educational policy and planning, infrastructure, language and content, capacity building, and financing.

Research on the use of ICTs in different educational settings over the years invariably identify as a barrier to success the inability of teachers to understand why they should use ICTs and how exactly they can use ICTs to help them teach better. Unfortunately, most teacher professional development in ICTs are heavy on “teaching the tools” and light on “using the tools to teach.”

Teacher anxiety over being replaced by technology or losing their authority in the classroom as the learning process becomes more learner-centered—an acknowledged barrier to ICT adoption—can be alleviated only if teachers have a keen understanding and appreciation of their changing role.

Education administrators. Leadership plays a key role in ICT integration in education. Many teacher- or student-initiated ICT projects have been undermined by lack of support from above. For ICT integration programs to be effective and sustainable, administrators themselves must be competent in the use of the technology, and they must have a broad understanding of the technical, curricular, administrative, financial, and social dimensions of ICT use in education.

Technical support specialists. Whether provided by in-school staff or external service providers, or both, technical support specialists are essential to the continued viability of ICT use in a given school. While the technical support requirements of an institution depend ultimately on what and how technology is deployed and used, general competencies that are required would be in the installation, operation, and maintenance of technical equipment (including software), network administration, and network security. Without on-site technical support, much time and money may be lost due to technical breakdowns.

What are the challenges related to financing the cost of ICT use? One of the greatest challenges in ICT use in education is balancing educational goals with economic realities. ICTs in education programs require large capital investments and developing countries need to be prudent in making decisions about what models of ICT use will be introduced and to be conscious of maintaining economies of scale. Ultimately it is an issue of whether the value added of ICT use offsets the cost, relative to the cost of alternatives. Put another way, is ICT-based learning the most effective strategy for achieving the desired educational goals, and if so what is the modality and scale of implementation that can be supported given existing financial, human and other resources?

At my current school we are about to trial a new program with 1 stage two class where they all have laptops. These laptops are on loan to them for their entire school year and their parents/ caregivers gradually pay off the loan. Students are able to keep these laptops once completely paid for and they leave primary school. Students laptops will be connected to the main smartboard through the smart notebook application. They will be able to see the teaching and learning content on their own screens without having to look over someones shoulder. The teacher will have access to all laptops and will be able to shut down any programs that are open and shouldn’t be through their main computer. This is very exciting for our school. If it is successful with the trial class, then all primary students will have this opportunity.

Therefore, the educational effectiveness of ICTs depends on how they are used and for what purpose, like any other educational tool or mode of education delivery, ICTs do not work for everyone, everywhere in the same way. In the different part of the world the use of ICTs is different depending on the affordability, availability and access to technology.

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ETL 411 – Topic 4 – The Virtual Library

What is a virtual library?

Image retrieved from https://bibliotekarsha.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/reaching-in-computer.jpg

“A (potentially virtual) organisation that comprehensively collects, manages, and preserves for the long term rich digital content and offers to its user communities specialised functionality on that content, of measurable quality, and according to prescribed policies” (Castelli, D. & Krafft, D., 2007).
The concept of the virtual library is one that has developed with the growth in telecommunication networks, especially the internet. The ‘virtual library’ emulates a ‘real’ library, but is understood to be a product of the virtual world of the internet.
This examination of various definitions of the virtual libraries within the professional literature brings me to that which I will use: The virtual library environment encompasses the concept of the digital library but is more than a collection of digitised resources. The virtual library provides access to an integrated collection of print, electronic and multimedia resources delivered seamlessly and transparently to users regardless either of their physical location or the location and ownership of the information.
The role of the librarian, particularly during the past two decades, has further evolved to encompass the burgeoning technological developments. Crawford and Gorman (1995) have defined the role of the librarian today: To acquire, give access to, and safeguard carriers of knowledge and information in all forms and to provide instruction and assistance in the use of the collections to which their users have access… [libraries] are about the preservation, dissemination, and use of recorded knowledge in whatever form it may come. (pp 3,5)
Rusbridge (1997) agreed with this definition, writing: The role of the library is to select, acquire, organise and make available an appropriate subset of …resources… The library has a role here in the digital world as with print – not just in excluding access to rubbish, but in encouraging access paths to quality.
I am not yet a TL nor have I had any real experience in a library myself, but I am passionate about ICT and integrating it into the curriculum. I am looking forward to the day where I get to create a virtual library myself. Though from the readings it does seem quite daunting. However, so did teaching and programming before I dove in and gave it a go!

