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. 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 Techhttp://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

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 toolshttps://cooltoolsforschool.net/curation-tools/

February 27

Mastering 2020

It’s interesting to look back at my first ever post in 2019, now that I am here to write my first post in 2020. I spoke about exploring Interact2 and getting my head around the first two topics, and made a statement that I have so much to learn!

Now that I am working in a library setting, everything I did learn last year is coming to the fore and I feel very prepared for the expectations of my role. I am only working as an SSO, so things like Information Literacy and planning with colleagues are not currently part of what I do. This is okay – I was ready to take a backward step before taking a forward step.

So begins study in 2020. It’s going to be a wild ride! I’m looking forward to ETL402 Literature Across the Curriculum. Some of the readings have been awesome already!

With work, soccer and writing to juggle, as well as a very different living situation, it could get a bit hectic.

But … you get through it!

May 24

ETL401 Assessment Item 3: Part C – Reflective Practice

Provide a critical reflection of how your understanding of Information Literacy (IL), IL models and the TL role in inquiry learning has expanded through this subject.

At the end of Week 2, I completed my first reflective blog post for ETL401, talking about the role of a Teacher Librarian (TL) based on my teaching experiences. In the final paragraph, I mentioned that beyond the two main facets I had spoken about in depth, TL’s manage the physical library space, teach students to be library, ICT and information literate, manage Book Week celebrations and/or events and keep themselves and other staff up-to-date with the publishing industry, technology, current teaching pedagogies and the curriculum. So, even at this early stage of the subject I knew that teaching information literacy (IL) was part of the TL’s role, but I didn’t know a great deal about IL as a concept.

To unpack IL as a concept, I first drew upon my knowledge of information from module two. Although there is no widely accepted definition of information (Case, 2006, p. 61), I demonstrated my understanding in Forum 2.1 (Thinking About Information) that there are different types of knowledge and information, and that the four properties of information – inconsumable, untransferable, indivisible and accumulative – have a profound effect on how we learn and communicate. I also discussed the data-knowledge continuum, which I can now see has influenced the structure of IL models.

Next, following the course material in module five, I began to consider the nature of the term literacy. I attempted to come up with a simple definition in my blog post, Definitions of Literacy, to capture the traditional skills – reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and understanding – as well as the situation and application of those skills. However, UNESCO (2006, p. 148) highlighted another two ways of seeing literacy: as a learning process and as text. As such, I don’t know if my definition does justice, especially when you consider, in addition, Functions of Meaning or multiliteracies (Kalantzis & Cope, 2015). Clearly, the concept of literacy is just as complex as information, so when you put the two together, the complexity increases twofold!

There are many definitions of IL (CILIP Information Literacy Group, n.d.). As the information landscape changes, so to will the definitions change (Fitzgerald, 2015, p. 17) since the concept is tied to its context. In one blog post, I highlighted one of my favourite quotes taken from the course material, and thought about it in relation to my fourth-year university practicum. It clarified the important shift from IL as a set of skills and behaviours, to sociocultural construction of information and meaning, and whole body engagement with a range of modes. It also helped me to understand the importance of authentic learning experiences.

By engaging with this modality of information, novices learn to act as practitioners, but they cannot become practitioners because they are removed from the reflexive and reflective embodied experiences and tensions arising from practice.”

– Lloyd, 2007

As I moved through the fifth module, I couldn’t think of a time when I had actually used inquiry learning. Most of my teaching experience is as a TRT, so, of course, inquiry learning is not an option. Then I remembered using Primary Connections during my very first year, which I spoke about in Forum 5.3a (Information Literacy Model). The program, developed by the Australian Academy of Science, uses the 5Es – engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate (Australian Academy of Science, 2019). Though this is not an IL model itself, the elements of an IL model, such as the Information Search Process, Big6, or I-LEARN could be easily integrated with it.

So, how has my understanding of the TL’s role developed through the subject? Here, I’d like to refer back to my original statement on the role of a TL. I said that one aspect of the role was to teach students to be library, ICT and information literate. This is true, of course, but if I rewrote my statement, I would expand on this element of the role, and include more about collaboration.

Without IL, the Teacher Librarian is just a Librarian! IL and inquiry learning is where the TL and classroom teacher come together as the ultimate partnership. The classroom teacher brings content knowledge and the TL brings knowledge of IL, ICT, Creative and Critical Thinking, and Literacy capabilities together to create authentic learning experiences and develop 21st-century skills. For this to happen, effective collaboration is critical. In one blog post, I considered Gibson-Langford’s guiding principles for building collaborative relationships (2008, p. 34). I have bookmarked these for the future.


