New models of information production

 

Photo by Matthew Guay on Unsplash

More information is produced now than ever before and is becoming increasingly entwined in our everyday lives (Bawden & Robinson, 2009, p.181). There are several characteristics  of how information is produced in these new models of information production.

The growth of the internet, world wide web and social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have enabled people to connect easily with others.

However, with the introduction of faster and easier connections comes new models of information production and perception of information. With the ever-increasing amount of information available there is a perception that information is easily provided and should be free content (De Saulles, 2012, p.33)

The effect of increased information and changes to the way information is accessed has changed the way some organisations present their information. One such example are newspapers, which have had to move some of their content online and even incorporate content from online viewers. However, this move to online services has also resulted in some content having to be paid for to cover production costs or a blurring of boundaries into more ‘popular’ content with attached adverts (De Saulles, 2012, p.23) or sponsored content (De Saulles, 2012, p.20).

With digital technologies comes the ability for organisations to reach people easily and promote their information. As Firmstone and Coleman’s (cited in DeSalles, 2014, p.18) example shows Leeds City Council has used the advent of social media to connect with people in their district. Other spaces such as libraries and museums are also connecting with their patrons via social media platforms, such as Sydney Living Museums Twitter and Facebook feeds.

There are several challenges these new models of information present for educators. These challenges are based around how to find, use and question information and give credit to other users. Challenges include but are not limited to the following:

  • Students need to be taught to question information – is there a motive other than to provide information? (is the author trying to sell something or influence the reader in some way?)
  • People need to learn how to sift through the myriad of information available (Bawden & Robinson, 2009, p.182) or they may suffer from information overload or overwhelm.
  • Some information may not be readily available to everybody – schools may have to pay for information – such as subscription services to World Book Online etc.
  • Companies such as Google and Facebook only show information they think appropriate to the user based on the user’s searches, likes etc.
  • Due to the collaborative nature of information on the internet students must question is the information true? correct? (De Saulles, 2012, p.19) or biased? For example, Wikipedia’s information may be skewed by the demographics contributing to it (De Saulles, 2012, p.32).
  • Being able to find and give correct credit to users who generate their own content that is then ‘aggreated’ by others (De Saulles, 2012, p.18).

Whilst the new models of information provide many benefits, users must be able to find the information they need and question its validity and usefulness.

What other challenges do you see occurring with new models of information production?

References:

Bawden, D., & Robinson, L. (2009). The dark side of information: overload, anxiety and other paradoxes and pathologies. Journal of Information Science, 35(2), 180–191.

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

 

 

The percieved role of the teacher librarian

Library books
Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

I am fortunate as a teacher to have worked in both high school and primary school before I became interested in working in a school library. Across the two levels of schooling I witnessed many similarities in the role of the teacher librarian (TL) and a few differences, predominately in the main key role of their duties.

The key role of the high school TL appeared to be information sourcing. Much of her time was taken up with helping students find resources for study and collecting resources for teachers – books, dvds, journals etc. She would also provide ideas for teachers for resources to match lessons. According to the New South Wales Teacher’s Federation (1993), the TL “develops, organises and manages information resources which meet the educational, cultural and recreational needs of students and the professional needs of teachers” (“professional role”, point 5) as one of their key roles.

Alternatively, the main role of the primary school librarian appeared to be more on encouraging reading. The Australian School Library Association (ASLA) highlights one of the roles of the librarian is to “maintain literacy as a high priority, engaging students in reading, viewing and listening for understanding and enjoyment” (ASLA, n.d., “Teacher librarians as curriculum leaders”). Indeed, the New South Wales Teacher’s Federation (1993) states another of the key roles the TL does is “provides experiences to encourage reading.” (“professional role”, point 4).  The TL’s I observed tried to foster/maintain students’ interest in reading by reading and discussing books etc and facilitating literacy – based competitions such as the Premier’s Reading Challenge.

A second key role of the high school teacher librarian was the responsibility for managing technology through coordinating the library computer bookings, assisting with computer and printing problems and processing printing payments.

A common role across both levels of schooling was supervision of students in the library. In primary school this mainly occurred before school (in some schools) and at lunch time (usually for children to play with computer games, toys or colour in). The high school teacher librarian also had before school and lunch supervision plus the responsibility of extra supervision of students completing open study courses and ensuring the library was quiet during senior study and examination periods in the library.

Interestingly, neither teacher librarian was thought of as a ‘real’ teacher by other teachers rather as a ‘librarian’, which perhaps stems from the easily visible roles of library administration such as borrowing, returning and shelving of resources (mostly books).

However, overall, the high school librarian seemed to be more valued as a resource than the primary school librarian. The general impression of primary school teachers was that teacher librarian is an ‘easy’ job, not really teaching and many teachers appeared to not really care what happened in library so long as they got their Release from Face to Face (RFF). The role was often also undervalued in primary school as not many teachers utilised the librarian for support with the curriculum or resources for it.

Whilst these are the main roles and perceptions that I observed about TLs, there are many more roles that go undetected. What other roles have you seen TLs carry out?

 

References:

Australian School Library Association. (n.d). What is a Teacher Librarian?. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/what-is-a-teacher-librarian

New South Wales Teachers Federation (1993). The role of the Teacher-Librarian in the School Community. Retrieved from https://www.nswtf.org.au/pages/role-teacher-librarian-school-community.html

Wait, I can’t just copy that photo?

Graphic on computer
Rubén Menárguez via Unsplash

Creative Commons

We all know about referencing and rightfully acknowledging the work of others in writing and ideas, but did you know that right of ownership extends to images as well?
So, in answer to your question you probably can’t just copy that picture and paste it into your work – it may belong to somebody else, so you had better check out the copywrite on it first.

I knew to search for copywrite free images, but I was unaware that it was called creative commons and it was polite protocol to caption creative common pictures/artworks with the author and source. On deeper thinking of the subject it only seems fair to acknowledge somebody’s work, even if they have given permission for you to freely use it for personal or commercial purposes. Plus, by giving a caption you are also allowing other people to access the source of the graphic.

There are different types of creative commons. To learn more about creative commons, visit the Creative Commons Australia website at https://creativecommons.org.au/learn or Core Education’s blog on legally using images at http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2018/05/hey-lets-be-careful-out-there-how-to-legally-reuse-images-from-the-internet.html

References:

Core Education. (2018). Hey, let’s be careful out there – How to legally reuse images from the internet. Retrieved from http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2018/05/hey-lets-be-careful-out-there-how-to-legally-reuse-images-from-the-internet.html

Creative Commons Australia. (n.d.). Learn about CC. Retrieved from https://creativecommons.org.au/learn/

A whole new world

Photo by Mark Fletcher-Brown on Unsplash

Hi everybody, welcome to this roller coaster of a ride with me as I learn the ins and outs of becoming a qualified teacher librarian. I have been through so many emotions with this course already in just one week – excitement, nervousness, overwhelm, frustration, exhilaration  –  as I learn about and explore new ideas and technology. From being a relative tech newbie to being a floundering tech user – I am now getting a handle on Twitter (well set it up at least), used padlet and now have established and am writing my first blog!

Despite mixed emotions, overall, I am looking forward to this learning process and so far have learned to just keep going and trying (baby steps, baby steps) and ask for help when I’m not sure of something.

What have you learnt so far on this journey?