ETL504: Assignment 2 Part B – Reflection

What Makes A Good Leader? A question asked at the beginning of term that has ballooned throughout the course. Initially, my understanding was particular qualities possessed by leaders were crucial to being a good leader, however, my own experiences throughout this term, the module content and the case studies have shaped my increased understanding of leadership.

I discussed in my own personal experiences of missing our school principal because of his humour and that was a quality that made him a good leader (Bernard, 2020a), however, my understanding has grown to know that humour in itself is not the quality of great leadership. My principal is missed because he was an inspirational leader who had a strong strategic plan and sense of direction for the school. We were able to function as a family unit because he adopted a flexible transformational leadership style that worked for the voices within his school community. He ensured we were focused on our direction, and that was the improvement of our students. When he left, so did his direction and understanding of leadership.

This course through both content and case studies have developed my understanding of how teacher librarians can be leaders and the skills necessary to fulfil this important role. Module 6 taught me that teacher librarians are in the optimal position to enact change for students, teachers and the wider school community. Teacher librarians support the diverse needs of students and foster an environment that encourages and celebrates innovation, creative thinking and exploration (American Association of School Librarians, 2013). Since teacher librarians are often lone figures within the school community, this provides ample opportunity for collaboration between teachers and students, drawing attention to the goals of the school, providing quality education to all.

Working in Group 7 for the case studies highlighted the importance of communication skills in any leadership team. With dwindling numbers and outside forces playing havoc on the mind, it was hard to stay motivated, however, Nicola provided our group with direction and positive authority (Walmsley, 2020). Case Study 4 (Bernard, 2020b) provided us with an opportunity to apply change management processes through a SWOT analysis of the rapidly changing nature of schools due to COVID and the necessity for leaders to inspire innovative thinking within all members. The case studies encouraged us to think reflectively, a key trait for leaders, on the events unfolding and how to flexibly respond to them.

The case studies highlighted three crucial areas of leadership needed to be successful. Communication is necessary in any group, however, open and active channels of communication need to be utilised. Leaders are fundamental in fostering the environment in which these channels can grow.

Strategically planning is required to achieve any goal. Leaders are able to inspire, delegate and support all individuals to ensure the focus of the goal is at the forefront and the team are working efficiently to reach it.

Collaboration is a fundamental component to strategic planning. Leaders promote environments that encourage collaboration and celebration of team successes to motivate each member.

References

American Association of School Librarians. (2013). Empowering Learners: Guidelines for school library programs. American Association of School Librarians.

Bernard, P. (2020a). What make a good leader [Blog]

https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/paigespages/2020/03/09/what-makes-a-good-leader/

Bernard, P. (2020b). Case study 4 Forum: Case study 4 Thread: Case study 4, group 7.

https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_44236_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_88817_1&forum_id=_180720_1&message_id=_2918066_1

Walmsley, N. (2020). Nicola Walmsley – Teacher Librarian [Blog]

https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/nicolawalmsleyblog/

INF533: Assessment 4: Part C: Critical Reflection

Word Count: 750

Originally when approaching this subject, Literature In Digital Environments, I had a basic understanding that technology and books combined are eBooks, however, eBooks would not take over the publishing industry. Throughout this course I have explored the vast nature of digital literature, the ebb and flow of trends, the impact of digital storytelling and interactive texts can have on both teaching and learning as well as how to create these stories and implement them within the classroom myself. In my Introduction Post to the unit I noted my limited knowledge and practices, however, I failed to note my hesitation towards implementing digital literature as I was unaware of what is considered quality literature.

Throughout this course I have constantly referred to Serafini & Young (2013) because the article left a resounding understanding of what digital texts look like and what they offer in the classroom. The importance of having quality literature and pedagogies that allow students to explore the 4 areas mentioned by Serafini & Young has shaped the way I teach and the way I look at digital literature.

In Assignment 1 I did not understand the extensiveness of digital formats out there and stuck with limited choices rather than expanding my search and utilizing the time to find outstanding texts for my classroom. Digital literature provides a lot of choice for teachers to select from, however, the course has provided us with the resources and tools to select quality criteria (Walsh, 2013; Yokota & Teale, 2014) and as a result quality literature. Reflecting on my choices I regret not expanding into the wider web and selecting quality websites that engage students on a deeper level and provide more opportunities for controlling the narrative as there are numerous categories of digital narratives (Groth, 2018) that I was unaware of and unwilling to explore.

