ETL504 Teacher Librarian as Leader – Reflective blog

As I learnt in our case study group collaborating with others is not always easy, even if one does come willing to collaborate. Our group did not function as well as I had hoped as a collaborative group. People seemed to just work cooperatively posting their own research and people took turns volunteering to coordinate and post the case studies. Whilst we did manage to create case study pieces that were of a high standard and explored many issues, I felt that there was a synergy missing within the group. Members were friendly and communication was generally clear between postings on the blog and wiki so the dynamics may have been caused by a lack of trust and time issues or a lack of clear roles. It was only towards the end of the group work I felt the group started to trust each other enough to comment on posts and interact more. One person (not me) emerged as a clear leader within the group. She was the first to set up the blog pages and the person who set up the wikis each week for the case studies. This was a good example of servant leadership as setting up everything allowed the group to function better and start contributing each week. This person also had leadership traits of being approachable and people seemed to turn to her for advice within the group. From this group experience, I have several takeaways for the future.

  1. Working online can help with communication if somebody misses something, it also allows all to contribute.
  2. Establishing rules for deadlines also helped – for example please post superficial and deeper issues by the 5th of September.
  3. True collaboration takes trust and time to develop, I may need to review the Bastow Institute’s video on developing trust.

Even though my group wasn’t as collaborative as I had hoped, I learnt many lessons from the case studies. The standouts were scenarios that highlighted practices I hadn’t thought of before. They were:

  •  It is important to link the library outcomes and vision to the school’s outcomes and visions.
  • Promote the library to staff as well as students  – collaborate to help staff achieve their objectives. Choose 1 teacher to work with at first.
  • There are a variety of ways to promote the library.
  • And one I need to be regularly reminded of  – although we may think we can do it all, we can’t and need to work smarter not harder or we will burn out.

One area of the modules I found extremely useful was conflict management as it is not an aspect of leadership I like to deal with, as evidenced here on my blog post ‘Conflict’ (Silver, 2019, September 21).

Learning from others in the forums and thinking about my own leadership experiences has been beneficial in cementing theory into practice, such as the benefits of networking and teacher librarian conferences ( Silver, 2019, September 5).

Looking back at the subject the biggest takeaway for me is that the TL can lead from the middle in a variety of ways and I will be taking many of these ideas with me into a TL role in the future.


BastowInstitute. (2015, July 27). Building Trust and Collaboration – Tracey Ezard [Video file]. Retrieved from






Photo by Jean Wimmerlin on Unsplash

Conflict is something I think most of us try to avoid, I know I do.  However, conflict can be beneficial if dealt with quickly and correctly. Recently I took a quiz to discover my style of conflict management. The quiz compares the results to a sample of Dutch students over five conflict-handling styles  – yielding, compromising, forcing, problem solving and avoiding. Before taking the quiz I wrote down my thoughts about my style of conflict management, which was:

  • I try to avoid it at all costs
  • if I do experience conflict I try to get to the base of the problem
  • I usually will give in a bit to the other party (I suppose this could be called compromising!)
  • I look for win/win situations for both parties

As I expected I scored quite high in problem solving and avoiding. However, I was quite surprised by some of the quiz results. I scored high in yielding (giving in completely) and only moderate on compromising. I also had a moderate preference for forcing (winning at the other’s expense) which I didn’t think I did but perhaps this is to offset the strong preference for yielding.  It seems from this test score that I have some more work to do on conflict handling to get to my ideal handling preferences which would include more compromising and less yielding and forcing. For those of you that get nervous when dealing with conflict (i.e. confronting the person), Judy Ringer’s website has an excellent article on how to approach this.


McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings. (2018). Self-Assessment 11.4: What is your preferred conflict handling style? Retrieved from

Ringer, J. (n.d.). We have to talk: A step-by-step checklist for difficult conversations. Retrieved from


Image by John Hain from Pixabay

According to (Johnston, 2015, p.39) when parties collaborate, they create more resources and ideas than they could produce individually. Many teachers believe that they collaborate with other teachers and their students collaborate with each other, but mostly this is just cooperation. For a difference between cooperation and collaboration refer to my post ‘Collaboration and cooperation‘.

