It’s no use going back to yesterday.

ETL 501 Critical reflection

Throughout ETL 501 I have expanded my understanding of how technology can be utilised to create locally produced resources/learning objects in schools.

21st Century (21C) Teacher Librarians (TL) need to keep up with technological opportunities to engage student learning and to support teachers in delivering curriculum and 21C learning skills. Creating and curating resources is an important part of modern librarianship due to the vast amount of information available. The TL is integral in leading staff and students in the development of Information Literacy skills, through both explicit teaching and modelling best practice.

I thoroughly enjoyed the pathfinder assessment task. Learning how to use Sway and seeing the opportunity it can provide was exciting. As discussed in Module 5.2 forum, Sway appealed to me as a vibrant, user friendly option for digital sharing.

Creating pathfinders helps to engage student learning through inquiry. The pathfinder points them in the right direction and gives examples of how to engage with information literacy. Generally this type of interactive pathfinder appeals to students as they are drawn to technology and it feels more involving than just looking at words on paper. Of course learning through technology is not something all students enjoy or find accessible so it is also important to curate physical resources to go alongside the digital.

The pathfinder I chose to create was for a Year 8 Drama class. The task requires students to present a performance in class, focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) perspectives to address the cross curricular priority of ATSI Histories and Cultures. This task had great scope for inquiry learning and enables linking inquiry practice strongly to a practical task.

In my blogpost, a reflection on flipped learning, I discuss the value of students taking responsibility for their own learning, to learn at their own pace, to deepen their knowledge and understanding through digital resources (Earp. J, 2016) but also acknowledge the need to engage in discussions and follow up activities, collaborating with peers, reshaping the knowledge to deepen their connection to the concepts. I feel the pathfinder I created in this assessment really allows for these strategies to be applied.

Creating this pathfinder was quite time consuming, ensuring (as explored in module 2.2)

  • reliability, accuracy, authority;
  • currency;
  • fairness, bias;
  • adequacy;
  • and efficiency;

Ensuring accessibility to the target audience, and incorporating design to develop an engaging format and also explaining to students how to work with the pathfinder, took time (although I enjoyed every minute of it!).

I aimed to include a range of resources that covered varying ideas within the task. The cross-curricular priority offered the opportunity to really focus on how to engage students positively in cultural awareness and sensitivities. It was important to select resources that were both age appropriate but challenged students to think deeply.

Initially I kept my wording brief and used lots of spacing to create an easy reading feel that I felt was appropriate for year 8 students, however this meant I was below the assessment word count, so I had to expand the annotations, noting to myself that in the real world I would not be driven by a word count!! Interestingly Sway only allows 150 paragraphs and I found this frustrating as I was then unable to divide information into easy to read chunks.

As discussed in module 2.3 forum I included reference to using the website evaluation model – WWWDOT. This is a straightforward, simple and easy to remember model, appropriate for the age of the students working on this task.

I can see a challenge for creating pathfinders is the amount of work required, is this possible in the real world of a school library, how much time will I have to work on this type of resource?

The time constraint of developing resources was discussed in forum 4.1b; there was much active discussion about issues related to the use of Web 2.0/3.0 by teacher librarians. Croft, T (2019), reminds us though that despite the challenges, Web 2.0/3.0 is a wonderful opportunity to improve information literacy through the provision of resources and collaboration with teachers.

I look forward to meeting these challenges, creating valuable resources and services that support 21C learning and information literacy skills, in collaboration with classroom teachers in a real world scenario!


Croft, T. (2019, June 25). 4.1b Web 2.0 and the school library. (Forum discussion). Retrieved from

Duke, N.K. (2016). Evaluating websites as information sources. Edutopia. Retrieved from

Earp, J. (2014). Teaching methods Episode 2: Flipped learning with Andrew Douch. Teacher. [Podcast].

“The best way to explain it is to do it.”

ETL 504 Reflection.

As a teacher, the skills of good leadership are both inherent and something I have honed and developed over years of experience. Applying this throughout this study and reflecting on past leadership moments through the lens of my new knowledge, considering ways I could have approached things differently, has been a great learning experience.