References

Castelli, D., & Krafft, D. (2007). Organising the Digital Library. DELOS: Network of Excellence on Digital Libraries. Retrieved from http://www.delos.info/files/pdf/DELOS_NSDL_sschool_07/Presentations/Castelli.pdf

Crawford, W & Gorman, M (1995). Future libraries: dreams madness & reality, American Library Association, Chicago.

Rusbridge, C (1998). ‘Towards the hybrid library’, [online] D-Lib Magazine, July/August,

http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july98/rusbridge/07rusbridge.html

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ETL 411 – Topic 3 – The Integration of Technology in the 21st Century Classroom: Teachers’ Attitudes and Pedagogical Beliefs Toward Emerging Technologies By Chien Yu

Image retrieved from http://xabathor.weebly.com/uploads/3/1/4/2/31421941/5810311.jpg?495

This article was a result of a study based on technology integration in school. Chien Yu an associate professor at Mississippi State University lead the research. She wanted to find out ‘what really limits teachers to use technology?’ A total of 12 teachers from the state of Mississippi were interviewed. Three of the teachers were male and 9 were female, who were teaching in elementary and secondary schools in different districts. This study was to ask two questions: 1. What are the teachers’ attitudes and beliefs toward emerging technology? 2. What are the major difficulties or barriers that teachers face in using technology in the classroom?
‘Literature reveals that teachers’ attitude and pedagogical beliefs toward technology represent one of the most critical issues (Ertmer, et al., 2012; Richardson, 1996)’. Many people would argue that one of the reasons why teachers lack technology integration in their classroom is because of their own ‘personal experience. Experience with schooling and instruction, and experience with formal knowledge. A teacher’s own beliefs in the way that he or she copes with instructional problems could be related to the degree to which a teacher integrates technologies’ (Nelson, 2001).
The teacher’s interviewed have also identified various issues: the availability of computers, software problems, lack of time, technical support and resources and ignorance in the technological arena. This I agree with. In my experiences I have witnessed these issues first-hand. In my current school, while each stage has their own class set of laptops; it is still difficult to effectively use them in a classroom. By the time you set up the laptops, log in and get started, it’s time to pack up again and give them to the next class. This issue also lends itself to the lack of time. Our technical support teacher is only here one day a week which makes it frustrating when something goes wrong with the smartboard or computers. However, with this being said, our school is looking into a ‘bring your own’ policy. One class is said to start trialling it next year where parents can rent to buy a laptop for their child.
Teachers’ willingness to change is a key variable in successful technology integration. However, research indicates that ‘school use of technology is limited to learning games, drill and practice, and/or occasional word processing with almost no integration of technology, and further points out that schools have not done an adequate job in integrating technology for the purpose of enhancing student achievement’ (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2006).
Therefore as a result of this study, there have been many issues identified. These issues will slowly be resolved if teachers are willing. Technology has become an integral part of life; it continually evolves so it is hard to keep updated. However, as teachers we are committed to be life-long learners and the ‘old way’ simply won’t do anymore. Teachers need to realise that technology is not separate from the curriculum; it is a part of it. It is another tool that teachers can use to enhance students learning outcomes. “The classroom must mirror the real world; technology is everywhere and we accept it as part of our daily lives. Shouldn’t it be a normal and integral part of the instructional process?” (Yu, C, 2013 p.10).

References

Cunningham, W.G., & Cordeiro, P. A. (2006). Educational leadership: A problem-based approach (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson Education

Ertmer, P. A., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., Sadik, Ol, Sendurur, E., & Sendurur, P. (2012). Teacher beliefs and technology integration practices: A critical relationship. Computers & Education,59(2), 423-435.

Richardson, V. (1996). The role of attitudes and beliefs in learning to teach. In J. Sikula (Ed.), Handbook of research on teacher education (pp. 102-119). New York: Macmillan.

Nisan-Nelson, P. D. (2001). Technology integration: a case of professional development. Journal of
Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 83-103.

