My own learning during COVID

I have recently been using Padlet with my classes as a way for them to summarise their key points or key words from a topic that we have been studying. Where I would normally have done this on the board in the classroom, because of online learning due to COVID, I have found this to be even more useful. Students love it because I give them access to the padlet and they can all contribute. They can also then see what other people have written and this may spark ideas in their minds too. They feel more inclined to contribute where they don’t have to verbally make an answer as some are very shy, and another benefit is that they can modify their response at any time. They can then take a screen shot to add to their revision notes.

Another useful way to use this is to do a before and after the topic. The before can be used as a pre learning assessment tool and this can be compared to the end of the topic where a post learning assessment can demonstrate growth. A weakness is that all students need to have a device to participate and understand how to use padlet. Furthermore, some students may still have some hestitation in sharing their learning.

 

This was my contribution to the discussion for this week. The most important learning gain that I made from using Padlet during remote learning is that I can embrace digital tools quite readily in the classroom, and that they can actually enhance student learning and encourage participation.

Module 4: Questions in my mind

Module 4 helped to raise questions in my mind related to digital storytelling and the ever-increasing use of social media as tools for personalised storytelling. It especially raised questions for me as a mother in terms of what what my children see other people posting about their lives. Furthermore, it raises questions about what my children will share about their story in years to come. There is also then the questions about the sharing of the best parts of people’s lives and an minimisation of the worst parts. Is this creating unrealistic expectations for young people when they relate these stories to their own lives.

Critical reflection

The ever-changing world of information technology has seen the continued emergence of digital literature in various forms and with an abundance of features. According to the New South Wales government, digital texts can be audio, visual or multimodal texts that are created through digital or electronic technology and may be interactive and have animations and/or hyperlinks (New South Wales Department of Education, 2020).

From my exploration into the world of digital literature, it became evident that I was making relatively quick judgements about the value or worth of the digital texts. In my opinion, what makes a good digital text is something that is easy to use or navigate, and one that has lots of additional features that a printed text doesn’t have. In my opinion, in order to make the experience of a digital text worthwhile, it must have a range of features not afforded to printed texts, that provide an experience that is more enriching for the senses. The Lorax e-book app is an example of how a digital text utilises sound to provide an enriched experience for the reader. This is evident with the inclusion of music and relevant sounds to support the narrative.

Digital texts serve multiple purposes including allowing the narrative to be supplemented with multimedia such as video and interactive options. Furthermore, they also provide more opportunities for enhanced user engagement when the reader is able to determine their own experience with the literature. An example of this can be seen in the digital app The Lorax, whereby in addition to reading the narrative users can interact with the text, and also engage with other features such as the puzzles and memory games. However, it could be argued that choice is also available in some examples of printed text such as choose your own adventure style texts. Despite this, the ability for users of some digital texts to navigate through a range of features and choose which ones they interact with, and when, affords them greater user autonomy. Another significant benefit of digital literature is that technological changes and improvements also enable it to be continuously modified. Additional features may be added or updated information provided which can be particularly beneficial to non-fiction digital literature such as multimedia journalism. Journalists can easily add recent updates to a narrative which highlights the benefit of digital literature as being more easy to maintain its currency.

In comparing my experience of reading digital texts with reading print, it is clear that digital texts offer a greater opportunity for non-linear narratives than with reading print. However, print still does provide a more tactile experience with the smell and feel of a book. Printed text in the form of a book can be consumed by the reader without anyone else knowing. This is in contrast to a person’s use of digital literature that can be more easily scrutinised by others. One of the potential issues associated with reading digital literature compared to printed texts is that information about a person’s reading behaviour can be gathered by external organisations, potentially impacting on an individual’s privacy (Arts21, 2015, 17.00).