TLs put the skills they teach into practise when they collaborate with other teachers by providing skills and knowledge to complement the classroom teacher’s contributions (Ray, 2018. p.27). Before commencing the Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship) my efforts to collaborate with teachers were limited.  I tried to collaborate by integrating language into the Geography unit (China) for Stage 2 and purchasing extra resources for Stage 3 Geography (Japan) and looking up web resources and sending links to teachers about Japan.  Due to past culture in the school, the library was avoided by teachers and under-utilised. As a new teacher to the school, it took a long time for staff to trust me enough to start approaching me to ask for resources. Looking back on that experience with what I know now I could have approached things differently. In the future, I will take it a step further and actively invite teachers to work with me. Next time I am in a situation where the TL and resources are under-utilised I will start following Lewis’ suggestion (2016, p.19) by identifying one teacher to approach to work collaboratively with. We would plan the unit together, integrating my skills of general capabilities (ICT and CCT) and inquiry learning with the teacher’s curriculum knowledge. Responsibilities for assessment would be discussed and a unit evaluation with the teachers and students held to improve the program next time. Finally, I would present with the collaborating teacher at a staff session to showcase the collaboration learning outcomes and evaluation to demonstrate how the TL can help with student outcomes and achievements. If you would like to read more about collaboration Staying Cool in the Library has several great pointers for collaborating with teachers.

How do you collaborate with others?


Johnston, M. P. (2015). Distributed Leadership Theory for Investigating Teacher Librarian Leadership. School Libraries Worldwide, 21(2), 39–57. doi: 10.14265.21.2.003

Lewis, K (2016). The school librarian and leadership: What can be learned? Teacher Librarian, 43 (4), 26-29. Retrieved from

Ray, M. (2018). Leadership suits me. Teacher Librarian, 46 (2), 26-29. Retrieved from

Staying Cool in the library. (2018, August). 6 tips for teacher/librarian collaboration [blog post]. Retrieved from:

What is a leader?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
There are many people who are leaders, some are good, some are not. I think all leaders have one trait in common – confidence. It is not a trait I readily apply as I am sometimes very shy, especially in new situations. I prefer to sit back and observe people first but I find when working in groups there is always one person who wants to be the boss, wants to take control. This is what I have observed about leaders so far. A leader is somebody who can get people to do things, to apply to their wants and desires.
A good leader:
  • gets the best out of people.
  • is somebody who can create a harmonious interaction where people feel that they can voice their opinions/ideas without worry of being ridiculed.
  • encourages new ideas
  • encourages more efficient methods of doing things
  • ensures people are trained to the best of their capabilities
  • listens to others
  • Provides sincere, specific praise
  • thanks people in the team for their effort
  • is able to make decisions and takes accountability of the decisions.
  • are polite
A bad leader:
  • is sarcastic and belittling
  • gets work done through fear/threats
  • doesn’t listen to ideas – cuts people off, talks over the top of them
  • uses other people’s ideas as their own
  • doesn’t praise effort/work
  • blames other people if things don’t work out
 In my last appointment as a relieving teacher librarian (TL) I was definitely not a leader – very few people communicated with me about the library, I was not invited to any strategic planning meetings (such as literacy) and had very little influence. I think this was affected by ‘being an outsider’ – not known at that school before or knew any of the teachers, temporary appointment and past perceptions of the TL’s role and importance. I did find that towards the end of the year as I developed deeper relationships staff began to use the library more by requesting resources, however, by then my appointment was finishing. I think if I was permanent I could have built on these relationships more and encouraged greater use of the library and the TL.  I am hoping through this course I will become more confident in leadership and be able to apply leadership skills more readily.
How do you feel about your leadership skills?

