November 14

Work Placement Day 1

Sunday 8th November 2020

On Thursday, we got the keys to our brand new house in Morphettville. Three days later, I was leaving for my next adventure – a work placement in Mount Gambier!

After packing my slightly new Subaru Forester, I left Adelaide at about 9:30am. It was a lot faster driving up Cross Road instead of winding through the hills. I managed to reach Tailem Bend at 10:40am. Here, I pulled in for my first rest stop. I had a gigantic banana and some strawberries before setting off towards Meningie, which, by the way, was a beautiful town.

I’ve never driven along the Coorong, so this was a new experience for me. The road was very bumpy, but there was some interesting scenery. Meningie to Kingston S.E. is about 145km and there are no services in between. Lucky my trusty Subaru just kept roaring. There were a lot of bugs flying around. Lots of moths. There’s one stuck on the front of the car still.

I had lunch at Kingston – apple and blackcurrant juice, and a chicken and veg pie (which was amongst the top 3 best pies of all time). Then I kicked the soccer ball at the Lions park. The main street was a little plain but the foreshore was nice to drive along.

From here, I continued on to Millicent. This section of highway was much more smooth, but I was getting tired. I decided to stop again for a stretch at the Millicent town entrance.

Finally, I made it to Mount Gambier. I went to get supplies from the local Coles supermarket and settled into my cabin.

October 6

ETL501 Assessment Item 2: Part 2 – Critical Reflection

The twenty-first century teacher librarian (TL) is an information specialist. They provide a wide range of services as part of this role, including leadership in technology use, resource selection and recommendation, creation of displays, integration of higher order thinking into curriculum programs, and information literacy (IL) instruction (Purcell, 2010).

When I first identified five key aspects of providing an effective information service (Murphy, 2020, September 20), I ranked IL third. Fellow student, Yvette Stiles, built on my discussion, although she ranked IL and research at number one (2020, September 25). As I reflect on my learning in ETL501, I can see why she made that decision.

Being information literate gives us the skills and knowledge we need to engage effectively with information (Chartered Institute of Library Information Professionals, 2018). Students cannot conduct research or engage with resources in the library collection if they do not have these skills. Therefore, I wonder if IL should be higher on my list too.

The goal for every media program should be to ensure that all their students are information literate.” – Purcell, 2010, p. 32

Harnessing the power of digital technology tools is an effective way for the TL to teach IL skills. I have learnt about the wide variety of tools available to us throughout this subject. For example, I reflected on social bookmarking as a tool to help students organise their information and ideas (Murphy, 2020, August 25), a core element in both ICT Capability, and Critical and Creative Thinking (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2010 to present). Likewise, blogging is a digital tool that can improve social skills and give quieter students a voice (Morris, 2018). I am planning to introduce a blogging platform to my reading group for these reasons (Murphy, 2020, August 23).

One of the most helpful resources a TL can create for their teachers and students is a research guide. These enable IL skills to be embedded in the context of curriculum content (Purcell, 2010). This is important, as teaching skills on their own is not enough to facilitate deep twenty-first century learning (Kutner & Armstrong, 2012).

When creating my research guide for Assessment Two, I drew on my growing body of essential competencies and knowledge as an information professional. Based on my learning in Module Two (Murphy, 2020, July 19), I used educational, reliability and technical criteria to assess potential web resources and, in my annotations, linked students to Schrock’s 5W’s of Website Evaluation (2009) so that they could do the same thing. I and three other students considered this model the most appropriate in a primary school context (Murphy, 2020, July 22).

Module Three informed my search engine selection. I included search strategies in my annotations, such as Boolean operators and the asterisk, and mentioned the importance of using the right key words. Design principles from Module Five informed the actual development of my Thinkspace website. I thoroughly enjoyed the construction process and look forward to re-using the template at school.

Of all of the tasks, attribution of images and using Creative Commons licensing were the most challenging. I also need practice using WordPress. However, I can improve my skills in these areas as I build my collection of research guides into the future.


Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2010 to present). General capabilities. In Australian curriculum: F-10 curriculum.

Chartered Institute of Library Information Professionals. (2018). Definitions & models – Information literacy website.

Kutner, L., & Armstrong, A. (2012). Rethinking information literacy in a globalised world. Communications in Information Literacy, 6(1), 24-33.

Morris, K. (2018). Why teachers and students should blog: 18 benefits of educational blogging. Primary Tech

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.

Schrock, K. (2009). The 5W’s of website evaluation. Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything.

September 18

A Balanced Collection

Browse your school or local library. Does the library have a balanced collection? Does it include the full range of resource formats and delivery modes identified above?

My school library collection is heavy in some areas and light on in others. At least for the needs of my primary school community, I think the collection is quite strong, although there are some gaps that I’d like to fill over the next couple of years.

Browsing the collection has certainly helped me to find some of those gaps!

Multiple formats and delivery modes Our school has a reasonable range of print resources, although we don’t store any large posters, infographs, ephemera or maps within the library itself. Big books are stored in the junior primary building. We have access to a wide variety of eBooks through the Scholastic Literacy Pro program, but we don’t have any subscriptions to popular eBook titles as students generally don’t access them and we’re trying to save money on that front. We don’t have DVDs or CDs as these sorts of resources can be found online. I’m not sure about Realia. This might also be stored elsewhere within the school. I’ll have to investigate!
Reading and comprehension levels and social development The Lexile system is used effectively from Year 2 to Year 7. Foundations and Year Ones use readers from Level 1 to Level 30 before accessing the Lexile program. We have an excellent range of books varying from very low to very high reading levels. We also have magazines but no newspapers. So far I haven’t come across any material that is socially inappropriate.
Support for the curriculum Recently I cleared out the NF section because many of the resources were old and tattered. I am now beginning to see gaps that I need to fill, especially when students come in asking for a book on a particular topic. We do have lots of resources for STEM topics, as well as Sustainability, Civics and Citizenship, and Australia.
Leisure resources to challenge and maintain literacy development Again, our leisure-based resources are many. We have six years worth of Guinness Book of Records, magazines, joke books, games, construction and fact books. We don’t have a whole lot of books that are dual language. Our school teaches Japanese, so it would be good to have more resources related to that as well.
Catering for different learning styles I don’t know exactly what we have in terms of Teacher Resources. I am thinking that I should start here when I do stocktaking for the first time at the end of the year. I know that the STEM teacher has lots of kinaesthetic learning resources stored in the library. We don’t have any audiobooks, as far as I know.


September 12

Learning Object Exploration

The Education Services Australia website links to an enormous range of resources for teachers and parents. I already knew about Scootle, and have used Learning Objects (LOs) from this repository before.

Choose three different areas of professional interest on the Online Resources page and locate one learning object in each. Consider the intended learning for each – do you think this can be achieved?

Write a brief reflective evaluation on how you could incorporate LOs into your current or future practice.

Scootle > Super Stories: The Abandoned House: Nouns and Adjectives

I chose to search for a LO on Scootle about editing a piece of writing, as this is my focus for next term’s writing groups. I narrowed my search using a Year 4 Content Descriptor within the Australian Curriculum – ACELY1695 – Reread and edit for meaning by adding, deleting or moving words or word groups to improve content and structure. I chose The Abandoned House because my group of boys enjoy the horror genre.

Intended Learning

  • Students relate the nature and strength of evaluative stance in texts to language and multimodal choices.
  • Students analyse and compare the use of grammatical forms such as nouns and adjectives to evoke an emotional response from readers and listeners across a range of texts.
  • Students analyse how particular language choices can give more or less emphasis, intensity, force or focus to evaluations.
  • Students investigate how images influence the reader to adopt certain evaluative positions about a text.