Through my experience in undertaking the investigation for this task, the digital text that I most enjoyed was Bear 71 VR as it encapsulated a range of current issues confronting humanity, and its interactive elements were intriguing. I was especially taken by this artefact, because as a HSIE Geography teacher resources that depict real life geographical issues are invaluable in the classroom. This kind of resource enables students to become more aware of what is happening in their world and can be easily incorporated into the Geography program. Specifically, one of the key competencies in the Stage 6 NSW Geography requires students to use appropriate information technologies in order to develop their competency in using technology (NESA, 2009). Furthermore, the Preliminary Course outcomes require students to use a range of maps and other tools such as photographs and fieldwork to conduct geographical inquiries and to examine the geographical nature of issues challenging humanity (NESA, 2009). Bear 71 VR would be an excellent virtual fieldwork resource for students to ensure that these outcomes are met. However, when adding this to a teaching program, it is important to consider that this digital text may trigger significant student emotional responses. Additionally, the controversial use of animal monitoring and human interference in their natural habitat may generate a wide range of student opinions and debate. This will need to be addressed as a form of debrief or analysis of the resource with students. Overall, I have gained a valuable insight into the world of digital literature through completing this task.

References

Allison, L. & Mendes, J. (2017). Bear 71 VR. National Film Board of Canada. https://bear71vr.nfb.ca/

Arts21. (2015, June 6). What is the value of books in the digital age? DW. https://www.dw.com/en/arts21-special-gutenberg-in-the-cyberstorm-the-value-of-the-book-in-the-digital-age/av-18559769

New South Wales Department of Education. (2020). Digital and multimodal texts. New South Wales Government. https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/curriculum/key-learning-areas/english/ES1S3/professional-learning/digital-and-multimodal-texts

New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA). (2009). Geography stage 6 syllabus. https://www.educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/11-12/stage-6-learning-areas/hsie/geography

Oceanhouse Media. (2010). The Lorax by Dr Seuss (Version 4.1.1)[Mobile app]. Mac App Store. https://apps.apple.com/au/app/the-lorax-by-dr-seuss/id1067146012

 

Digital Literature Review 3

The Lorax by Dr Seuss is an e-book app that is a multimedia interactive digital version of “The Lorax” that was originally published in 1971 in printed form. The app was released by Oceanhouse Media Inc in 2010, and as further evidence of the story’s popularity and classic appeal the movie version of “The Lorax” produced by Universal Studios was released in 2012 (Nasaw & Dailey, 2012). Compared to the original printed version of “The Lorax”, the app possesses many digital technology features including sound, moving visuals, interactive games and icons to interact with. This may be more enticing for young people than the original printed form. Those used to interacting with screens, electronic literature may seem more familiar and appealing than traditional print literature (Electronic Literature Organisation, n.d.). Additionally, the app provides users with the ability to choose how they navigate through the story. Providing choice and options gives the user greater control and ownership over their interaction with the narrative and is more user directed. By interacting with apps, children’s relationship with the story is different than with print where the interactivity is often guided by someone else (Saljo, 2016).

The plot of the story centres around the character known as the Once-ler (a greedy businessperson) who chops down all of the trees to produce a product for his financial gain. The Lorax tries desperately to stop this destruction, as he realises the wide-ranging ramifications that this will have on their environment, and for all living things. Embedded within the story of the Lorax are a number of themes including environmental destruction, individualism, greed and consumerism. As this is a children’s story, the themes are very delicately interwoven throughout, ensuring these serious issues challenging the modern world are considered in an age appropriate and non-confrontational manner.

Synonymous with the printed book version of “The Lorax”, the app is also designed for users aged 4+. Evidence of this is its range of enhancements to aid the development of literacy. This includes opportunities for the user to tap on visual images to hear and read the associated word. Furthermore, using an app can have many benefits in the development of a range of digital technology skills. The use of apps can potentially assist teachers in the process of developing students’ range of digital skills and new media literacies (Stevenson & John, 2017).