INF532 Assessment 3 – Part B (a) – an evaluative statement

The life cycle of information has changed and this impacts on the way people interact. Traditionally it was the teacher who was the source of information and knowledge, now it is a user to user production. Information production is increasing (Bawden & Robinson, 2009, p.181), social networks and web 2.0 tools make connecting with other easier. An expanding digital network will increase access to resources, information, and knowledge within the classroom by interacting with others (Thomas & Brown, 2011, p.17).

Information (Silver, 2019a) has changed, it is now produced and shared by a variety of means. This has implications for end users, in how they interpret the information and credit it. These factors will become more of an issue in the future as knowledge creation becomes more socially constructed.

Being able to locate and evaluate a range of innovative online tools and spaces for creative knowledge production and learner engagement are important skills for a connected educator. Skype  (Silver, 2019b) is one learning tool that can be used to introduce authentic learning to students and increase learner engagement. The post also identifies extra Skype sites plus suggestions for other apps that could be used instead of Skype. Twitter, Google Docs and Google classroom also have benefits as a communication tool for students to collaborate.

Another learning space offered by connected educators is the flipped learning approach as detailed here (Silver, 2019, c)  which could prove beneficial in a library setting. This would work particular well for skills such as referencing, how to access and use catalogues and demonstrations on how to use digital tools. Using this model of teaching would then free up library time to hold in-depth discussions and allow for more collaborative or individual work, depending on the learner’s needs.

Online tools that have been used for creative knowledge production include Powtoon and Screencastify, which were evaluated here  (Silver, 2019,d).

Whilst a small suite of new tools has been established there has been exposure to many new types of tools not heard of/used before. For information management Diigo  (Silver, 2019e) has proved a useful cloud-based bookmarking and tagging tool for online sources. However, the full range of Diigo for knowledge networking has not been used, content could be set for public rather than private . Tweetdeck (Silver, 2019f) has been recently utilised for the organisation of information from Tweets, allowing for a greater ease of access to content and categorising of information. New media tools used for content creation include recording from the screen of a mobile and Screencastify and Powtoon. The screen recording on a mobile was utilised to make blog posts about Twitter bookmarks (Silver, 2019g) and give a visual overview of Pinterest (Silver, 2019h). Powtoon and Screencastify were used to create a digital artefact on ‘Using Twitter for beginners to establish a personal learning network’. (Silver, 2019d).

I have as a connected educator also assisted other collegues with their teaching by introducing relevant up-to-date material related to their current subject area being studied in class (Silver, 2019i).

Being able to build on knowledge networking is important to strengthen school-based classroom engagement. At the beginning of the course in my blog on a new culture of learning (Silver,2019j) I stated I felt unconfident in my ability to provide collaborative learning opportunities to my students but hoped with the establishment of my own collaborative network this will change over time. I now feel more confident about introducing knowledge networking strategies to strengthen school-based classroom engagement and learning through intentional and reflective online instructional design. (Silver, 2019b) showed how knowledge networking can be used to strengthen school-based classroom engagement, elements of this such as backchannelling and Skype calls could be utilised in library to give student’s access to authors or experts in the field. Calls can be scheduled from experts of all areas, from authors, scientists and museums. Skype could also be used for virtual field trips and to practise an important information skill of being able to spot fake news.

The digital artefact was created to help educators establish and expand their personal learning networks. Through the use of the digital artefact  (Silver, 2019d) information was able to be presented in a manner that was easily accessible to educators and the examples given allowed them to relate the content within context of their own lives and assisted with knowledge production. Twitter was used to broadcast the artefacts Url on YouTube for more educators to view.

Utilising a PLN  (Silver, 2019k) through Twitter and following blogs from colleagues and prominent educators has helped deliver ideas for professional enhancement including guidelines on developing questioning, connectivity in the classroom and personal knowledge management on curation tools, such as Evernote and Pearltrees. Collective intelligence has been enhanced by practises through the sharing of Tweets within #INF532 related to course material (link Twitter blog, add detail to blog). I am sure my PLN will be able to benefit me in the future and I them.