I liked that once you actually started editing, the LO provided a couple of nouns to choose from and explained why those choices improved or didn’t improve the text. There is lots of scaffolding, and once the learning is complete, you could move into a more open task, depending on the students’ understanding. My writing group often finish a writing task and believe that it is complete, without editing or improving anything! I feel like this LO is a good place to start.

The intended learning outcomes are a little bit beyond my group’s academic level. I do think the LO would help them to analyse and compare the power of different nouns and adjectives, as well as investigate the images and power of certain language choices.

Student Wellbeing Hub > Be Deadly Online

I chose to search the Student Wellbeing Hub because my wellbeing teacher frequently comments on the lack of resources available to her. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it especially easy to find resources of interest using the filters. For example, there was not a whole lot about growth mindset, persistence or resilience, which is our school’s current focus.

In the end, I chose Be Deadly Online. I like that it links to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cross-curriculum Priority. I watched a  video called ‘Dumb Stuff’, about a boy who makes a video about doing silly things, and then he gets fired because he was filmed in his work shirt.

Intended Learning

  • Understand the concept of respect in the context of technology use.
  • Critically analyse the impact of your actions on yourself, others and your family/community when using technology.

I think this LO would be very helpful in generating a discussion about respect for yourself and for others, as well as responsible use of technology, in an upper primary / lower secondary context. Students would engage in critical thinking, and personal and social capability.

The video is animated, uses humour and would appeal to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and student who do not identify as ATSI would get an insight into the culture in a contemporary, everyday context.

Digital Technologies Hub > Quick, Draw!

I went into the Digital Technologies Hub to simply explore. It was far easier to find LOs of interest in this repository, compared to the Student Wellbeing Hub. I found a game called Quick, Draw!

The keywords identified for the LO included Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. I think this LO would be a fun way to generate some discussion around these topics, especially for primary students. It is fast-paced and students would enjoy the challenge of beating the clock and drawing successfully.

Intended Learning

  • Explain how student solutions and existing information systems meet common personal, school or community needs.
  • Explain how student solutions and existing information systems are sustainable and meet current and future local community needs

As the Digital Technologies curriculum is a little foreign to me, I’m not sure how I would use this LO to achieve these learning outcomes.

August 29

A Reflection on Flipping Learning

Think about your learning journey so far in this subject. What have you learned? Has the journey been exciting? Is it harder to excite/engage students in learning when working wholly online?

This subject began in an area of great personal interest – physical library spaces. I have explored this topic in a previous subject, so was able to build upon my knowledge. Through the first assignment, I was also able to put this knowledge into practice, using the principles of twenty-first century library design to consider how to enhance my own school library. In particular, I like the idea of creating zones in the physical space, such as Thornburg’s campfire, cave, watering hole, and life (Oddone, n.d.), to ensure that the needs of the whole school community are being met.

But it was the next section that was new and perhaps more helpful to me – virtual library spaces. My school library does not have a strong virtual presence so it was interesting to explore ways to improve this, applying Thornburg’s spaces to a virtual sphere.

From there we explored the provision of different types of reference materials, website readability and evaluation, selection criteria for digital resources, and the print versus digital debate (the last of which, I must say, is enormously boring, especially reading through statistics comparing the two formats and coming to the same conclusions every single time). We have also considered how search engines work, using search strategies, and Web 2.0 tools. For some reason, I found the history of the internet to be very interesting – I look to the future with keen interest! And the Padagogy Wheel (Wilson, 2020) and SAMR models (Costello, n.d.) will both come in handy for planning.

Has the journey been exciting? Initially, it was, but right now I feel so bogged down with work, study and life that it’s hard to get excited about anything! I don’t think it is harder for me to engage in learning online because I am so used to it and I am happy to dive into it. But for many others I am sure that face-to-face learning is preferred. Indeed, when I was taking digital reading sessions in April, I found that face-to-face learning offers so many more learning opportunities, chances to ask questions and confirm understandings.

How could flipped learning influence program design and delivery for the classroom and library research investigations?