Yu, Chien, (2013). The Integration of Technology in the 21st Century Classroom: Teachers’ Attitudes and Pedagogical Beliefs Toward Emerging Technologies. Journal of Technology Integration in the Classroom. 5(1), pp.5-11. Available at:

http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=f9bbe433-3177-4e89-b8ee-c86ed42433b5%40sessionmgr4003&vid=10&hid=4212

[Accessed 1 Sep. 2014].

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ETL 411 – Topic 3 – ICT Integration

I integrate ICT into my classroom daily. To be honest, I’d be lost without it. I think too, that that can also be a danger for some teachers; we become to reliant on technology.

Image retrieved from http://www.computers4kids.co.za/images/SACIC_new.png

Smartboard: I use the smartboard for everything! I have a visual timetable with picture icons that link to my programs and lesson content for the day. I have a lot of kiddies (stage 2 – yr 3 &4) that need that visual support, so this works well. I also have two students with autism that need strict structure and need to know, what comes next. There are 5 students in my classroom with expressive/receptive language delay, so the visuals help them to process information.
Zoowhiz: This is a new website we have been introduced to at school and is currently on trial. I think it is fantastic, and the kids do as well! During literacy groups, one of the rotations is zoowhiz on the laptops. Zoowhiz is like mathletics and studyladder. Students can work through tasks that have either been set by you or not. It incorporates english and maths. Students earn money as they complete tasks to then build a zoo. They absolutely love it! Very engaging and motivating.

http://www.zoowhiz.com/


Laptops: At the moment in Science we are working on the topic “Indoors and Outdoors”. This topic looks at built environments. For something different, the students are doing a project on towers. They need to plan and then build a model of a tower that stands at least 1m high, unsupported and be able to hold an empty tissue box. The tower must be made at school. Along with the model they also have to hand in a design folio. This requires them to use microsoft word. They need to import a scanned image of their original sketch, import a photo of their completed model and write, edit and publish. Throughout the task, students answer questions such as what is the purpose of the tower, what difficulties they had, what changes they made etc. I have given the students a copy of a blank proforma that they may use and I’ve uploaded it onto their laptops. I’m excited to see what they all come up with.
CHOIR: again on the smartboard. I have a smart notebook with all of the choir music and lyrics. I have linked a sound file to a button so that when it is clicked, the song plays. Saves taking out the CD a million times.
PM Readers: I have two kiddies that have severe learning needs and are at a level 3 for reading. So during literacy groups they access the PM Reader software on the computers. They love it!
After learning about the web 2.0 tools for the assignment I can’t wait to utilise those as well in the classroom. Next term I plan to use story board as part of the English sessions 🙂

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ETL 411 Why Embed Web 2.0 Tools into the Curriculum?

The following is a summary of the rationale as to why teachers should incorporate Web 2.0 tools into their curriculum programs.

Image retrieved from http://knowledgeempowered.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/100-Best-Web-2.0-Classroom-Tools.png

ICT and the National Curriculum – A key dimension of the Australian Curriculum are the 7 general capabilities, one of which is ICT. The Melbourne Declaration on the Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008) identified ICT as an area in which students need to be highly skilled. Therefore, a strong emphasis on ICT skill development and integration across all curriculum areas is required (ACARA, 2011).

Future work and life – for students to thrive in the 21st century in both the workforce and everyday life contexts it is advantageous for them to develop confidence, knowledge and the skills necessary to use ICT effectively, e.g. email, wordprocessing, information seeking/searching skills, design and layout of digital documents, using technology appropriately and copyright and privacy issues (ACARA, 2011; Combes, 2014).

Relevance and engagement – technology offers educators an effective student engagement tool that can help students see the relevance between what they are learning and the real world (Wanago, 2013; Berger & Trexler, 2010).

Pedagogical benefits – many ICT tools support and enable learner centred and interactive practices that support a constructivist theory for teaching and learning (Pegrum, 2010; Grennon-Brooks, 2004; Lee & McLoughlin, 2008; Hayes, 2007).

Interest and motivation –school students like the newest and coolest gadgets and their related technological applications. Often students are already using these in their daily lives, thus using technology to deliver and implement curriculum content provides interest and motivation by allowing students to relate to their learning in an observable and immediate way (Backes, 2012; Combes, 2014).