Another reference that has resonated with my understanding of digital literature is Tackvic (2012). Tackvic highlights the importance of teaching digital literature in a way that students can utilize the skills and technologies in a variety of circumstances as these will pave the way for students being 21st century citizens. Students need to understand the fundamental skills and advance their technology tools to maintain their role in a technology driven and focused world. Knowing how crucial it is that students have the capabilities to source their own information, read and create digital literature to share and analyse and to develop their own unique outlook on the digital world encourages the use of quality, authentic and numerous digital experiences that allow students to explore the digital world in an engaging way.

Tackvic (2012) discusses that through digital platforms, students can find the process of writing less challenging and more engaging. A great example being utilized in my classroom is Pobble365 where students select an image, discuss with a friend and then write a narrative in GoogleDocs and submit the narrative within the session. Students locate their own inspiration or be guided by the teacher’s choice. Digital photos have opened avenues for creativity and unique expressions of self that may have been more challenging to create by hand originally.

Alexander (2011) discussed how narratives have changed and examples of how storytelling occurs in the digital world. Alexander provided an understanding of the various forms that storytelling can be found and helped to create a framework of the ways in which students can explore narratives in a new perspective. Shifting the perspective from consumer to creator allows students to become collaborators and producers of creative narratives (Mills & Levido, 2011) that express themselves  in unique light.

 

One area that I am working to improve on is the implementation of copyright with digital texts. For the Digital Storytelling Project, I thought my idea was sound, however, creating a digital product is not a remake and I had failed to think of the copyright stance of creating a digital remake. Digital texts commonly use other sources and materials, but issues can be rectified with knowledge and learning. Teaching creative commons licensing and the importance of referencing correctly assist students in developing a better understanding and avoidance of major issues (Agnew, 2009).

This course has expanded my knowledge of digital narratives in multiple ways and I am thankful that my pedagogies have shifted to meet the needs of my students, co-workers and wider community.

Part C References:

Agnew, G. (2009, September 3). Restrictions of digital rights management [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/aRfX2gPwXMo

Alexander, B. (2011). Storytelling: A tale of two generations, Chapter 1. In The new digital storytelling: Creating narratives with new media. ABC-CLIO. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/reader.action?docID=678297&ppg=20

Bernard, P. (2019, July 28). INF533 Assignment Post 1 [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/paigespages/2019/07/28/assignment-post-1/

Groth, S. (2018, May 20). Still defining digital literature [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thewritingplatform.com/2018/05/still-defining-digital-literature/

Mills, K.A., & Levido, A. (2011). iPed: Pedagogy for digital text production. The Reading Teacher, 65(1), 80-91, doi: 10.1598/RT.65.1.11

Serafini, F., & Youngs, S. (2013) Reading Workshop 2.0. Reading Teacher. 66(5), 401-404.  https://org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1002/TRTR.01141.

Tackvic, C. (2012). Digital storytelling: Using technology to spark creativityThe Educational Forum, 76(4), 426.

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

Yokota, J. & Teale, W. H. (2014). Picture books and the digital world: educators making informed choices. The Reading Teacher, 34(6). Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/3886534/Picture_Books_and_the_Digital_World_Educators_ Making_Informed_Choices

Module 2.2: Challenges of using digital literature in the classroom

There is an enormous difference between facility with technology and being able to engage with the content of digital literature. How can you alter your pedagogy to ensure technology and digital literature is embedded in your educational practices?

The alterations need in my pedagogy needs to focus on the quality of the literature being used within the classroom. Technology can be used as a ‘hook’ for student engagement, however, if this hook provides no other value than novelty then the technology isn’t being utilised to its fullest capacity. Digital literacy and inquiry tasks need to have substance and provide students with connections to larger contexts. As discussed by Serafini & Young (2013) the opportunities to have quality digital experiences surrounding literature can be accessed through the reading, sharing, discussing and analysing activities and lessons, but they need to provide value to the students. Context and the ability to apply skills in a range of situations, especially from digital environments is crucial to teach to students. The challenge is finding the balance with engaging students and providing them the quality opportunities to expand their learning and love of literature.

Serafini, F., & Youngs, S. (2013) Reading Workshop 2.0. Reading Teacher. 66(5), 401-404.  https://org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1002/TRTR.01141.