Through blog posts the learning objects have been able to be met, some in more detail than others.



Bawden, D., & Robinson, L. (2009). The dark side of information: overload, anxiety and other paradoxes and pathologies. Journal of Information Science35(2), 180–191. Retrieved from

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). Arc-of-Life learning. In A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change (pp. 17-33). Lexington, KY: CreateSpace.

Silver, T. (2019a, March 20). New models of information production [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019b, May 21). Supporting the connected learner with Skype [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019c, May 22). Flipped learning [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019d, May 22). Making my digital artefact [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019e, May 21). Some curation tools reviewed [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019f, May 25). Tweetdeck [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019g, May 21). How to save a bookmark on Twitter mobile app [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019h, May 21). A visual overview of Pinterest [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019i, May 25). Twitter – an update [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019j, March 20). A new culture of learning? [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019k, May 20). What is a PLN? [blog post]. Retrieved from




INF532 Assessment 3 – reflective statement

Currently I am not working in teaching, so have been unable to directly apply the studies to a teaching situation. Last year I had a one-year appointment as teacher librarian at a NSW Department of Education K-6 primary school so have some knowledge of a library environment. Although current circumstances restrict my being able to implement tools and strategies learnt in the course, I have applied them as I would in the future as a full time teacher librarian.

The main enlightening idea from INF532 is that knowledge is created in social context (Innovative Learning, 2009). The internet is expanding at a rapid rate and web 2.0 tools allow for greater facilitation of the social context through user to user interaction (Silver, 2019a) . It is through these tools and module readings that learning has occurred, with ideas clarified through interaction with others. Before this, the predominant belief was that students learnt best from face-to-face teaching.

INF532 has proved challenging in so many ways. Overcoming fear of being ‘open’ and putting opinions and presence in digital spaces with strangers, worrying about criticism and privacy.

Concepts not thought of before starting this course, such as digital networking, how it works, why it is important and how knowledge can be created, shared and leveraged through it have been explored. An understanding of how networks  operate (Silver, 2019b) and the importance of nodes on networking including strong and weak ties (Oddone, 2016) has been gained.  Networking has been able to be used to establish a personal learning network (PLN) through the social networking service (SNS) Twitter. When the author first began using Twitter they were apprehensive and lurked around for a while (Silver, 2019c). Eventually connections began with others by commenting on their Tweet to say ‘thanks’. The authors PLN  currently follows 70 people and has 9 followers, which although small, has a diversity of people from Australia and overseas, including 2 people from INF532, an educational author, consulting company and educator Kathleen Morris. Knowledge shared on the PLN has assisted in creating content, for example theTweet below was a result of a Tweet from @Tonyvincent, which had value added and retweeted by the author.

There has been a growth in knowledge of content curation and the value of it to find, capture and add value to information to share with others (Silver, 2019d). The use of networking through connecting with other’s blogs has resulted in an increased awareness of digital networking tools, for example Twitterdeck on Karen Attkinson’s blog post  on Twitter (Attkinson, 2019). Twitterdeck was then able to be implemented to organise content and information flow.

Web 2.0 tools that allow for constructive collaboration have been experimented with. These include blogging, Twitter, discussion forums and the course Padlet. Reflections on case studies  (Silver, 2019e) have enabled the realisation of how Web 2.0 tools can enable authentic learning experiences for students which connect with the learning, each other and the wider community.

The concept of flipping learning has also been inspiring. Despite having heard of this concept the finer details of it’s history and examples of other educators use of it were unexplored. Through sharing his experiences on his blog (Burns, 2018) I have gained a better appreciation of the concept and how it can be created and applied to teaching practises. I would like to try flipped learning in a library (Silver, 2019f).

Digital tools have been learnt and used to create new content, such as the digital artefact ‘Using Twitter for beginners to create a personal learning network’ (Silver, 2019g) which was created using the tools of Powtoon and Screencastify. These tools could also be used in future teaching and learning experiences. Although, more tools were investigated and trialled they were not blogged about (such as Voki, Pearl trees and Spiderscribe). This is an area that needs improvement in the future.

