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!

References

Croft, T. (2019, June 25). 4.1b Web 2.0 and the school library. (Forum discussion). Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42382_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78885_1&forum_id=_160466_1&message_id=_2335390_1

Duke, N.K. (2016). Evaluating websites as information sources. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/evaluating-websites-as-information-sources-nell-k-duke

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

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 http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/reader.action?ppg=52&docID=1664627&tm=1499996228722