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/