Module 2.1: Digital environments

Think about your own journey as an educator – what has changed in your teaching practice over the course of your career with regards to technology use and literature? Is that change embedded at a core level, or is it a matter of changing tools?

Having only graduated at the end of last year my teaching career hasn’t been a long one so far, however I am still learning and growing in terms of technology use and combining literature with technology. I got placed on a 3/4 class at the beginning of the term and their use of technology was amazing. I quickly got up to scratch on utilising Google Classroom and how to incorporate digital technology in any form of lesson. I had not heard of Wushka before and the students really enjoy reading texts from the Chromebooks. Students also have a Chromebook each, which was unheard of in any of my other teaching experiences. Students engage with literature in a different way and are able to access thousands of stories at a drop of a hat.

My teaching practice has to evolve to incorporate the teaching of new formats and teaching students how to develop their own multimodal texts, which is part of the English syllabus. I also utilise Seesaw which is an app where students can record themselves discussing literature and share that with members of the class, creating a stronger sense of meaning and formatting their ideas to be vocally coherent. The change is not a matter of tools but understanding and teaching students how to engage with this new format that is constantly evolving. Serafini & Youngs (2013) discuss how students are still decoding language, however, the structures and formats being presented are different and teachers need to ensure students have the skills to understand these changes. Sharing, such as on Seesaw, has also become global and students are able to participate in social situations to share, discuss and analyse texts online. I am an active consumer of ‘BookTube’ and discuss novels frequently with friends all over the world and I would like to incorporate it more in my classroom next term.

Serafini, F., & Youngs, S. (2013) Reading Workshop 2.0. Reading Teacher. 66(5), 401-404.  https://org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1002/TRTR.01141.

Module 1.1: Evaluating digitally reproduced stories

After completing the above readings, consider Walsh’s chapter, and share your knowledge, understanding and experiences with digital narratives in the subject forum. What are the key points of synergy that you have encountered? What are the differences?

My experiences of utilising digital narratives is extremely limited. I am familiar with the ‘traditional literature re-presented in a digital space’ (Walsh, 2013) and have viewed Dust Echoes before but did not understand the value or consider the website as literature. Digital narratives feel overwhelming due to the various hybrid forms that they can be presented in, however, the value of engaging readers and presenting meaning-making in new and authentic ways should hopefully outweigh any hesitations that I or other teachers may be facing. As a future Teacher Librarian I need to formulate a deep understanding of how to best invoke the learning of students and foster that love of literature so prevalent in today’s society.

Unsworth’s (2006) provides categories to assist in developing an understanding of the e-literature environment how the continuum of literature is constantly merging, evolving and innovating. Key uses of synergy is to foster a deeper sense of engagement and provoke more from the story, whether that be emotions and reactions from the reader, connecting to a wider audience or emphasising a point within the narrative. Traditional literature can synthesise a combination of literacy techniques to provoke more but engaging more senses like touch navigation or audio combinations with visuals further impact on the reading experience.

Unsworth, L. (2006). E-literature for children. Enhancing digital literacy learning. Routledge, London.

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).  https://doms.csu.edu.au/csu/file/863c5c8d-9f3f-439f-a7e3-2c2c67ddbfa8/1/ALiteratureCompanionforTeachers.pdf

INF533 Assignment Post 1

Is the printed book dead?

As an avid physical reader the thought of the demise of printed books is almost incomprehensible, however, digital literature environments have continued to expand as technological advances have been made. The increase of electronic modes of communication is a step as revolutionary as the mobile printing press (Rettberg, 2012), however, the chances of printed books ‘dying out’ are over-exaggerated by media sources (Darnton, 2009). The impact of this shift is the notion that humanity have entered into the ‘information age’ and as the library is an information service (Darnton, 2009), it is a necessity that in my profession of Teacher Librarian, the maintenance and up-kept of changes and developments is crucial to our knowledge and skills.

The influx of digital literature and technology and tools are utilised due to what they can add to literature, rather than to replace physical literature. Sadokierski (2013) discusses that the value of the electronic book (eBooks) is through what eBooks can offer that print books cannot. The one of the most appealing aspects of eBooks is the efficiency, immediacy and variety available. Librarians can incorporate digital literature to provide reluctant readers with a novel experience, create new texts that dynamically interacts with the readers and offer support within the classroom. Felvegi & Matthew (2012) address the potential that electronic texts can reduce costs in both storage and production, provide opportunities for diverse learning locations and shift teaching pedagogy to assist students in developing the 21st century skills necessary.

