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. https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/
Chartered Institute of Library Information Professionals. (2018). Definitions & models – Information literacy website. https://infolit.org.uk/definitions-models/
Kutner, L., & Armstrong, A. (2012). Rethinking information literacy in a globalised world. Communications in Information Literacy, 6(1), 24-33. https://doi.org/10.15760/comminfolit.2012.6.1.115
Morris, K. (2018). Why teachers and students should blog: 18 benefits of educational blogging. Primary Tech. http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/03/08/the-benefits-of-educational-blogging/
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. http://www.schrockguide.net/uploads/3/9/2/2/392267/5ws.pdf