One of the most significant differences between the printed book of “The Lorax” and using the app is the availability of other beneficial features associated with the story including a jigsaw puzzle, memory game and tapping activity. Digital apps of picture books offer additional content, features, and navigational options generally not present with print-based texts including animations, sound effects and hyperlinked resources (Serafini et al, 2015). An example of a sound effect in the digital app used to enhance “The Lorax” is the sound of the chainsaw cutting down the Truffula trees. The use of sound effects can make the reader feel more attached to the story. The appropriate sound design and music, can create an atmosphere and emotionally connect to people in a way visuals alone cannot (Mattka, 2018). A significant benefit of an e-book app is the way that users can determine their own journey through the narrative and engage with it in the manner of their own choosing, making it a very personalised experience. Compared to a printed book, an app enables users to customize their experience (Serafini et al, 2015).

There is a significant role for the use of digital storytelling apps like “The Lorax” in the classroom as teaching and learning tools. The interactive nature of apps and the ability for children to be hands on with their learning can make it a more student-centred pedagogy. Children love doing things on digital devices, and greatly appreciate the interactive apps (Miller, 2019). The themes and literary qualities of the story make it a highly appropriate resource for both the English and HSIE (Geography) curriculums. In particular, the NSW English K-10 syllabus specifies viewing and reading a range of texts in different media and technologies (NESA, 2012 ).

Some possible precluding aspects of this app is that it costs money to buy and also requires an appropriate digital device to access. Another consideration associated with the app is the marketing that is embedded within it. There is an icon that when touched can take the user to other available apps of Dr Seuss books. This can be beneficial to users in promoting further literacy in directing them to other titles that may be of interest. However, it can also potentially be a more coercive form of marketing than is seen in printed books.

References

Electronic Literature Organisation. (n.d.). Why teach electronic literature? https://teach.eliterature.org/home/why-teach-electronic-literature/

Mattka, R. (2018). How sound design is transforming UX. Creative Bloq. https://www.creativebloq.com/features/how-sound-design-is-transforming-ux

Miller, C. H. (2019). Digital storytelling 4e: a creator’s guide to interactive entertainment. Taylor & Francis Group.

Nasaw, D., & Dailey, K. (2012). Five interpretations of The Lorax. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17224775

New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA). (2012). English K-10 syllabus. https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/learning-areas/english-year-10/english-k-10

Oceanhouse Media. (2010). The Lorax by Dr Seuss (Version 4.1.1)[Mobile app]. Mac App Store. https://apps.apple.com/au/app/the-lorax-by-dr-seuss/id1067146012

Saljo, R. (2016). Apps and learning: a sociocultural perspective. In N, Kucirkova & G, Falloon (eds.), Apps, technology and younger learners : International evidence for teaching (pp. 3-13). Taylor and Francis Group.

Serafini, F., Kachorsky, D., & Aguilera, E. (2015). Picture books 2.0: Transmedial features across narrative platforms. Journal of Children’s Literature, 41(2), 16-24. https://www.academia.edu/19116850/Picturebooks_2.0_Transmedial_Features_Across_Narrative_Platforms

Stevenson, M. E., & John, G. H. (2017). Mobilizing learning: a thematic review of apps in K-12 and higher education. Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 14(2), 126-137. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITSE-02-2017-0017

Digital Literature Review 2

Bear 71 VR is an interactive multimedia non-fiction web based Virtual Reality (VR) documentary co-created by Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Allison in conjunction with the National Film Board of Canada. It tells the true story of a female Grissly bear living in Banff National Park in Canada. The bear was caught and tagged with an electronic device which allowed it to be tracked and closely monitored by wildlife conservation offices from 2001–2009 (Allison & Mendes, 2017). The web-based documentary was originally released in 2012, but was re-released in 2017 as a VR work with an abstract VR environment, providing enhanced exploration opportunities and experiences for users (Kolm, 2017).