Australian Academy of Science. (2019). 5Es teaching and learning model. Retrieved from https://primaryconnections.org.au/node/262

Case, D.O. (2006). Looking for information: A survey of research on information seeking, needs and behaviour (2nd ed.). Burlingham: Emerald Publishing Limited

CILIP Information Literacy Group. (n.d.). Definitions & models – information literacy website. Retrieved from https://infolit.org.uk/definitions-models/

Fitzgerald, L. (2015). Guided inquiry in practice. Scan, 34(4), 16-27. Retrieved from https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/professional-learning/scan

Gibson-Langford, L. (2008). Collaboration: Force or forced, part 2. Scan, 27(1), 31-37. Retrieved from https://search-informit-com-au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/fullText;dn=166077;res=AEIPT

Kalantzis, M., & Cope, B. (2015). Multiliteracies: Expanding the scope of literacy pedagogy. New Learning. Retrieved from http://newlearningonline.com/multiliteracies

Lloyd, A. (2007). Recasting information literacy as sociocultural practice: Implications for library and information science researchers. Information Research, 12(4).

UNESCO. (2006). Education for all: Literacy for life. EFA global monitoring report, 2006. Paris, France: UNESCO Publishing

May 6

Information Literacy and My Role at School

Reflect on what you can take from the discussion of information literacy to your IL role in school.

First and foremost, after reading through the discussions around Information Literacy (IL) in the course material, it has become clear and obvious that no clear definition of IL exists and that our own notions of the concept will ultimately affect how we plan for and teach it (Bruce, Edwards & Lupton, 2006, p. 2).

Bruce, Edwards and Lupton (2006, p. 3) outline six different frames through which IL can be viewed: content, competency, learning to learn, relational, social impact, and personal relevance. Each frame has a different view of IL, view of information, curriculum focus, view of teaching and learning, view of content, and view of assessment (Bruce, Edwards & Lupton, 2006, pp. 4-5).

I think that as I have more experience in library and information literacy teaching, my position amongst the frames will become clearer. At this stage, I think I see IL through both the competency and learning to learn frames, as my previous school adopted a series of experiences for students that focussed on learning to learn, which was important for students in our low socio-economic area. The competency frame seems simple, and perhaps the easiest to apply to the competency-based assessment and reporting that is so common in schools at which I have worked.

I can certainly see the distinction between the behaviourist and sociocultural approaches to IL, as well as the importance of placing IL into context. Kutner & Armstrong (2012, p. 25) note that a skills-based approach alone is not enough to facilitate deep IL learning. As such, as I work towards employment in a school or public library, I will need to implement a balanced mixture of both approaches.


Bruce, C., Edwards, S., & Lupton, M. (2006). Six frames for information literacy education: A conceptual framework for interpreting the relationships between theory and practice. Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences, 5(1), 1-18. doi: 10.11120/ital.2006.05010002

Kutner, L., & Armstrong, A. (2012). Rethinking information literacy in a globalised world. Communications in Information Literacy, 6(1), 24-33. doi: 10.15760/comminfolit.2012.6.1.115

May 4

Information Literacy Reflection

Reading through today’s course material was like walking through thick snow. But one sentence, in one of the readings, caught my attention and made it all a bit clearer.

By engaging with this modality of information, novices learn to act as practitioners, but they cannot become practitioners because they are removed from the reflexive and reflective embodied experiences and tensions arising from practice.”

– Lloyd, 2007, “Learning to act as a practitioner”

Lloyd’s article was about switching from the idea of Information Literacy (IL) as a set of skills and behaviours, to sociocultural construction of information and meaning, and whole body engagement with a range of modes. Context, Lloyd argues, is fundamental to what is learnt and how it is learnt.

I can relate to the quote above as I look back on my professional teaching practicum. As a student teacher, I was only acting like a real teacher, and never truly became a teacher until I experienced the real thing. Similarly, our students can never truly become information literate by simply ticking off a set of skills and behaviours. They must be fully immersed in authentic information literacy learning, in a variety of contexts, to become information “practitioners”.


Lloyd, A. (2007). Recasting information literacy as sociocultural practice: Implications for library and information science researchers. Information Research, 12(4). Retrieved from http://informationr.net/ir/12-4/colis/colis34.html

May 4

An Extension of the Traditional Literacy Definition

Do new formats and delivery modes or multi-modal resources require users to have different literacy skills to make meaning or is this just an extension of the traditional literacy definition?

I think that the traditional elements of literacy – reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, understanding – encompass the skills required to make meaning of multi-modal resources. For example, students watching a video use viewing, reading and listening skills to make meaning from the video.

So, this is just an extension of the traditional literacy definition. I guess it might come to down to the students ability to transfer their literacy skills into new and different contexts, which are specified by different labels, for example, ‘information literacy’ or ‘music literacy’.