Case Study Research Proposal.

Case Study Research Proposal.

Proposal topic:

Do students become more autonomous as learners when they independently publish digital artefacts online?

Brief description of my project including information, learning, social or organisational needs, problems or concerns to be addressed

This project will focus on the secondary school students I work with as a teacher-librarian and English teacher. Many students publish digital artefacts online in their own time and independently of the school:  I am interested in how these activities help them become more autonomous learners.

The project will require time to talk to the students and access to the digital artefacts they have produced.  Aspects of privacy and outside school activities will need to be considered. Parental permission may be needed. My Principal has already supported the case study.

The concepts of “flat classrooms”, global education, participatory cultures and self-directed learning could be discussed in this context.

Expected outcomes of my project

The outcomes of this project will shed light on what our students are creating and learning about in their own time.

Other expected outcomes include:

  • Insight into what online communities the students are choosing to connect with.
  • Identify different skills and information that students obtain and share when they publish digital artefacts online.
  • Students will share positive and negative online experiences.
  • It could become apparent that the students are learning and creating more out of school hours than during school.
  • Students may be not keen to share or discuss their publications.
  • Teachers will learn about the value in “flattening the classroom “and providing global education opportunities for their students.

Leveraging Technology in a Library Program

In the chapter Innovative Technologies in Library Science (Farmer, 2014)comments are made about technology transforming Library spaces.  Libraries that leverage or take advantage of technology provide the most favourable, current and high quality programs for their clients of learning communities.

As a teacher-librarian and Library program leader, I need to pay attention to the societal trends that are highlighting technology as a key driving force. These include; emerging technologies that impact access to information, online education, data protection and privacy, highly technology-connected societies and technologies that revolutionise the global information economy. Access needs to be provided to all of our clients’ communities: by doing this we demonstrate our value and ability to contribute to the community’s development (Farmer, 2014).Social Media is a technology we need to leverage. It can be used to promote our programs outwards to the community and become more visible.

Digital curation is a tool that many teacher-librarians are practising to present information to their learning communities. Fortunately there are many free digital curation tools. Cataloguing digital collections and presenting through OPAC searches is very important for regular access.

I am currently having a rethink on the design of a contemporary digital library space.  I understand that marketing strategies will be very important, visual communication and community-based webpages. Planning systemically for digital interactions will be important too.

The obvious follow on is the physical space of the Library. Not unlike many Libraries, the library where I work is about to go through a physical transformation: we are currently in the designing phase. As well as combining IT and Library services we are moving towards a social learning commons approach for our physical space.  We want to facilitate: informal and formal interactions between people, cross-curricular interaction and innovation, technology tools for collaboration, spaces for experimenting and making, displays of creative work.

Reference

Farmer, L. (2014). Innovative Technologies in Library Science. In V. Wang, Handbook of research on education and technology in a changing society (pp. 178-189). IGI Global.

Participatory Learning in a Library Program

If participatory learning is manifested most profoundly in the maker movement, then school libraries are in the box seat. Teacher-librarians can “hack the curriculum” and provide varied opportunities for school community to design, create and share in the Library spaces and the rest of the school.

Opportunities to engage in the design thinking process, including trialling, prototyping and failing are still far and few between in schools. A makerspace can provide a safe place for self directed designing, creating and learning.

I am about to begin this journey of starting a makerspace movement in the school where I work in the role of the teacher-librarian and a thought leader. It’s time to become a “maker-teacher”: I don’t know how to code, program or make electrical circuits, but I do know who to ask to work with me, how to facilitate students to work together and how to connect with others and find out what to do. I am crafty, but need to practice making more technical creations.

The next step on with a school makerspace will be to show students how to share and make their creations public. To develop the students into true contributing digital citizens the teaching community may need to redefine our approach to digital literacy. A lot more conversations need to be had about how to change the environment on the web responsively and creatively. Blogs, wikis and other web 2.0 tools need to be named participatory media not ‘new media’ (they have been around for years now). Proven successes like to YOUmedia and Dream Yard projects look very exciting: they provide great opportunities for student-centred learning.

Digital badges are an interesting concept and remind me a bit of the MOOC concept where it can be open to everyone to engage, learn and succeed. It could be a great way of connecting people to expertise. I think it will take a while to shift attitudes to the type of assessments we provide.