Assessment 2 ETL402 – Reflective Practice

At the beginning of this subject I was familiar with the base understanding of children’s literature and its place in the curriculum. I understood that it should underpin English education and be a part (though often overlooked) of other key learning areas. However, the concept of literature learning was not a term that I was familiar with.

We begun the subject by defining childrens’ literature; I was reminded of the place of technology in todays schools and literature. Hateley (2013) reminded me that new technologies can be seen as just another tool to engage students with reading just as in the past pop ups or textured pages had been added. I feel this is something worth remembering especially when discussing technology with teachers wary of the use of technology in their classrooms. Later on I was reminded of the importance of evaluating etexts and whether they are providing something that traditional texts are not, are they high quality or are we using technology for the sake of ticking boxes on the curriculum (Yokota & William, 2014).

Moving on readings began to be more relevant to our first assignment this focused on students learning beyond literacy skills. I chose to examine science fiction as a genre in upper primary and high school settings. During these readings I came across my favourite quote for the semester:

“The ultimate purpose of literature is not to teach something, but to illuminate what it means to be human and to make accessible the fundamental experience of life, love, hope, loneliness, despair, fear, belonging…” (Short, 2018)

This quote to me outlines the most powerful part of any good literature, its ability to connect people to emotion and real life significance. In science fiction this takes the form of social commentary and the ethical consequence’s of scientific advancement (Dorsey, 2013). Something that with the push for STEM based learning should not be neglected especially as humanities based STEM has been shown to boost female engagement (Chapman & Vivian, 2016).

Moving on, we began to dive into the meat of literary learning, connecting genre and forms to literature response essentially connecting literature to learning. For me the importance of storytelling and its ability to connect emotion to learning became the highlight of the concepts presented. It reinforced my opinion that texts can create a bridge to deeper understanding and foster a student’s love of life long learning and reading. Kane’s (2018) book about literacy enhancing all content areas provides an enormous amount of information about the benefits of connecting all kinds of literature to our students learning.

As a result of this subject I am left some future goals:

  1. I need to read more and read widely, both traditional texts and technology based, so that I can be better equipped as a Teacher Librarian to discuss students’ interests and better connect teachers to literature across the curriculum.
  2. I would like to read more into the importance of non-fiction literature. If I had had the time this semester I would have loved to do some research on where traditional non-fiction texts sit on the ‘literature’ scale. How can these influence students education in a meaningful way beyond factual learning. I touched on this in my last forum post (Petterson, 2019) where I was beginning to think about how literature circles could be conducted with science textbooks.

Reference

Chapman, S., Vivian, R. (2016). Engaging the future of STEM. Retrieved from https://asla.org.au/resources/Documents/Website%20Documents/Resources/Engaging-the-future-of-STEM.pdf

Dorsey, J.L. (2013). “Peel[ing] apart layers of meaning” in SF short fiction. In P.L Thomas (Ed.), Science fiction and speculative fiction (pp73-93). Rotterdam: SensePublishers

Hateley, E. (2013). Reading: from turning the page to touching the screen. In Wu, Y., Mallan, K. & McGillis, R. (Eds.) (Re)imagining the world: children’s literature response to the changing times (pp1-13). Retrieved from https://link-springer-com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/book/10.1007%2F978-3-642-36760-1

Kane, S. (2018). Literacy and learning in the contet areas – enhancing knowledge in the disciplines. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/csuau/reader.action?docID=5580120&ppg=20#

Petterson, S. (2019, May 16). Literature circles in a non-fiction setting [forum post]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42130_1&conf_id=_78633_1&forum_id=_148052_1&message_id=_2291875_1&nav=discussion_board_entry

Short, K. (2018). What’s trending in children’s literature and why it matters. Language Arts, 95(5), 287-298. Retrieved from http://www2.ncte.org/

Yokota, J. & William, H.T. (2014). Picture books in the digital world. The Reading Teacher. 67(8), 577-585. Retrieved from https://ila-onlinelibrary-wiley-com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/doi/full/10.1002/trtr.1262

Do you have a vision for the future of children’s literature? Who will be the drivers of change?