Flipped learning is not something that has crossed my radar before now as I have worked in schools in very low socio-economic areas where access to technology at home is minimal. Here, flipped learning is simply out of the question.

At my current school, however, this is certainly something to consider. I have seen firsthand the amazing learning that can take place during 1 to 1 time with a student. A benefit of flipped learning is that it frees up the teacher from ‘teaching’ content and allows them to work with students individually (Teachings in Education, 2017). For the TL, who may have fewer minutes with classes than a classroom teacher, this could allow them to work more closely with students on a face-to-face level. I mentioned this above, and research has shown that some students do prefer learning with a teacher present (Earp, 2016).

Clearly, flipped learning is not something that can be implemented overnight. You need your colleagues to be in on it. You need to curate resources and prepare the content for home learning so that it is suitable for each student. You might need some training in the relevant digital tools for implementation, and you need to invest time into setting flipped learning boundaries and expectations (Teachings in Education, 2017).

Now that we’ve been forced to prepare more online content, due to COVID 19, maybe planning time will be reduced, though, because we have the content made up already. Hmmm … I think flipped learning could be great, as long as it is well planned and considered. It would be important to evaluate the process with students. After all, they should always be the focus of any teaching and learning.


Costello, C. (n.d.). Using ICT and web tools in the classroom. Virtual Library.

Earp, J. (2016, February 3). Homework culture key to flipped learning success. Teacher.

Oddone, K. (n.d.). Re-imagining learning spaces to inspire contemporary learning – part one: Models for change. Living Learning.

Teachings in Education. (2017, June 20). Flipped classroom model: Why, how and overview [Video]. YouTube.

Wilson, A. (2020, June 26). Tooltime taster: Select the right tool with the padagogy wheel. UTS.

August 25

Social Bookmarking

How might social bookmarking sites be useful – for teachers? for students? for TLs? Are there any limitations and issues relating the use of such sites?

Social bookmarking sites can be useful for students, teachers and TLs. Keeping track of quality content is made easy, and some of the platforms are visually engaging, like Pearltrees, which is good for kids. They might need to do some research, and bookmarking is a good way to track potentially useful websites or content. If students annotate resources, teachers can track how students are researching from an information literacy perspective. The various elements of the social bookmarking process also build on twenty-first century skills.

Diigo is not as visually appealing as other platforms (Cool Tools for Schools, 2018-2019), so might be more suited to professional content sharing by the TL. On a personal note, I find Diigo a little difficult to navigate.

Although it can be useful to receive notifications when some new content is bookmarked, the constant arrival of new content can be overwhelming, especially during busy times when it’s hard to squeeze in some professional reading. If there is too much content at once, you can end up sifting through it to find the most important or interest pieces. Wasn’t that the whole point of social bookmarking? That the best bits on a topic are being curated for you? Then you end up sifting through it anyway.

Advertising is another issue. I wonder if it still pops up in a student account?


Cool Tools for Schools. (2018-2019). Thing 8: Digital curation tools

August 23

Using a Blog in the School Library

This year I have been working with six students on their reading. Each is at vastly different stages of their reading journey and participate in other more structured reading intervention experiences than just their time with me.

I wonder if we could start blogging about the books we read in our group. I could provide a prompt for them, or they could write their own reflections if they are confident. This process could improve their social skills within a group, and give the quieter readers a voice (Morris, 2018), as they start to comment on each other’s posts. They have already proven that they enjoy using their Chromebooks for learning, as we have done a Padlet activity, and read some eBooks.


Morris, K. (2018). Why teachers and students should blog: 18 benefits of educational blogging. Primary Tech.

August 12

My Professional Goals

My professional placement goals:

  1. Explore and contribute to children’s literacy development in a public library.
  2. Build an understanding of the range of programs and events for children available at a public library.
  3. Evaluate how resources are displayed and marketed in a public library compared to my school library.
  4. Explore how the public library utilises its virtual platforms to connect with its users.
July 30

Role of the Supervisor

What do you think are the main issues raised in this WPL Film, in particular those related to:

  • monitoring of student progress and well-being
  • feedback
  • pastoral care of the student

What did the workplace supervisor do well in this situation? What could be improved? What do you think about the relationship between the two students on placement?