Collaboration with the world occurs through Twitter, the creation of the digital artefact was designed to increase knowledge networking and as such was sent out via my Twitter PLN. To further expand as a global connected educator more exploration of how to connect with other educators is required, such as those listed by Lindsay (2019, slide 73).

Overall, INF532 has taught me where to look for information and how important it is to work collaboratively to create new knowledge and build upon it and share it through various mediums for all to learn. With this knowledge I can confidently reach out to more people in my growth as a connected educator.




Atkinson, K. (2019, May 20). Let the tweeting begin [blog post]. Retrieved from

Burns, M. (2019, January 22). Flipping my primary classroom [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Digitalang (2012, February 21). How to build your PLN (Personal Learning Network). Retrieved from

De Saulles, M. (2012). New models of information production. In Information 2.0: new models of information production, distribution and consumption. Facet Publishing.

Lindsay, J. (2019). Global vision, global learning – Becoming an education change-maker [slideshow]. Retrieved from

Oddone, K. (2016, September 5). Networks, networking and network literacy – Part 1 [Blogpost]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019a, March 20). New models of information production [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019b, May 20). Networks [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019c, May 21). An exploration into Twitter [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019d, May 21). Curators – seeing the big picture [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019e, May 21). Supporting the connected learner with Skype [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019f, May 22). Flipped learning [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019g, May 22). Making my digital artefact [blog post]. Retrieved from






ETL401 Assessment 3 – part C – a critical reflection

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

My understanding of information literacy (IL), IL models and the role of the TL in inquiry learning has grown immensely during ETL401. At the beginning  I believed  IL was being able to read and write. However, my understanding progressed (Silver, 2019a) as I became aware that IL was the ability to find, evaluate and use information (Loftis, 2015). I also learnt digital natives need to be specifically taught how to use digital tools for information needs (Coombes, 2009, p.36). Furthermore, I  gained an understanding of different types of literacies, including digital, ICT and networked . However, IL is far more than that ,  IL also needs to include ethics, an ability to critically evaluate information and include critical thinking skills. My greatest learning moment was- to be fully literate, a person needs to be able to make meaning from the information (Combes, 2016). There are many elements that make up IL, it is complex and  much more than just being able to read and write.

Previously I was aware of the NSW ISP IL model. I now have a more thorough understanding of a range of research based information literacy models and how they help students (Silver, 2019c).

I was surprised with the research by Chen, Huang and Chen (2017), summarised in Forum 4.1a (Silver, 2019d) that inquiry based learning through IL models (in this case Big 6 and Super 3) helped low to mid ability students to achieve better results. Previously I believed  IL models were most beneficial for high academic performers, I  now see the benefit of IL models for all students. It also highlighted to me the importance of creating an information literacy continuum for student growth and achievement.

I  identified with Yvette Stile’s (2019) blog post on IL units . After reading  Yvette’s lightbulb moment I realised my teaching of the NSW ISP model was aimed primarily at content. I shared on forum 5.3b (Silver, 2019e) that I had focused too much on content but it was the process of learning the elements of the ISP model that was important. My teachings had been driven by the end content, which had created a disengagement from the process by the students. I was able to identify with the affective elements for the stages of the ISP process (Todd, Kuhlthau & Heinstrom, 2005) in finding and using information for assessment two (Silver, 2019f).

In the beginning I knew very little about inquiry learning. As the course  progressed, I have learnt several factors required for the TL to be able to promote inquiry learning. To begin with, the TL needs to collaborate with other teachers, which is impacted by perceptions of the TL (Silver, 2019g), and the expectations of the Principal (Silver, 2019h).

I now understand that the TL has a role to support students to gain deeper understanding and knowledge in inquiry learning (Silver, 2019e), rarely should they be “going it alone” (Kuhlthau, Maniotes, & Caspari, 2012). One way this may be achieved is by helping student’s in their ‘zone of proximal development’. Although I have learnt a great deal about IL there is still a large scope for broadening and deepening my knowledge in this field.