Working on the case studies and module readings enabled me to explore TL challenges that I hadn’t previously considered. I hadn’t deeply considered my role as a team leader and change maker, nor the possibility of resistance to change. It has opened up the possibilities of leading from the middle and being integral to dynamic teaching and learning structures within the school. Leading from the middle offers the opportunity to work with the whole school community, leading change and driving teaching and learning across the school; it is something I look forward to exploring in a real world situation.

Learning about leadership styles and considering which is  appropriate to different situations has been interesting. Initially I was swept up in the idealism of transformational leadership – as evidenced in my response to Case Study 2 – Relationships, I refer to transformational leadership  as showing increase in teachers commitment to organisational change, creating a collaborative staff culture, motivating staff, appreciating the value of teams and the benefits of project work to create a deeply connected team with the same goals. This style of motivational leadership appealed to me, it is what has worked for me in the past as a domain leader, and is what I value in my leaders. I also reflected on relationship building as a keystone to leadership in this blog post.

I have been able to see the strengths of instructional leadership, distributed leadership and servant leadership through the readings, case studies and assessment items. Different situations require different leadership which all have benefits in different ways. I did not clearly articulate this in my assessment task 1 and recognise the need to create stronger viewpoints in my work. Academic writing is not something I enjoy and is a constant challenge for me.

The case studies have made me consider how to engage those who are resistant to change and gives me confidence to enlist the support of the principal and other leadership figures as advocates. This is reflected in Case Study 6 discussion, where I propose engaging and utilising the support of the principal and leadership team. It is important for the TL to advocate for the library, but it should not be an uphill battle alone. Enrolling the principal team is an important step in implementing change in how the whole school views and engages with the library and TL.

Group work is challenging, establishing relationships is helpful when trying to collaborate, this can be difficult online, as  discovered in the case study group work. Setting up clear expectations of engagement and processes and honest communication can help ensure that group work does not become overwhelmingly frustrating. At times it is important to take the lead, at times to encourage commitment gently, and at times it’s important to step back and trust/hope others will step up. Real life situations are (in some ways) easier as there is time to build rapport and working relationships, utilising the strengths of  group member’s abilities and supporting areas of weakness.

No, south to Snud! – ETL501 reflection – flipped 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?

My learning in this subject has, like all learning, been up and down. At times I am engaged with the subject matter, inspired and motivated. At other times I am bogged down in all the reading, all the time in front of the screen.

Online learning offers me the luxury of flexible learning. I can fit study in around my work and family commitments. I can study anywhere, anytime. Or so I thought ….

What I have found is that it is more difficult than I expected.

I am often trying to find time to complete the work, complete the readings. I am often distracted and find it hard to focus.

I have a million browser tabs, and documents open and if the laptop crashes or I close something accidently, or if I get caught up in life and try to return to it a day later I lose my place, lose the flow.

My great idea of studying once my children are in bed was a fine plan but harder to execute, at the end of the day I am tired and find retaining information from reading on the screen impossible, or after a day of working on a screen I cannot possibly return to it in the evening without getting a headache and glazed eyes.

So apart from a post of complaints what have I learnt?

I have learnt that technology offers many helpful solutions to study but that it is not the most engaging to learn. That a face to face conversation can spark thoughts, reflections and ideas in a way that a forum cannot. That collaborative relationships are hard to establish via chat groups / forums etc.

A teacher can inspire, motivate and reassure in person in a way that cannot through webinars or emails. J.Earp reinforces this belief in Teacher Pocast – “Things like, I guess, wisdom and experience and being able to link concepts together, ask probing questions that encourage students to think at a deeper level, giving quality feedback

However, with balance technology can assist with learning. Flipped learning in which students take responsibility for their learning, to learn at their own pace, to deepen their knowledge and understanding through digital resources (Earp. J, 2016) and then return to class to share their learning, apply what they know and engage in discussions and follow up activities deepening their connection to the concepts can work in a positive way.