Although as a generalization society believes that e-books and technology based literature is the way of the future I would disagree. Society is trending towards a more visual based literature (Short, K, 2018) and those needs are being met in other ways not purely by technology. Short (2018) highlights book design as a method for engaging audiences that are expecting more interaction and visual stimulus.

As we live in a commerce driven society the drivers of change will be the most popular or money making areas. As Short (2018) pointed out children 8-12 and before them the young adult market were where publishers saw growth and therefore invested their money into developing these types of text. However, I hope that publishers will continue to diversify their texts so that we all have stories that we can engage with not just the majority of society or the ‘norm’.

Personally I hope that the future of children’s literature is one where children are engaged, being exposed to a range of societies and cultures through text and developing their love of learning. Possibly a new favourite quote summarises it excellently,

“The ultimate purpose of literature is not to teach something, but to illuminate what it means to be human and to make accessible the fundamental experiences of life, love, hope, loneliness, despair, fear, belonging” (Short, K, 2018).

References

Short, K. (2018). What’s trending in children’s literature and why it matters. Language Arts, 95(5), 287-298. Retrieved from http://www2.ncte.org/

“Managing in the Info Era” – Colvin

Module 1

2.1

Exploring the Library site – How does the CSU library change information sources into information resources?

  • Granting access to articles and books
  • Running classes to teach skills in information sourcing to students and staff
  • Search Tools
  • Allowing resources to be grouped by subjects and tags
  • Opportunities to gather more resources by requesting articles from outside sources to be added to the collection

How does the content of Colvin’s article relate the school libraries? In point form, note down your thoughts on your blog.

Initial notes:

  • Changing view of education from training factory workers to a 21st century skills in a knowledge based economy – Ken Robinson
  • create, judge, imagine, relationships

When reading through the article I couldn’t help but be reminded of Ken Robinson’s talk “Changing Education Paradigms“. More explicitly about the concept of how schools were designed in the late 18th and early 19th century. This then caused my brain to go ding and remind me of the Framework for 21st Century Learning skills Website. On a more practical level this article made me think about the importance of teaching students in an open ended and Inquiry learning based model where students can practice these skills.

References –

Colvin, G. (2000). Managing in the info eraFortune, 141(5). Retrieved from http://fortune.com/.

Partnership for Twenty First Century Learning. (2007). Framework for 21st Century Learning, http://www.p21.org/our-work/p21-framework

Robinson, K. (2010, October). Changing education paradigms

. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms

 

 

Module 6 Thoughts

After reading through module 6 I thought and jotted down some notes and thoughts about the content.

Since beginning my studies I’ve been fascinated with the concept of introducing ebooks to the primary library. Mainly because I’m not entirely sure how to go about it in a practical manner.

Module 6 got me thinking about the perceived disconnection between acquisitions of ebooks versus physical copies. This year I’ve been working in a school library 3 days a week and come face to face with teachers and admin staff that aren’t really sure about the place of a school library in the modern world of technology. I’ve noticed that many staff prefer the library to just deal in physical copies of things. Whether this is because they aren’t comfortable with new Oliver software or are simply unaware of how this could work.

Secondly I’ve been confronted with students and teachers for that matter that are not comfortable using technology beyond simple apps and google searches. To make matters worse that lack of reliable technology and the funding to improve this technology is seriously lacking which further benefits the argument that libraries should be sticking to physical copies of things.  When you’ve got technology thats unreliable a book never fails or changes on you last minute.

Finally there have been many complaints from staff that there is a lack of support from the admin team in regards to helping teachers with technology and supporting professional development in that regard. Although this is school specific I would not be surprised if this was the case in many schools across NSW.

So what is a Primary School Librarian to do?

As suggested in the readings we need to collaborate and build connections between staff. A collection policy needs to be implemented and staff need to be brought on board and educated about what the library could offer with the right support from the whole school community.