The story begins with film of the snared distressed bear beginning the process of human monitoring. The bear is given the number 71 as an impersonalised form of identification which is immediately juxtaposed to the personal style audio narration from the bear’s perspective. This narration is heard throughout the remainder of story and acts to create a bond, and a sense of empathy between the bear and the user. Users can then navigate around the interactive map that is a VR representation the bear’s home. This map contains a collection of videos and images of the park and its wildlife taken using cameras imposed upon the natural landscapes. Video footage and audio narration of the life of Bear 71 is interspersed throughout the story. The story sadly culminates in her untimely death on a railway track protecting her cubs from an oncoming train. This scene exemplifies the negative consequences of human encroachment on nature.

Bear 71 is targeted for users over 12, who also have the ability to use digital tools. The themes, including the controversial treatment of animals in the story, mean that it is not suitable for a younger user. Furthermore, to navigate through this story, users must possess the required basic technological knowledge and skills.

There are a multitude of themes evident throughout this narrative. One of the most prominent is the uncomfortable concurrence between the natural world and the technologically advanced world. This is best exemplified by the narrated words “It is hard to say where the wired world ends and the wild one begins” (Allison & Mendes, 2017, 4.18). Another significant theme is the ever-increasing human impact on natural environments and wildlife. The ultimate example of this is when Bear 71 is killed by a train in her natural environment. This is designed to highlight the role that humans are playing in the process of animal loss and extinction. This theme is further supported in the story by the use of the word “refugees” in reference to the bears’ ever decreasing habitable land (Allison & Mendes, 2017, 3.12).

There are many advantages of using multiple media forms in storytelling (also known as transmedia storytelling). Transmedia storytelling encourages readers to search for information and investigate in a range of formats (Lamb, 2011). In addition to the artefact itself, there are further opportunities for engaging digitally with others about the narrative through social platforms such as Twitter and Tumblr. Another significant benefit of this type of digital literature is its non-static quality, with continuing opportunities to make modifications according to technological developments. Evidence of this is that Bear 71 was re-released with VR. This was developed in the framework WebVR, allowing VR experiences to occur within a browser using a multitude of devices (Kolm, 2017). It is important that these modifications are easily accessible on current devices to maximise patronage. The aim is to make VR experiences available irrespective of the device being used (WebVR, n.d.).

Bear 71 can be used in the classroom particularly for the New South Wales Stage 4 Geography curriculum outcomes related to human interactions with environments and perspectives on geographical issues (NESA, 2015). Furthermore, it can be used as a stimulus to facilitate discussion around the ethical use of technology, and in general to facilitate the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills. ICT capability is one of the General Capabilities embedded in the Australian Curriculum. In particular the English Curriculum requires students to use ICT when they interpret multimodal texts (ACARA, n.d.). Multimedia narratives can be especially useful in a variety of ways to enhance student learning. Elements can be used to support readers experiencing difficulties,  aid comprehension and understanding of concepts and contribute to the tone of the story (Lamb, 2011).

A potential negative associated with this artefact is that it provides a very one-sided perspective of some issues and especially that of human impacts on nature. It lacks a more rounded consideration of how human interference and monitoring may, in some instances, act to protect and care for the natural world. Despite this, Bear 71 raises some pertinent questions about technology and our modern world, ironically delivered as a modern form of digital literature.

 

References

Allison, L. & Mendes, J. (2017). Bear 71 VR. National Film Board of Canada. https://bear71vr.nfb.ca/

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (n.d.). Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability. https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/information-and-communication-technology-ict-capability/

Bear 71. [@iambear71]. (n.d.). Tumblr. https://iambear71.tumblr.com/

Iambear71 [@iambear71]. (2012). Twitter. https://twitter.com/iambear71

Kolm. J. (2017). NFB re-releases award-winning doc in VR. Strategy. https://strategyonline.ca/2017/03/02/nfb-re-releases-award-winning-doc-in-vr/

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading Redefined for a Transmedia Universe. Learning & Leading with Technology, 39(3), 12–17.

NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). (2015). Geography: K-10 syllabus. https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/learning-areas/hsie/geography-k-10

WebVR. (n.d.). What is WebVR? https://webvr.info/

 

 

Digital Literature Review 1

“From space, the ferocity of Queensland’s bushfires is revealed” is a non-fiction multimedia news report that tells the story of Australia’s Queensland bushfires in November 2018. This  artefact was produced by ABC journalist and digital producer Mark Doman and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) Digital story innovation team. The purpose of the story is to inform people about a disaster and highlight its geographical significance. A good news story should inform and engage the audience (Hernandez & Rue, 2015).

The subject of this journalistic news story is the extreme bushfire event that occurred in Queensland in 2018, but its depth of meaning extends beyond this to encapsulate a multitude of associated geographical issues currently of global concern. The story profiles key elements of this specific natural disaster, including the weather conditions that contributed to its intensity, and a description of the bushfire’s impact. Further included is evidence of the emergency response to the disaster, and how swift and intelligent human action was able to prevent more devastation. There is a significant overarching sentiment to the story that this type of environmental disaster is not uncommon today. Two of the key messages of the story are that we need to readily prepare ourselves for more of these geographical events, and that these are also associated with our human impacts on the world. This form of digital literature is free and accessible to anyone using Internet browsers on devices such as a laptop, iPad, iPhone and tablets, making it a highly accessible artefact.

The intended audience for this news story is quite broad, however it can be argued that it is only appropriate for ages 12 and above. Evidence for this is the presence of more complex language such as “penetrated” and “dire” (Doman, 2018, para.1). This sophisticated language would require a certain level of literacy for comprehension. Furthermore, the fact that the main subject of the artefact is a disaster would also indicate that it is not appropriate for very young children. The presence of geographical tools for interpretation, such as maps, are further suggestive of this.

This piece of multimedia journalism uses emotive language that helps to engage the reader and also highlight the gravity of the disaster. This is exemplified in the introductory paragraph “dire warning: evacuate now or burn to death” (Doman, 2018, para.1). Use of the colour black as the background for the introduction further adds a sense of foreboding as black is often associated with negative things. Using colours in literature helps the author to construct a literary scene to better enable the reader to envisage and understand it (Kumar, 2015). A range of geographical tools are used to support the narrative including satellite imagery, maps and photographs. This helps to make the story more realistic and memorable as it provides clear evidence of the disaster. Parkinson (2006) suggests that using a combination of pictures and text in a multimedia article may make messages more memorable, and can also aid with the comprehension and synthesis of new information.

This artefact can be used to support both the Science and HSIE curriculum areas due to its association with the topics weather and natural disasters. In particular, it can be incorporated into the Geography curriculum to support the development of Geographical skills (including interpreting photographic images and maps) and geographical knowledge and understanding which are all an essential part of the NSW syllabus (NESA, 2015).

There are a number of things that could enhance this artefact especially when comparing this multimedia journalistic artefact to another “Snowfall: the avalanche at Tunnel Creek” . This has interactive elements that give the reader choice as to how deeply they want to learn about the disaster. This choice is offered through multiple slide shows of photographic images of the disaster that can be scrolled through and a video of a personal interview with survivor that can also be accessed. Allowing this form of choice empowers the reader and gives them ownership over the depth of their learning. In a classroom situation this choice is excellent, as students can choose their level of emotional involvement, allowing for the diverse emotional needs of students. Furthermore, embedding a range of media elements within the text of the story creates a captivating multimedia experience (Pincus et al, 2017).

The presence of sound and interactive elements could add further appeal to this news story and provide for a more immersive experience. This could take the form of interactive options such as sounds associated with the disaster such as sirens, video footage of the disaster or interviews providing personal accounts. Furthermore, for use in the classroom, the news story would benefit from including information regarding mitigating a future bushfire event. Discussing management strategies is a knowledge and understanding outcome of the Stage 4 NSW Geography syllabus (NESA, 2015).