Is it harder to excite/engage students in learning when working wholly online? I think online learning can be exciting: using webinars, videos, podcasts, blogs etc opens up a wide range of stimulus for varying learning styles and that there is something online for everyone. Students are mostly very connected to the digital world – so harnessing this in a way that can assist their learning makes sense. However this needs to be deeply connected to real life connections.

I am excited to explore ways I can do this more in my own classroom and as a TL find ways to provide this opportunity to teachers.

Earp, J. (2014). Teaching methods Episode 2: Flipped learning with Andrew Douch. Teacher. [Podcast].

No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise.

ETL 501

Print Versus Digital Resources

Farmer (2014) looks at the pros and cons of digital vs physical reference material, summarising that reference material can be in many different formats, reminds us that the TL should consider the school context when making decisions about resource formats and advises that multiple formats could be used.

Farmer suggests criteria for selection could include

  • Access vs. ownership.
  • Degree of access.
  • Ease of use.
  • Features.
  • Need for supporting equipment and staff.
  • Need for timeliness.
  • Stability and archiving requirements.
  • Special needs.
  • Cost.

Human resources are another consideration Farmer suggests. In Australia  human resources, including but not limited to, First Nation information, or other more recent historical experiences – migrants, refugees etc would be invaluable.

Farmer, L. S. J. (2014). Developing resource collectionsChapter 4. In Introduction to reference and informations services in today’s school library [Rowman & Littlefield Publishers version]. Retrieved from

A cat may look at a king.

Managing In The Info Era In the knowledge-based economy, workers will be valued for their ability to create, judge, imagine, and build relationships.
By Geoffrey Colvin


How does the content of Colvin’s article relate to school libraries?

Colvin’s article relates to school libraries in that the school library is often a  hub for all the varying constituents of a school. It is often (or should be) the heart of learning, a space for collaboration and exploration.

The article gives great advice to anyone who works with, and leads others.

It acknowledges that  humans are complex creatures and that they are  ‘knowledge workers’ rather than ‘physical labourers; that organisations are regarded more like organisms than machines.’ This rings very true in relationship to schools. Teachers need further recognition of their expertise and what they offer to society, and schools are certainly a living organism!!

Teacher Librarians, and all who wish to inspire and lead must consider ‘what really attracts and motivates the best knowledge workers’, appreciate ‘the value of teams,’ the benefits of project work , how to use infotech wisely,  and the ‘flattening of hierarchies’ to create a deeply connected team working with the same goals.

“lots of people with aligned values constitute an awesome power.” An awesome quote and extremely true for schools to consider. An agreement, as a whole school, about learning and information processes based in enquiry, enables students to thrive.

“Creating, articulating, and sustaining the organisation’s values thus become one of management’s most important jobs.” The library and its staff fit within this broader organisation and must support the overall aims and values of the school community.

The article refers to ‘relationship’ as being a key factor in good management. Engaging staff, making them feel supported, heard, and appreciated. In my experience a trait all good leaders have.

“management is a human art and getting more so as infotech takes over the inhuman donkey work”. This applies not only to the management of staff but also to the management and relationship to students. We all need direct human interaction from those skilled in communication and motivation. The TL has the perfect opportunity to be a centralised point for bringing together ideas, and creating positive and supportive relationships within the school learning community.

“Most managers now seem to understand that they will find competitive advantage by tapping employees’ most essential humanity, their ability to create, judge, imagine, and build relationships.”

Module 2 quotes Mary Parker Follet stating that  management is “the art of getting work done [well] through people”. Follet subscribes to “powering with” rather than “powering over,”, and further  explains that “Leadership is not defined by the exercise of power but by the capacity to increase the sense of power among those led,

The most essential work of the leader is to create more leaders.” a quote I strongly believe should be the mantra for all leaders.

“Really, now you ask me,”

Part B: Reflective practice

Throughout this subject I have learnt a great deal about the importance of the Teacher Librarian (TL) in overseeing the library collection, and how this collection is the basis for creating a relevant, curriculum supported, valuable, unbiased 21 Century centre of information. The modern school library driven by a passionate, educated, informed and collaborative TL, a digital leader who understands the evolving nature of the information landscape.