Digital Storytelling Project and Reflection

Part A – Context for Digital Story Telling Project

http://connecting2places.weebly.com/inf533-context–references.html

Part B – Digital Story Telling Project

http://connecting2places.weebly.com/

Part C – Critical Reflection

The first blog post for this subject I stated that I was wary and disenfranchised with technology in education. I was and am fairly computer literate but the lack of infrastructure in schools and a crammed curriculum meant that I had not been able to develop technology in the classroom to a level I believed we should be. I had also hoped that this subject would be informative and help me to learn about more interesting and practical ways to incorporate the digital environment into the classroom and library. (Petterson, 2016)

Below is a summary of what I have learned and the opinions that have changed:

  1. How wide and varied digital media has become.

Although I was familiar with a range of e-books, websites and databases before starting this subject the idea of transmedia was a new concept to me. Mixed-media however was familiar in the form of artworks due to being an avid art lover and completing year 12 visual arts (Petterson, 2016). Eventually, through the second assessment and seeing resources like Pine Point (Shoebridge and Simons, 2011), I came to the conclusion that transmedia and mixed media were similar, they both combined a variety of media to create a cohesive ‘story’. However, I still struggle with how to keep them simple and appropriate for primary aged students where navigating the online world can be trickier as they are still learning to decode the different types of media.

  1. Importance of integrating technology rather and adding it on the end as a second thought.

Often us teachers forget that technology should not be used as a gimmick or to replace standard teaching tools e.g. using a word document instead of writing it out by hand. This subject has reminded me that technology should be adding real meaning to the lessons we teach not just as an engaging tool. Although in the early years it needs to be explicitly taught so that students pick up the basics such as typing and accessing websites etc. Most children in this day and age are ‘digital natives’ and will have already been exposed to technology from and early age. (Yang et.al, 2014)

  1. Students as creators not just consumers

Although understanding and using technology in the classroom is important teaching students to create in this environment is equally so. 21st century skills dictate that students need to be capable of working collaboratively and online ( Partnership for Twenty First Century Skills , 2007). Using technology will likely be a part of their daily lives as our young students grow up. Blooms Taxonomy could be key in teaching this to students and gives a list of fantastic examples for each tier (Churches, 2009).

  1. Interactivity

One of the things I’ve struggled with in this course is the concept of interactivity. In my opinion, to be interactive resources need to be something where students are engaging with the media to create something more. I however, realised that many of the text that were doing this were easy to get lost in and difficult to navigate. There are some great examples of game interactivity that were interesting to follow such as Elegy for a Dead World (Dejobaan Games, 2016). but few examples of this for the primary age group.

  1. Struggles of different devices

As someone who uses a mac I am no stranger to the challenges of working with different systems. During assessment 2 I aimed to find examples that were free and available on as many devices as possible. This led me to using internet web based digital media as most devices have access to the internet now days. However, during that search I became aware that there is a great divide between android, mac, windows and various other platforms that offer digital media. I think in coming years with the rise of bring your own device programs in schools this issue will only become a more stressful task to overcome. I hope that developers will continue to find ways to make their work available on all platforms and that exclusivity will become a thing of the past. (Tustin, 2016)

  1. Copyright

Copyright is something that I need to do further research on and develop my skills in when using it at school. Like many teachers I have ‘forgotten’ to check copyright when photocopying or using online resources, which is something that we should be much more aware of as we should be leading by example with our students in how to show copyright and give acknowledgement when required. Intellectual property is important no matter the age and we should be acknowledging the hard work of others in one form or another. As a future teacher librarian I hope to teach both students and teachers about the importance of copyright in the education system.

References

Churches, A. (2009). Blooms digital taxonomy. Retrieved from http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/bloom%27s+digital+taxonomy

Dejobaan Games. (2016). Elegy for a dead world. Retrieved from http://www.dejobaan.com/elegy/

Partnership for Twenty First Century Learning. (2007). Framework for 21st Century Learning, http://www.p21.org/our-work/p21-framework

Petterson, S. (2016). INF533 [Blog Posts]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/spetterson/category/inf533/

Shoebridge, P & Simons, M. (2011). Pine Point. Retrieved fromhttp://www.interactivedocumentary.net/2011/03/01/welcome-to-pine-point-2/

Tustin, R. (2016). Bridging the digital divide in education. Retrieved from http://study.com/academy/lesson/bridging-the-digital-divide-in-education.html

Yang, Z., Yang, H. H., Wu, D., & Liu, S. (2014). Transforming K-12 Classrooms with Digital Technology (pp. 1-409). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-4538-7

ETL401 – Part B Critical Reflection

How my view of the teacher librarian has changed during the subject

During this semester I undertook 3 subjects. You may be asking why this is relevant to a summary of this subject alone. For me the learning done in this semester of study has crossed between subjects. Research for one has lead to ideas in another and vice versa and all have affected my view of the teacher librarian role. Although I think very little has changed of my overview of the role certain aspects have become clearer. Originally on my blog (Petterson, 2016) I defined a TL’s role as information service mangers, a creative force and a learner and leader. These are all still correct and accurate definitions of a TL but through research done for the assignments and my own readings of discussion forum posts and posting myself this knowledge has only increased.