References

Branch, J. (2012). Snow fall: The avalanche at Tunnel Creek. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/index.html#/?part=tunnel-creek

Doman, M. (2018, December 8). From space, the ferocity of Queensland’s bushfires is revealed. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-08/from-space,-the-ferocity-of-queenslands-bushfires-is-revealed/10594662?nw=0

Hernandez, R. K., & Rue, J. (2016). The principles of multimedia journalism: packaging digital news. Routledge.

Kumar, R. (2015). Colour as metaphor in language and literature. Research Scholar, 3(2), 439-445. http://researchscholar.co.in/downloads/76-ratnesh-kumar.pdf

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2015). Geography: K-10 syllabus.  https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/learning-areas/hsie/geography-k-10

Parkinson, M. (2006). Do-it-yourself billion dollar graphics: turn your words and data into powerful visuals. Pepperlip Press.

 

 

Trends in digital literature: Discovering possibilities

I was amazed this week in engaging with the modules and in my further research. The article From twitterbots to VR: 10 of the best examples of digital literature was particularly interesting as it gave me further examples to view. I especially loved the Alan Bigelow’s How to rob a bank. I had never come across something like this before and it was interesting to see the modern digital elements used in a narrative. Wright (2019) suggests that it is a reinvention of Bonnie and Clyde for the digital age. As a teacher of teenagers, I can see how this modern digital version of a theme can be more relatable for them.

References

Bigelow, A. (2017). How to rob a bank. Webyarns. https://webyarns.com/howto/howto.html

Wright, D. T. H. (2019). From twitterbots to VR: 10 of the best examples of digital literature. The conversation. https://theconversation.com/from-twitterbots-to-vr-10-of-the-best-examples-of-digital-literature-110099

INF533 Task 1

Despite having been a HSIE teacher for twenty three years now, and also having used a laptop and iPhone for many of those, I believe that my knowledge and understanding of concepts and practices in digital literature environments is quite narrow. Furthermore, my engagement with digital literature tools and their potential uses is also unfortunately very minimal. Prior to engaging with this subject’s first learning module my own experience was limited to accessing library literature through an iPhone app and also interacting with a couple of online narratives. One such example that I have previously used with students in the classroom when teaching a unit on World War Two is Junko’s story (SBS Australia, n.d). This is a powerfully emotive story about experiencing Hiroshima’s atomic bomb. In this the user is able to choose to delve more deeply into the story by clicking on links for more information about the bomb. What I found that students love about this is their ability to choose what elements of the narrative they want to pursue further. This choice gives them a sense of ownership over their learning and interaction with the literature.

In engaging with Learning module 1, the material that strongly resonated with me the most was the YouTube clip The evolution of the book. (Hukdigital, 2010). I found this to be really helpful in highlighting the changing literature environment and its impacts. Furthermore, I especially found the title of module 1.1 ‘Gutenberg to Kindle’ relatable to my professional circumstance as a History teacher. In my experience as a History teacher I have explained to students about the significance of the invention of Gutenburg’s printing press and its resultant impact on people’s access to literature (Croft, n.d). When I am teaching about this invention, I provide students with stories about life 40 years ago without the internet and such digital technologies. Furthermore, I ask them to consider what a young child born in fifty years’ time might be using. In relation to this course, I realise now that I am getting them to consider the changing literature environment and the role that digital technologies play in this.

As I continued through Module 1 and the reading Amazon, Kindle, and Goodreads: Implications for literary consumption in the digital age I was prompted to consider the extent to which digital technologies are changing reading culture (Albrechtslund, 2019). This cultural transformation is obvious when I consider my own literature experiences as a child solely reading paper books, and compare this to the reading experiences of children today.

As a teacher who has seen significant change in teaching practices throughout my professional career, I find myself  with some questions about the impact digital literature is having on culture, learning and enjoyment. There can be some issues associated with the use of digital technologies that need to be carefully monitored and managed. Screens can consume more of our mental resources and this may impact on the memory of what we read (Jabr, 2013). Through the learning opportunities provided through this course, I’m excited to delve into the world of digital literature tools and their uses, and to incorporate this learning into my professional practice.