Cheng, C.C., Huang, T. & Chen. Y. (2017). The effects of inquiry-based information literacy instruction on memory and comprehension: A longitudinal study. Library & Science Information Research, 39(4), 256-266. Retrieved from

Combes, B. (2009). Generation Y: Are they really digital natives or more like digital refugees? Synergy, 7(1), 31-40. Retrieved from

Combes, B. (2016). Information: change and issues [webinar]. Retrieved from

Loftis,E. (2015). Information literacy [Video file]. Retrieved from:

Kuhlthau, C., Maniotes, L., & Caspari, A. (2012). Guided Inquiry Design: A Framework for Inquiry in Your School. Retrieved from Proquest Ebook Central.

Silver, T. (2019a, April 22). My increasing awareness of the role of the TL [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019b, May 24). What is information literacy? [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019c, May 24). Information literacy models [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019d, May 10). Forum 4.1a: Search activity [online discussion comment]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website:

Silver, T. (2019e, May 20). Forum 5.3b Guided Inquiry [online discussion comment]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website:

Silver, T. (2019f, April 22). The research rollercoaster [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019g, March 14). The perceived role of the teacher librarian? [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019h, April 22). Collaboration and cooperation [blog post]. Retrieved from

Stiles, Y. (2019, May 20). Two false starts and a light bulb [blog post]. Retrieved from


Using Twitter – an update

Image sourced from

I found connecting with people to form my PLN was a bit like being a detective. You just need one lead to point you in the right direction. Mine started , with this article from Jenny Luca (2012). After reading Luca’s article I chose some educators from her list and looked at their profiles and followed a few. These people included:

I started small by following a few people from the list plus some colleagues from my university course. I saw people they followed on their profile or people they had retweeted from. I started by lurking around, observing how things worked, bookmarking tweets that could be useful later on for teaching or reading further. One day I took the leap and retweeted an interesting tweet to our course hashtag #INF532. Somebody in our course responded! I learnt how add my own tweets, to send a Tweet with links from articles and web sites I came across that I thought would be beneficial to my PLN.

One retweet about the tool Wakelet resulted in the original Tweeter tweeting me to offer assistance if I needed it. It was it amazing to connect with others for the first time who I didn’t directly know.

At first, I found Twitter totally overwhelming, with a constant information source coming in, however a suggestion from Rhiengold (2010) that we need to be focused on what we pay attention by choosing what we look at in Twitter helped decrease my concern. I was feeling extremely overwhelmed with trying to keep up with the amount of information coming in but now I am being more selective of what I look at (or mostly bookmark to read later). Perez (2012) also gives advice that even if you can’t keep up with the information stream reading for a short amount of time (5-10 minutes) a day is better than avoiding it altogether. I have since discovered Tweetdeck to be a great tool. Read about my experiences with it here (Silver, 2019).

I often use this advice to just have a quick look when I feel overwhelmed and I’m glad I do. I have found so many useful resources to practical application and to expand my learning and thinking. I have even been able to use Twitter to assist another teacher to bring relevant, real time resources to their student’s learning. I was able to send the teacher links to articles about recent scientific discoveries that came up in my Twitter stream. I’ve started following some hashtags such as #ditchbook which provides fabulous ideas from educators around the world.

I now find my Twitterstream one of the most valuable sources of information and ideas, it certainly is a valuable tool for educators.

Just when I felt comfortable with using Twitter, I have taken another leap into the unknown and Tweeted my digital artefact (Silver, 2019) to my PLN. I know it has been retweeted. I feel extremely apprehensive about how it will be received because although I think the content is good I was not totally satisfied with the finished product.

Are there any people or hashtags you particularly like to follow on Twitter?