In discussion Forum 2.2 Tonks, K.C (2019) succinctly summarises the views of Loertscher  (2017) describing the TL as a unique mix of expert classroom teacher and resourcer.


In my blog I rallied against Shatzkin, M (2016) and his alarmist view about technology replacing print. Books are here to stay, but lets embrace the joys of exciting new technology. ‘Come at me’ I typed as loudly as I could! Yet as the modules unfolded I began to see the challenges for a TL in implementing digital resources into a school library system. The challenge of keeping up with the needs of our learners in a digital landscape raises questions about curation, accessibility, currency, budget, on-demand vs subscription, school filters and staff training. As I developed my understanding of the challenges I became extremely aware that I still have a lot to learn about HOW to implement the exciting opportunities I see for use of digital resources.


Smith (2015) describes the TL as “transformational leaders” guiding school communities through the challenge “to promote shared visions for digital technology implementation” (p 212). So although challenged by HOW, I shall forge forward allowing my learning to unfold as I aim to be such a leader.


I have learnt that the development of policies that advocate for, and support the vision and goals of the school are important tools for the TL. A Collection Development Policy like the one developed by Windsor High School, as I discussed in Forum 1.2, clearly reflects the needs of students and teachers, developed specifically with the target audience / educational context in mind, establishes the library as a collaborative space that supports the development of life long learners. I have learnt the importance of the TL placing themselves as an information literacy leader, and the library as the core of learning. It is both exciting and overwhelming.


I enjoyed reading Forum 2.6 to see what was contributed as suggestions for selection aids. I have been able to create a valuable list to use through out my TL journey as I aim to build a balanced, relevant and diverse collection.


I was very interested in Module 4, Legal and Ethical Issues of Collections. Copyright is so complex and is an area students (and probably most teachers) do not fully understand. Reading all the threads in Forum 4.1 made clear the many varied implications of copyright law. It’s clear that the TL can assist in supporting the school community in this area through providing information about copyright to the school community, providing clear copyright policy, and making use of the Australian Libraries copyright committee fact sheets and more directly through advising students and providing training on how to use Creative Commons.


Module 4 also raised the issues of filters and I was pleased to read the statement “Freedom can be protected in a democratic society only if its citizens have unrestricted access to information and ideas.” ALIA Statement on online content regulation, 2002.


Further supported by the ALSA Bill of Rights which states “School libraries are concerned with generating understanding of freedom and with the preservation of this freedom through the development of informed and responsible citizens.” ASLA, 2018.


These statements also relates to Collection Development, ensuring the representation of differing viewpoints of controversial issues so that students can engage in critical analysis of issues to explore their own beliefs and attitudes, and The International Federation of Library Associations’ (IFLA) assertion that a “commitment to intellectual freedom is a core responsibility for the library and information profession.” IFLA, 2015.


This study has been a good learning curve with many things to consider about the role and nature of school library collections and policies, including areas that I need to further explore.




Australian School Library Association. (2018) Policy Statement – School Library Bill of Rights. Retrieved from


Australian Library and Information Association. (2002) ALIA on online content regulation. Retrieved from


Bechtold, F. (2019) Thinkspace blog post. Retrieved from


Bechtold, F. (2019, March 17). Forum 1.2. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website:


International Federation of Library Associations. (2015). IFLA School Library Guidelines. Retrieved from


International Federation of Library Associations. (2015). IFLA Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom. Retrieved from


Loertscher, D. V. (2017). Microdocumentation of the Impact of Teacher Librarians on Teaching and Learning. Teacher Librarian, 44(5), 44–47. Retrieved from



Cont …

Shatzkin, M. (2018) Words-to-be-read are losing ground to words-to-be-heard.  The Shatzkin Files. Retrieved from


Smith, D. (2015) Thriving in the Digital Age: Conquests, Challenges, and Thoughts on School Libraries. In Baker, D. & Evans, W. (Eds.) Digital Information StrategiesFrom Applications and Content to Libraries and People. (p. 212) Waltham, MA: Chandos


Tait, C. (2016). Windsor High School Library. Collection Management Policy. Retrieved from


Tonks K, C. (2019, March 23). Forum 2.2. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website:

“It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” –

“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.”