I now see the role of a teacher librarian as much more complex. In my assignment I defined the role of a TL as an acronym (TRAILS) teacher, researcher, advocate, information specialist, librarian and supporter each heading having its own long list of roles and responsibilities. Academics and organisations (ASLA, 2004b;  ALIA,2004; ALIA & ASLA, 2014) produce enormous amounts of information and lists for us to follow, however, I still believe that the role of a TL should be defined by the needs of the school in which they work.

One thing I was not surprised by but rather reminded of is the role of a TL within inquiry learning. Somewhere along the way of my career inquiry learning became something I saw as nearly unachievable. Working in the UK and as a casual mostly I saw very little evidence of best practice and inquiry learning skills being taught in classrooms. This course has encouraged me to use inquiry learning more and to become an advocate for its implementation (ASLA, 2014a). The benefits of teaching students 21st century skills far out weigh the hard work required to begin this journey. (Braxton, 2016)

Another thought that has been struck home is the importance of working with the teachers in our school even if it is one by one. I was fortunate enough to before moving to Dubai work in a school with an amazing librarian. She actively sought out staff and educated them on her role in the school. Which could only be done through the support of our principal. She was given enough room to be independent while also working collaboratively with staff to give students the best tools and information she could. We need to be advocates for our jobs and remind teachers why we are a vital part of the school community.

Finally, although not explicitly taught in this subject I have realized how alone the role of teacher librarian can be. Studying online is a new and confusing concept for me and keeping up with the different means of communication has been challenging especially with the added challenge of 3 subjects I set myself. However, from reading others comments and looking at others blogs we do not have to be alone. Teacher librarians are everywhere on the internet when you know where to look and who to ask for help and advice which is incredibly encouraging for a young aspiring librarian.

References

ASLA. (2014a). Advocacy: reason, responsibility and rhetoric. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/advocacy/school-library-advocacy.aspx

ASLA. (2004b). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.aspx

Australian Library and Information Association [ALIA] & Australian School Library Association [ASLA]. (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.aspx

Australia Education Union [AEU], ALIA, ASLA. (2014). Joint statement on school libraries and teacher librarians. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/Joint-statement.aspx

Braxton, B. (2016). The presenter’s hat. Retrieved from http://500hats.edublogs.org/2016/08/14/the-presenters-hat/

Petterson, S. (2016, July 27). ETL401- Assessment 1 [blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/spetterson/category/etl401/

INF533 – Topic Proposal Assessment 4

Proposal topic – A blog between two places

Digital tools and spaces to be used – Weebly.com

Rationale –

The concept for this digital story came from the desire to utilise the fact that I am in a different part of the world to many of my friends and family. Being in Dubai I often get asked a lot of questions and to share my different experiences with them. In my years of teaching I’ve seen a variety of schools and classes use technology to communicate and share with other classes in different countries or schools for units of work or over the course of a year, in my experience,533 this has been an engaging and helpful tool for students but is often limited to emails and sometimes web chat.

For this assignment I hope to create two ‘fictional’ blogs, one from the perspective of a character in Dubai and one from an Australian characters perspective as they explore comparisons between their two countries. This could be curriculum specific for the age group, for example, examining a famous person, comparing the environments, discussing their favourite sports or just how different life is. This resource could be used as an example for exploring letter writing in the digital age, to teach about blog creation, and to develop skills in any subject by sharing information and working collaboratively with each other. There are some websites where teachers can find class pen pals and many teachers rely on personal contacts to do the same thing.

The website I aim to create will show the different kinds of content you can use on a blog, video, images, text and comments. Weebly.com offers a fairly simple to use website creator with templates, apps and is tablet compatible for apple and android devices. It operates on a drag and drop basis which all students year 3 and up would be capable of using given some guidance and time to explore.