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.

Case study group work insights

Working with others in a team without being able to meet physically to discuss had advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes meetings can be time consuming and not productive if the agenda is unclear, and if there is too much discussion. The advantage of not meeting physically was that we were forced to be very specific in our communication.

We were able to establish roles efficiently which meant that members knew what the expectations were. It is clear from the process that you definitely need someone who brings everything together at the end to consolidate the work. As long as roles are clearly defined and everyone knows what is expected of them then the group has a greater chance of success.

Reflective Practice

Prior to the commencement of this subject I really had only a very basic knowledge of the importance of Information Literacy (IL), and had only briefly been exposed to one IL model, namely the Guided Inquiry Design process. Now my understanding of IL and my exposure to IL models has really highlighted to me the significant role that the Teacher Librarian (TL) plays in inquiry learning and in supporting the school community.

How has My Understanding of IL expanded?

In my blog on What I can take from the discussion of Information Literacy to my role in the school I commented on the fact that I saw IL as complex, and this was reinforced to me through the fact that there is no one definition for it. It was at this point though that I began to appreciate its importance in student learning. IL, and the focus on facilitating lifelong learning so that individuals are well equipped as citizens in the modern world, resonated deeply with me. In the subject learning materials Module 5: Information Literacy I appreciated UNESCO’s view of IL as being part of the lifelong learning process and a basic human right that empowers individuals. The global interest in IL, and its support and acknowledgement by global institutions, reinforced my appreciation of its significance. As my own understanding and appreciation of IL evolves, I realise that as a teacher I’m facilitating the IL of my students everyday. However as a TL, I have the ability to influence the IL of the entire school community through my leadership and collaboration with colleagues. The fact that I only now appreciate the importance of IL means that this is not yet being addressed adequately enough by my school. As professionals who are given the responsibility of preparing and equipping students for a productive life, IL needs to be at the front and centre of our everyday work.

How has my understanding of IL models expanded?

My appreciation for what is required to successfully implement an IL model was challenged in Discussion forum 5.4a Information literacy where the question was asked: What challenges lie in the way of moving towards an integrated information literacy instruction? I commented that what Elyse McMaster wrote in the forum really resonated with me. Prior to that I had not considered the time logistics involved. Elyse wrote that the challenges included sufficient time for professional development, time for collaboration and planning and time for review. (McMaster, 2019) It was at that point that I saw this from a practical day to day school perspective, and agreed that such challenges are always present for any new program being developed and delivered. In my blog post Guided Inquiry Design I commented on the value I saw in the GID process and its benefits to students through them learning how to learn, and understanding their own learning as suggested by Kuhlthau,  Maniotes & Caspari (2012).

The TL role in inquiry learning

In  Discussion forum 4.1b: Inquiry Learning I wrote about the fact that my school is in the process of implementing Project Based Learning (PBL) for Year 7. The response to my writing made it clear that I needed to further my understanding of inquiry learning for my future role as TL. I was reminded in Judy O’Connell’s response that PBL does not equal inquiry learning, and that as TL my contribution needed to ensure that sufficient information seeking process, and correct scaffolding for students’ inquiry learning was essential. It also highlighted to me that my understanding of IL and inquiry learning is still in its infancy. As a TL my understanding will continually evolve over time, as will my experience with IL and inquiry learning. I need to be willing to adjust my thinking and practice of IL in line with new developments and in response to reflections and evaluation of school community needs. In my blog post Reflecting on Information literacy in practice.I wrote in response to Lori’ Korodajs post that detailed how the programs they use morph from year to year according to student need and feedback. I agreed that this modifying and changing of programs is a necessary role for the TL. My understanding has expanded and I now see the TL as the key promotor of IL and chief collaborator in implementing inquiry learning in schools. This was highlighted by me in Discussion forum 4.3 the TL and Curriculum where I commented on the significant role that the TL plays in guiding teachers with curriculum.


United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation. (2005) Alexandria Proclamation. Retrieved from

Kuhlthau, C. C, Maniotes, L. K., & Caspari, A. K. (2012). Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited

Guided Inquiry Design

I was reading the book by Kuhlthau, Maniotes, & Caspari,  (2012) on Guided Inquiry design and came across a sentence that has really highlighted to me the significance of this as a process ‘Because students cannot possibly learn all of the content that is known, learning how to learn and understanding one’s own learning process are more important than ever before’ (p. 1). I like the fact that this is authentic learning and involves collaboration. After all, collaboration is an essential process that occurs throughout life. Therefore it stands to reason that collaboration and fostering this within schools is useful in preparing students for life.



Kuhlthau, C.C, Maniotes, L.K., & Caspari, A.K. (2012). Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited

Reading about GID

When reading (Maniotes and Kuhlthau, 2014)  Making the shift there was one line that really stood out to me and resonated with me and my teaching practise “Typical assignments limit students’ ability to learn from a variety of sources and often result in a simple copying exercise”. I have grappled with this problem as a classroom teacher for a long time, designing tasks to try to solve this problem. However, I can now see how utilising the GID information literacy model can address this.


Maniotes, L.K, Kuhlthau, C. (2014) Making the shift. Knowledge Quest. 43(2) 8-17

Discussion essay

I had forgotten the length of time it takes to research for an essay and to write an essay. It brought back memories of the time over 20 years ago when I first studied. Despite the fact that I have over 20 years of teaching experience I felt like a novice again, and was continually questioning my abilities. I found that you really need decent slabs of time to read and do some serious preparation (which is not easy working and having a family). I did spend a lot of time thinking and processing in my head what I had read and what I wanted to say. This was in addition to the time that I had spent actually sitting and working on the task. Lots of new discoveries about learning and about myself in the process.

Discussion essay

The idea of having to compose a discussion essay for the first time in 20 years is very daunting. It has placed me in the position as a student on the other side of the classroom for the first time in 20 years. It has also given me a greater awareness of the fears that my students face when asked to complete a task. I found that the online meeting was extremely useful. Unfortunately I had already began my research, and after the meeting I realised that my track was slightly off and needed realigning. It was excellent to get that clarity about what was needed for the task. It highlighted to me the need to take the time to carefully read the task, and do careful preparation and planning even prior to beginning my research. It also reinforced to me the fact that often my students get lost at this beginning phase, and without clarifying what is needed for a task they can’t possible be on the right track. I’m really seeing a greater connection between what I’m learning and how I can relate this to my teaching.

Getting back to it

I found myself both nervous and excited as I participated in the online meeting regarding research skills. Being apprehensive is normal because of the time that has elapsed since I last studied. It gives me great insight into how students in my classes and within the school must regularly feel as they too embark on new learning experiences. It’s always interesting when the teacher becomes the student.