Luca, J (2012, October 27). Personal learning networks [web article]. Retrieved from

Perez, L (2012). Innovative Professional Development: Expanding Your Professional Learning Network. Knowledge Quest, 40(3), 20-22. Retrieved from

Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention, and Other 21st-Century Social Media Literacies. Educause Review45(5), 14 -24. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019, May 25). Tweetdeck [blog post]. Retrieved from

Silver, T. (2019, May 22). Making my digital artefact [blog post]. Retrieved from




I was inspired to give Tweetdeck a go after reading Karen Atkinson’s (2019) blog post about Twitter. It was easy to install, I just googled ‘Tweetdeck’ and a link came up to log in to in Tweetdeck (note: I am already registered for Twitter), or you can go straight to it at

Immediately I can see the benefits of using it. I previously used the Twitter app on my phone but found it difficult to see replies to my posts etc. With Tweetdeck I have a column on notifications and can easily see who has responded to me. I also have a column @mentions where I can see who has mentioned my handle in their Tweets.

Tweetdeck set up with notifications and mentions

Setting up columns for searches makes following hashtags easier and I found the columns easy to move around and re-arrange.

Tweetdeck set up to show hashtags being followed

I’m not as advanced as Karen as to do analysis but I can see the benefit it could have in the future, particularly for seeing which curated content you sent out is most popular.

Tweetdeck is a great way to keep Tweets organised and assist you in staying up to date and on top of the information.


Atkinson, K. (2019, May 20). Let the tweeting begin [blog post]. Retrieved from

Making my digital artefact

For our 2nd assessment task we had to create a digital artefact on an aspect of networking. I decided to make a Powtoon and Screencastify presentation for my digital artefact on ‘Using Twitter for beginners to establish a personal learning network’. It is posted on Youtube here (Silver, 2019).

Here is the Powtoon component:

and the Screencastify section:


The artefact was created to help educators establish and expand their personal learning networks, so that they may gain from knowledge networking. The instructional aspects were created in PowToon and Screencastify and access made available on the world wide web via YouTube so it may be accessed by more people. PowToon was chosen as the platform for the digital artefact for several reasons. It is attention grabbing with its use of cartoon animations, which are a non-threatening way of communicating and allow viewers to be receptive to information (Spitalnik, as cited in Martin & Martin, 2015, p. 46). There is the ability to import audio, image and video files to the presentation. It offers flexibility in placement of elements within slides such as when elements are introduced and length of slides. The combination of narration and graphics increases the viewer’s information retention, more than if solely graphics and texts were used (Mayer, as cited in Martin & Martin, 2015, p. 52).However, there were restrictions with using Powtoon for the artefact. A major limitation of the free account was the set time constraints – 20 seconds for voice recordings and a maximum of 3 minutes for the total presentation, which led to some flat spots in the audio and some text crowding.

Screencastify (a Chrome extension) proved relatively easy to use, although  some features such as editing had to be googled and time had been taken to learn how to export it . It was used as a visual means of demonstrating how to use Twitter for those learners who are visual learners.

Difficulties were experienced in the creation of the artefact which impacted on its functionality. The initial design included a Screencastify clip demonstrating how to use Twitter on the desktop. However, the artefact was not able to be created as intended as PowToon required video to be in an MP4 format but the exportation of video in this format is not available on the free version of Screencastify. Although not ideal, this was addressed by adding links via YouTube to the Screencastify recording.

Other problems included the audio of the presentation lacking some clarity, which may have been rectified by the use of a plugin microphone rather than using the computer’s built in microphone. ‘Dead’ spots of audio are also visible in the middle of the presentation, I’m not sure why this is as each clip plays OK individually.

Hosting on YouTube enabled the artefact to be viewed by the general public. and contribute to global networking knowledge by demonstrating to educators how to use Twitter and build their PLN in the future.


Martin, N. A. & Martin, R. (2015). Would you watch it? Creating effective and engaging video tutorials. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 9(1-2), 40-56. doi: 10.1080/1533290X.2014.946345.

Silver, T. (2019). Using Twitter for beginners to establish a personal learning network . Retrieved from