The workplace supervisor assumes the problems the student faces are related to poor English skills and/or being an international student. Do you agree? Could there be other issues at play here? How would you find out? What situations have you faced that are similar?

The supervisor held regular meetings with the student teachers. On the surface, she seemed somewhat caring, but didn’t seem to have the time to truly mentor the student teachers. For example, she was on the phone for too long prior to the first meeting, and answered the phone during the second meeting.

Should the supervisor have been present at the classes the two students were teaching? How can she give any useful feedback if she wasn’t there to observe? She was simply giving very general feedback based on the responses the student teachers were providing at meetings.

I thought it was appropriate to speak to Zhao alone, but when she finally did so, the supervisor made assumptions about Zhao and didn’t allow him time to explain or speak. Asking if Zhao had anything to say was a good start, but it went downhill very quickly from there! On the flipside, it is important to let the student teacher know they might need to lift their game, rather than cruise through the placement, which Zhao seems to be doing. It just needs to be tactful.

I wonder if the male teacher in the staff room led the supervisor astray with his comment about the Zhao being Asian, and about him observing lessons and not even attempting to help him. How inappropriate!

I don’t think that one could assume immediately that Zhoa’s problems are related to his poor English skills. I thought he had a reasonable understanding of some more complex language, and the supervisor never seemed to make her sentences less complex for him. Most definitely there could be other issues at play! There are so many different factors that could be influencing Zhao’s behaviour and performance. I wonder if Zhao could talk to another staff member, perhaps someone he feels more comfortable with?

I felt extremely uncomfortable with my mentor teacher in my second professional teaching placement. I found it difficult to explain how I was feeling. He had very high expectations and I didn’t like some of his interactions with his students.

July 24

Choosing a Format

Write a short blog post on the key considerations you need to take into account when choosing which format/s when purchasing resources for your library.

… there are those who assert that it is not relevant whether the desired information is available online, or on CD-ROM or in print, it is the content that is important.” – Stewart, 2000, p. 95

One thread present throughout the reading was the importance of educational criteria. Does the content of the resource suit my purpose? Does it suit my audience? Can my audience read and understand the information provided by the resource? All of these considerations come first, ahead of reliability and technical criteria.

Educational criteria are by far the most important when evaluating Web sites.” – Herring, 2011, p. 22

Something else that captured my attention was the need to cater for different learning styles. When I hear ‘learning styles’, I think of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. But I’ve never considered the print versus digital argument through a learning style lens. No matter what eBook download or database subscription statistics get thrown around year by year, every learner will have a preference for print or digital, and may choose differently in certain situations. I think school libraries should be ready to provide access to both formats, to cater for everyone at any time.

… medium preferences matter, since those who studied on their preferred medium showed both less overconfidence and got better test scores.” – Myrberg & Wiberg, 2015

Last of all, one of the readings touched on the dynamic nature of our information environment. Just twenty years ago, librarians were looking at CD-ROMs (Stewart, 2000). In 2020, the technology is very different. If it continues to evolve at the same rate, what will the information landscape look like in 2030?

In the same way we’re preparing for the future with flexible furnishings in our physical library spaces, we have to be ready for any kind of future in the digital space, not playing catch-up when something new comes along. This is not something we can really predict, but it’s worth thinking about when deciding which format to choose as we build our collections.


Herring, J. E. (2011). Web site evaluation: A key role for the school librarian. School Librarian, 27(8), 22-23.

Myrberg, C. & Wiberg, N. (2015). Screen vs. paper: What is the difference for reading and learning? Insights, 28(2).

Stewart, L. A. (2000). Choosing between print and electronic resources. The Reference Librarian, 34(71), 79-97.