 

References

Albrechtslund, A-M. B. (2019). Amazon, Kindle, and Goodreads: Implications for literary consumption in the digital age. Consumption Markets & Culture, 23(6), 553-568. https://doi.org/10.1080/10253866.2019.1640216

Croft, T. (n.d). Gutenberg to Kindle [Learning module]. INF533, Interact2. https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/execute/content/blankPage?cmd=view&content_id=_4145309_1&course_id=_57635_1&mode=reset

Hukdigital. (2010, September 17). The evolution of the book [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/PF9Q3LcOAQ8

Jabr, F. (2013, April 11). The reading brain in the digital age: The science of paper versus screens. Scientific Americanhttp://www.scientificamerican.com/article/reading-paper-screens/

SBS Australia. (n.d). Junko’s story: surviving Hiroshima’s atomic bomb. Special Broadcasting Service. https://www.sbs.com.au/hiroshima/

 

ETL503 Part B Reflection

Part B

How the subject has extended my knowledge and understanding of the role and nature of school library collections.

This subject has given me insight into the importance of the school library collection to the school community. The school library collection must reflect the curriculum and also the learning needs of the students. Furthermore, it must provide resource support for teachers to meet their needs in delivering the curriculum. In the blogpost (Linquist, 2020a) I reflected on the importance of the TL in developing a learner-centred collection and having an appreciation of the learner and the teaching and learning context (Hughes-Hassell & Mancall, 2005). The blog post (Linquist, 2020b) highlighted that it had become clear to me that there was extensive documentation available for TLs to inform them about the important role that collections play in the education process. The IFLA School Library Guidelines 2nd edition acknowledges the role of the library as a prime resource for reading and inquiry (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 2015).

This subject has also made obvious to me the deficiencies that are present in the school library that I am training within. There is not adequate collaboration between teachers and library staff regarding collection needs. There is also not enough work being done to match the library collection with the curriculum. I feel that the disconnect between the collection and the curriculum is a direct consequence of the lack of collaboration. This may stem from the perception that I think some members of the school community have about the library, as being on the periphery of learning, rather than as being fundamental to it. This then impacts on the role that the library plays within the school and its patronage within the community.

The nature of the school library collection can greatly impact the school community. The collection should be closely linked to the needs and characteristics of the school community. Characteristics not only include things like age, gender and cultural background, but also cognitive ability and special needs. Therefore, each school library collection should be individual and unique. Importantly, it should directly align with the values and ethics of the school. Furthermore, the collection should be dynamic and consider the community’s needs of today and tomorrow. It became clear to me the importance of the school library being proactive in terms of the ever-changing education environment, rather than reactive. TLs can ensure that their collection embraces the trends and programs that are at the forefront of education to support the best learning outcomes for the school community.

The importance of a collection development policy as a strategic document

From conducting my research in this subject, I have learned that the school library’s CDP is of fundamental importance. It operates as a guiding tool in providing direction for the library and in driving its resourcing. Furthermore, having a clearly articulated CDP helps to show the complex thinking and decision making that goes into a collection. This further highlights the significant role that the library plays for teaching and learning at the school.

The CDP needs to clearly align with other school policies and be endorsed by the school Executive. This ensures that it works to support the school’s strategic plan and contribute to the achievement of the school’s strategic goals. Making the policy available to the entire school community offers transparency and accountability. For this reason, it must present professionally to also afford it the authority it deserves. For a policy to be effective it needs to be supported and adhered to as a working document.

The CDP must have at its core the school curriculum and the teaching and learning needs of the school community. In my discussion forum response to another student’s comments I highlighted that the  CDP must embrace the ever changing curriculum and be welcoming of educational change (Linquist, 2020c). To this end the CDP needs to be regularly critiqued and revised accordingly.