What a fabulous journey learning is. It reveals so many things about ourselves as we uncover new ideas, thoughts and interpret these into information we can then share with others. The course through modules and inquiry has rolled out pieces of information to chew on, slowly adding up to create new views. I have learnt that as a learner I sit uncomfortably in the space of discussion forums and blogs. The reason is enlightening to discover … I am intimidated by all the academic reflection, preferring a less formal approach, and it seems I don’t like to reflect my learning until I have all the pieces, the idea of committing developing thoughts to be shared in digital form is one that I am not fond of. I see it’s value but I recognise my internal battle to write about what I know when I know that I don’t know what I don’t know …

I began the course with a pretty open and passionate view of what libraries in the 21st century could be with an enthusiastic vision of a modern Teacher Librarian. Research wizards, literary warriors, smart leaders with a good ear for gossip and a smile for the bookworms.“ My view was a modernisation of the school library space and the TL within it, more vibrant, more interactive, embracing technology but that the heart of the school library and TL remaining the same. A space for learning, collaborating, a safe space, a social space, a place of learning and the TL as the facilitator for all of this.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

This still rings true though at the conclusion of this subject I am somewhat overwhelmed by all the new things I have learnt a TL should be and should provide to it’s school community.

The idea of the TL as an information specialist engages with my love of technology and knowledge it fuels my interest in 21C learners and how to teach them Information Literacy. I was particularly inspired by watching Changing Education Paradigms – Sir Ken Robertson.

The TL as a curriculum leader creating a difference in learning opportunities through facilitating inquiry and project based learning ignites my passion, and yet it was here that I felt the challenge began to creep in … I can feel the view teachers have of the TL role does not match the inspiring vision being proposed in this course. It makes sense, and yet I can sense there will be resistance. I feel this already when I reveal to teacher friends that I am doing this course … the confusion as they judgmentally ask ‘you want to be a librarian??’ I see a huge challenge in changing the perception of the TL role within school communities and am aware that this needs to begin with support and understanding from the principal and leadership team. The TL working collaboratively with teachers integrating IL models and support inquiry learning is both exciting and daunting. … to be honest it sounds like a lot of work to generate this type of interaction into the already running machine of a school … and admittedly my fire about the role flickers … it seems overwhelmingly an uphill battle. I know that it will be my job to advocate for the role and to offer myself as an expert, and yet I am not an expert, it’s clear to me I have a lot to learn!

The modules touched upon a range of IL models,  ‘processes that can be taught, internalised and followed whenever a person has an information need.’ (CSU, 2019).  A TL model provides the learner with a list of steps to take when exploring inquiry. I feel I’ve touched the tip of the iceberg, and looking forward to exploring this further!

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay


Judy O’Connell comes to the rescue with this comment in response to my discussion post, 5.3 b Guided Inquiry –  “Daunted is good – it means you are giving it due consideration and understanding the complexity.  Because of this you will tease out the right options and will do a great job!”

So I will take this comment into the broader context of my current overwhelm about the TL role … using it to reassure me as I  sit in this space of challenge, overwhelm and anticipation while my learning continues to unfold.

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay


Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Redefining Literacy – “I don’t know the meaning of half those long words, and, what’s more, I don’t believe you do either!”

Literacy – a term that traditionally referred to language and text. A literate person could read, write and process information with deep understanding that enabled them to use words and language to communicate ideas with ease throughout their life.

This definition generally still stands but has evolved to reach into areas of learning beyond language skills and sits in other contexts of education or life skills. The essence of the term remains the same, it’s about a basic ability to define, understand and to then use this knowledge to create and communicate.

So does the teaching of literacy change?

Education constantly changes … 21st century learners require different methods of teaching and learning. The context may change the type of literacy that is being explored but the basic definition of what it is to be literate remains consistent. Educators are more aware now of different approaches of teaching and learning and of how the term literacy refers to a a deep understanding, rather than just a regurgitation of remembered facts. Literacy takes time, it happens in stages, and evolves throughout our lives.

