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).


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

“Managing in the Info Era” – Colvin

Module 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

Partnership for Twenty First Century Learning. (2007). Framework for 21st Century Learning,

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

. Retrieved from



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–references.html

Part B – Digital Story Telling Project

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, 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.


Churches, A. (2009). Blooms digital taxonomy. Retrieved from

Dejobaan Games. (2016). Elegy for a dead world. Retrieved from

Partnership for Twenty First Century Learning. (2007). Framework for 21st Century Learning,

Petterson, S. (2016). INF533 [Blog Posts]. Retrieved from

Shoebridge, P & Simons, M. (2011). Pine Point. Retrieved from

Tustin, R. (2016). Bridging the digital divide in education. Retrieved from

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.


ASLA. (2014a). Advocacy: reason, responsibility and rhetoric. Retrieved from

ASLA. (2004b). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from

Australian Library and Information Association [ALIA] & Australian School Library Association [ASLA]. (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from

Australia Education Union [AEU], ALIA, ASLA. (2014). Joint statement on school libraries and teacher librarians. Retrieved from

Braxton, B. (2016). The presenter’s hat. Retrieved from

Petterson, S. (2016, July 27). ETL401- Assessment 1 [blog post]. Retrieved from

INF533 – Topic Proposal Assessment 4

Proposal topic – A blog between two places

Digital tools and spaces to be used –

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. 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.


Critical Reflection of Digital Literature Experiences

To me digital literature is similar to multi-modal art, a unique perspective perhaps from my own studies of art throughout my schooling and continuing to pursue it as a hobby. When I look at many examples of interactive digital literature I see the authors as curators of a story or purveyor of information, similar to how an artist seeks to convey meaning through feeling and immersing the viewer in their own imagination, digital texts are becoming a more immersive environment where we no longer need to rely solely on our own imagination. This should not be such a surprise as writing is in its own way an art form using words instead of images. The digital environment lends itself to using a wide variety of modes to convey meaning and why shouldn’t the literature environment take advantage of that.

Firstly, we must decide what a digital text is. To me it is clear that what a text is has changed significantly in the last 50 years from purely written information such as poetry, information reports and novels to something a bit more post modern. That is “a mixing of different artistic styles and media” (Oxford dictionaries, 2016). The Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2016) defines a text as “a means of communication”, by this definition nearly anything can be a text and the same can be said for a digital text, assuming that it is in the digital landscape. When choosing my texts for this assignment to analyse I was of two minds about my second text, SciShow Kids (2015), as to many this would not seem a suitable e-literature example. However, it is by this definition. It is communicating information in the digital space and includes some interactive elements while exhibiting literary features of non-fiction texts. In fact by this definition, games, e-books, apps, artworks, plays, videos, multimodal websites, normal websites, blog posts… and really anything can be an example of digital literature.

So, what makes a good digital text?

In many ways digital texts can be evaluated the same as physical ones. They must still be engaging, durable, have a purpose, have strong content and literary features. However, we must also borrow critique from other fields such as games and art to judge these texts, are they widely available for use, are they simple enough to convey their meaning to the average user, are they interactive and reusable. The best way we can do this is to make comparisons with other texts.

What purpose do these texts have?

Personally I find e-literature uncomfortable and clunky at times but technology continues to develop and change and it is my hope that many of the things I find uncomfortable about e-literature will be refined. Nevertheless these texts have a place and scholars agree (Hahnel, 2016; Davidson, 2009; McDonald, 2013) that we need to be teaching our students how to navigate the digital environment and therefore we need to be teaching them about digital literature. Digital literature requires a slightly different set of decoding skills to print literature (Lamb, 2011) and this is something that needs to be taught explicitly. There are many benefits to using digital texts and many arguments to do so, such as, environmental conservation (Hickman, 2010), ease of access; though debatable, increased engagement and greater interactivity between people reading the texts.

Reading digital texts and print texts can be two very different things. Beginning with standard e-books that are simply scanned versions of the print text it can seem very similar but already we loose a certain amount of nostalgia, tactile enjoyment and often the pleasure of keeping the book on our own shelves to keep forever. There are some benefits to e-books however, they are often cheaper and enhanced e-books allow more interactivity e.g. dictionary functions, hyperlinks. Interactive e-books again offer even more interaction with built in games, animations and videos. Although these things can often be engaging they can sometimes come across as gimmicky and over hyped. (Sadokierski, 2015) E-book creators need to keep in mind their purpose for using these tools and evaluate whether they are in fact useful to the reader. More complex e-literature such as multimodal texts and some interactive e-books can often become confusing and difficult to navigate if not well constructed.

Although much of this may sound negative towards e-books, I think there is great potential for digital literature. To me the biggest concern with digital literature is the lack of unity between publishers and platforms. During this assessment I found it difficult to find free examples, a passion of mine being equity, I like to use free resources where available so that all students can access them. Very few good free examples were available for primary aged students. There are many fabulous examples of free literature for adolescents and adults, for example, Pine Point (2011) and The Lizzie Bennett Diaries (2013). I would like to see publishers and authors exploring many of the same interactive themes and digital spaces explored in children’s literacy and in the free market so that all children can enjoy their wonderful creations. Finally I think we are just beginning to develop these technologies and the freedom the digital space gives us to explore how we as humans communicate and create meaning.

Out of my three resources my favourite was ABC Splash (2012). The accompanying website and solar system guidebook was an amazing piece of interactive gaming, it was easy to use and well put together. It would easily integrate into any classroom in Australia aiming to do a science unit on space. In a library setting this could be used as an example for an online guidebook or for finding non-fiction information and research.



ABC Splash. (2012). Solar system and space exploration. Retrieved from!/digibook/618096/solar-system-and-space-exploration

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2016). English Curriculum. Retrieved from

Davidson, C. (2009). Young childrens engagement with literacies in the home: pressing matters for the teaching of english in the early years of schooling. English teaching: Practice and critique. 8, p. 36-54. Retrieved from

Green, H & Su, B. (2013). The Lizzie Bennett Diaries. Retrieved from

Hahnel, C; Goldhammer, F; Naumann, J; Krohne, U. (2015). Effects of linear reading, basic computer skills, evaluating online information and navigation on reading digital text. Computers in human behaviour. 55, p486-500. Retrieved from

Hickman, L. (2010). Are ebooks greater than paper books?. Retrieved from

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning & leading with technology, p.12-17. Retrieved from

McDonald, P. (2013). Teaching digital texts: a multi-modal approach. International proceedings of economics development and research. 62, p22-26. Retrieved from

Oxford Dictionaries. (2016). Postmodernism. Retrieved from

Sadokierski, Z. (2013, Nov 12). What is a book in the digital age? [web log post]. Retrieved from

SciShow Kids. (2015). Worms are wonderful. Retrieved from

Shoebridge, P & Simons, M. (2011). Pine Point. Retrieved from