How a collection development policy assists in future proofing the collection

The CDP needs to be unique to each school and reflect its individual circumstances. In my discussion forum contribution I wrote that decisions regarding issues such as digital versus hard copy, at a time when e-resources are growing exponentially, are very much dependent on the individual school needs (Linquist, 2020d). This was further supported in the blog post I wrote about how the school that I work in now has all students bringing their own devices (BYOD). This facilitates a greater transition to e-resources in the library collection which might not be possible in a school that doesn’t have this BYOD policy (Linquist, 2020e). Having a CDP that considers the changing information resources landscape and encourages the embracing of such change will assist in future proofing the collection.

The current circumstances with COVID-19 have highlighted to many TLs some of the inadequacies of their collections and provided great insights into future proofing the collection. This was highlighted in my blog post that considered the increasing need to be able to access resources remotely (Linquist, 2020f).

I agreed with the perspective given in the discussion forum that the current COVID-19 situation has created the need for resources that may have previously just been considered wants (Linquist, 2020g). Lee Fitzgerald (2020) highlighted the problem associated with the inequities in school resourcing that restrict some schools from being able to further embrace the use of e-resources. The present situation of remote learning also highlights the changing responsibilities for TLs in training and supporting student utilisation of a collection ‘s e-resources.

This subject gave me a great insight into the role, nature and importance of the school library collection to the school community in resourcing the curriculum. It further demonstrated to me the significant need for appropriate policy and procedures to support the collection.

References

Fitzgerald, L. (2020, May 5). Addition of digital content to collection development policy. [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2. https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_44235_1&conf_id=_88816_1&forum_id=_181291_1&message_id=_2906244_1&nav=discussion_board_entry

Hughes-Hassell, S., & Mancall, J. C. (2005). Collection management for youth : Responding to the needs of learners. ALA Editions.

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. (2015). IFLA School Library Guidelines. 2nd revised edition. Retrieved from http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/school-libraries-resource-centers/ publications/ifla-school-library-guidelines.pdf

Linquist, D. [Dikozlow](2020a, April 13). Extending my knowledge and understanding of the role and nature of school library collections. Diana’s reflective journal. https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/dijl/2020/04/13/extending-my-knowledge-and-understanding-of-the-role-and-nature-of-school-library-collections/

Linquist, D. [Dikozlow](2020b, April 26).Role and nature of school libraries. Diana’s reflective journal. https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/dijl/2020/04/26/role-and-nature-of-school-libraries/

Linquist, D. (2020c, March 5). Collection development and management. [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2. https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_44235_1&conf_id=_88816_1&forum_id=_181242_1&message_id=_2728132_1&nav=discussion_board_entry

Linquist, D. (2020d, May 12). The future of school libraries. [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2. https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_44235_1&conf_id=_88816_1&forum_id=_181254_1&message_id=_2927766_1&nav=discussion_board_entry

Linquist, D. [Dikozlow](2020e, May 12). How a collection development policy assists in future proofing the collection. Diana’s reflective journal. https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/dijl/2020/05/12/how-a-collection-development-policy-assists-in-future-proofing-the-collection/

Linquist, D. [Dikozlow](2020f, May 12). Insights from COVID-19. Diana’s reflective journal. https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/dijl/2020/05/12/insight-from-covid-19/

Linquist, D. (2020g, May 5).  Addition of digital content to collection development policy. [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2. https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_44235_1&conf_id=_88816_1&forum_id=_181291_1&message_id=_2906244_1&nav=discussion_board_entry

 

Insight from Covid-19

The COVID-19 Pandemic has been very eye-opening and life changing for everybody. In particular it has raised questions regarding the accessing of library resources. It has brought to the forefront the issue of being able to access resources remotely. Furthermore, it has created the need for libraries to have a clear direction regarding their acquisition of e-resources and the technology and skills needed for this. As a TL in training it has highlighted to me the need to move well beyond student reliance on paper based library resources into the embracing of the library collection’s e-resources. To ensure this occurs successfully it must be carefully supported by the library staff.