ACARA outlines it’s definition of literacy in the following ways

  • students become literate as they develop the knowledge, skills  to interpret and use language confidently for learning and communicating in and out of school and for participating effectively in society.
  • Literacy involves students listening to, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating oral, print, visual and digital texts, and using and modifying language for different purposes in a range of contexts.
  • Literacy encompasses the knowledge and skills students need to access, understand, analyse and evaluate information, make meaning, express thoughts and emotions, present ideas and opinions, interact with others and participate in activities at school and in their lives beyond school.
  • Success in any learning area depends on being able to use the significant, identifiable and distinctive literacy that is important for learning and representative of the content of that learning area.
  • Becoming literate is not simply about knowledge and skills. Certain behaviours and dispositions assist students to become effective learners who are confident and motivated to use their literacy skills broadly. Many of these behaviours and dispositions are also identified and supported in other general capabilities. Including students managing their own learning to be self-sufficient; working harmoniously with others; being open to ideas, opinions and texts from and about diverse cultures; returning to tasks to improve and enhance their work; and being prepared to question the meanings and assumptions in texts.


So how do we teach literacy?

We teach it broadly across the curriculum AND we teach it specifically within learning areas.


ACARA. Literacy. Retrieved from

Creative Commons – “In that direction,” the Cat said.

Teaching students how to use Creative Commons.

Using images, videos or digital content shared via Creative Common licenses allows you to legally use content in your own work.

Watch this clip as a starting point….

Using the search engine – you can find images covered by Creative Commons licenses that you can use in your projects and assignments, or your blog posts! – it’s easy ….

Firstly lets  IDENTIFY what  you want to find a picture of.  I’m going to look for an image of a Dinosaur.

Lets refine the search using a filter to LOCATE an image … Think more specifically about what type of image you want.

I am specifically looking for an image of Dinosaur bones

EVALUATE the images from the search to find the most relevant image – give it a click and you will find all the info you need to attribute it properly. This means copying the info to share with the image so we can reference the owner of the image. You may need to follow a link to verify the image and it’s licensing, once you’ve done this you can download the image, add the attribution info and APPLY the image in your work … like this …

“The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis” by Dan Keck is licensed under CC CC0 1.0  Public Domain Dedication

REFLECT – why should we use creative commons licensed images?

The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.

Information and communication 24/7 … Pro’s and Con’s

Work email on my phone.

A constant reminder of the amount of work I need to complete within an inadequate timeframe.

Facebook, a rabbithole I can fall down and waste moment after moment

Mobile phone texts and calls when I am not in the office.

A question, a musing, an argument – ‘I’ll google it’

Children searching for what type of lego they can buy … are there bears or tiger figures?  ‘Hey mum, look we can buy it online here’

It would seem that both our work and our pleasure is now always at our fingertips.

3 negatives …

  • It’s exhausting, inescapable. Those work emails intrude while I watch my daughter dancing.

Switch off. But what if it’s important?

No time to just ‘be’ to be in the moment or to sit quietly in the nothing.

It’s addictive. I can’t stop myself, any free moment I check … email, facebook, instagram, news, it’s all there and I can’t stop myself from looking. It takes me out of real life moments. 

  • Less personal enquiry or reflection, I can just look things up, no need to work things out.
  • I make errors, sometimes I’m answering emails while I distracted by life, autocorrect the destroyer of meaning …

3 positives

  • I am super informed. I can find out anything, anytime. No hesitation, immediate answers
  • I can work while I’m waiting for something … time efficiency.
  • I’m connected, in ways I never could be before.

I can see how my overseas friends are. I can chat with friends that I never have time to call.

I can quickly message ‘I love you’, ‘I’m on the way home’, ‘pour me a wine’.

My children’s teachers share photos of activities on seesaw and as I working mum I feel better. I can facetime upset children to solve the latest dilemma. Far but near, always here.


The challenge is setting our personal limitations. Being mindful of our priorities. But isn’t this case for everything in life?

Balance, self control … I’ll admit I’m still working that human trait out