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy of learning and collaboraton – the revised Bloom’s digital taxonomy is a tool for teachers representing the learning process in relation to new technologies and the 21st century learner. The model identifies collaboration as a separate skill essential for the 21st century learner. It is identified that Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, google documents and social networking sites enable collaboration and communication and therefore enhance teaching programs (Churches, 2009).

Access – Web 2.0 tools provide a learning environment both to teachers and students anywhere, anytime. Providing access to information for the learner has never been easier (Berger & Trexler, 2010; Backes, 2012).

Flexibility – differing learning styles can be accommodated with the use of Web 2.0 tools. Multimodal, active learning practices and sound effects are some variations in the way information is presented and created through the integration of ICT.

Assessment and creation of content – Web 2.0 tools allow students to collaborate to create content and therefore develop their knowledge. The creation process and sharing of content provides teachers an avenue for integrated assessment (Lee & McLoughlin, 2008).

Literacy skills – the use of instant feedback available when utilising some Web 2.0 tools allows teachers to provide students with feedback that has the potential to improve their reading and writing skills (Education & Health Standing Committee, 2012). Web 2.0 tools such as blogs have been shown to provide opportunities to improve literacy skills (Berger & Trexler, 2010).

Note: Keep the focus on the content and the outcome of the lesson, not the technology–Use Web 2.0 tools when the technology will enhance student learning (Wanago, 2013, Hobgood & Ormsby, 2011, Churches, 2009). PAGE UP

References

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority.[ACARA] (2011).The Australian Curriculum. Retrieved         from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/

Backes, L. (2012). 5 reasons to add technology to your classroom.The Inspired Classroom [blog]. Retrieved from http://theinspiredclassroom.com/2012/04/5-reasons-to-add-technology-to-your-classroom/.

Berger, P. and Trexler, S. (2010). Choosing Web 2.0 Tools for Learning and Teaching in a Digital         World. Libraries Unlimited, Santa Barbara: California.

Churches, A. (2009). //Bloom’s digital taxonomy: It’s not about the//tools, it’s using the tools to facilitate learning. Retrieved  from http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/file/view/bloom%27s+Digital+taxonomy+v3.01.pdf

Combes, B. (2014). Integrating ICTs [ETL411 Module 3.1].Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL411_201460_W_D/page/72d99a18-b38c-44cb-80f6-da2bfe987e7f

Education & Health Standing Committee. (2012). //The role of ICT in//Western Australian education: living and working in a digital world. Report No 16, Legislative Assembly Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved from

http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/publications/tabledpapers.nsf/displaypaper/3815411af526896565b2a95448257a8b0012c522/$file/5411.pdf.

Grennon Brooks, J. (2004) Workshop: Constuctivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning. Educational Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved from  http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index_sub3.html

Hayes, D. (2007) ICT and learning: Lessons from Australian classrooms. Computer and Education, 49 385 – 395.         Retrieved from http://ac.els-cdn.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/S0360131505001314/1-s2.0S0360131505001314-main.pdf_tid=eb0ae55e-298e-11e4-9078-00000aacb35d&acdnat=1408665633_2c86c6b2f48127ee186e7849d2025c55

Hobgood, B. & Ormsby, L. (2011). //Inclusion in the 21st century//classroom: Differentiating with technology. University of North Carolina. Retrieved from http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/every-learner/6776#noteref15.

Lee, M. J. & McLoughlin, C. (2008). Harnessing the affordances of Web 2.0 and social software tools: can we finally make ‘student centred’ learning a reality? Association for the Advancement of Computing Education, Chesapeake, VA, USA. Retrieved from http://bilby.unilinc.edu.au:1801/webclient/StreamGatefolder_id=0&dvs=1408670483856~654&usePid1=true&usePid2=true

MCEETYA. (2008). Melbourne declaration on educational goals for young Australians. Retrieved from

http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/National_Declaration_on_the_Educational_Goals_for_Young_Australians.pdf

Pegrum, M. (2012). Emergent technologies in the classroom. University of WA. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoUi2dkczRM

Wanago, N. (2013). Effective Web 2.0 tools: for your classroom.Techniques, 88(1), 18.