As a new graduate, my experience in the classroom and library environment are quite limited and my current knowledge and practices in play are reversed to using Wushka and a variety of digital uses through Google Suite. Walsh (2013) articulates the differing components of digital environments and the digital forms present currently. The digital environments are engaging readers in a unique way that teachers need to be present of and incorporate these skills into their teaching and learning.

References

Darnton, R. (2009). The information landscape, Chapter 2 in The case for books by Robert Darnton,  New York: Pubic Affairs pp. 21-41 http://csuau.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=496489  

Flevegi, E. & Matthew, K.I. (2012). eBooks and literacy in K-12 schools, Computers in the schools, 29(1-2), 40-52. DOI: 10.1080/07380569.2012.651421

Rettberg, J.W. (2012). Electronic literature seen from a distance: the beginnings of a field. Retrieved from http://www.dichtung-digital.org/2012/41/walker-rettberg.htm

Sadokierski, Z. (2013, November 12). What is a book in the digital age? [Web log post]. Retrived from http://theconversation.com/what-is-a-book-in-the-digital-age-19071

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA)

21.3.19 – Week 3 503 Post!

2.1 Decision-making model – it’s for consideration rather than a yes or no answer. Does it fit with:

2.2 Mosle is responding to a particular issue related to change in the US Common Core curriculum where literary non-fiction is receiving attention. Is tension between fiction and non-fiction a trend you have seen in your workplace?

2.2 Think of an occasion when you have witnessed tension between what a teacher or student is looking for and what a library collection holds.

  • To respond to the think activities in Module 2, Section 2.2 I would have to be in a position to witness such events within the workplace, since I am a casual with little experience and mainly focus at a school that does not have a librarian and hasn’t for the past 3 years it is hard to comment on whether there is tension or not, since the use of the library is a space meant for students to calm down rather than a kingpin within the school community.

2.3 Locate a library curating on Scoop.it, Pinterest, LibGuides or another tool and write a short review of this curation channel and the content that has been curated.

Radford College Secondary Library on Scoop.it

  • Exploration of Scoop.it has opened my eyes to a new method of organisation and a way to promote topics that are of high value to myself and the school community. Whilst Radford College’s Scoop.it hasn’t been curated for a few years, the topics they did cover show a very interesting and connective school community.
  • The curators have incorporated sections for students and teachers presenting learning topics, professional development, relatable text lists and important areas of health, such as wellbeing for both teachers and students to access. They have covered numerous key areas of learning and present it in a straightforward and visual way for their users. Their scoops were current for the times and focus on the ‘hot’ topics. The topics and scoops that they follow also provide numerous avenues for students and teachers to explore.

I feel my professional knowledge is going to benefit from Scoop.it provided I can find the most recent and up-to-date content.

21.3.19 – Weekly Feelings.

Even with the best of intentions, this blogging business is a challenge to wrap my mind around. My intention is to have a weekly post on my experiences of the past week as well as summation posts of the week in both 503 and of 401. I find that I’m so overwhelmed in the content though that I might need to figure a way to condense my learning. I’m taking one bite at a time but can I bite fast enough to keep up? Blog posts, forums, a lot of readings and working on the assignment. How do people manage with children and a full-time job? I’ve only managed to get my head up to speed since I’ve forgone posting on the Forums for the moment and I’ve been sick and had 3 days to dedicate to getting back up to where I need to be.

Positive thoughts from here on out! I’ve got my weekly breakdown, now to tackle the terminology! Step by step. Breath by breath.

This is worth it.

Also; keep your planner up to date, even when busy at school! It’s so much easier keeping track of what I want to do this week when it’s pre-planned and ready for me to tackle. I want to use this space as a way to vent my frustrations and then reframe my mind in a positive light; motivate myself!

12.3.19 – Fresh Out and Back In Again….

Here we go again,

After studying for 6 years to gain my Bachelor’s degree in Primary Education I finally graduated last year. I knew my progression was longer than most but given my circumstances I’ve forgiven myself and I told myself, one day Paige you can jump back in and study to be the best school librarian out there. You’ve got the passion, you just need to get your drive for learning and studying again, but you’ll do it one day.

After discussion with all the important people in my life, I realised there was no time like the present. If I don’t do it now whilst I have more time, I’ll never do it, but I am scared. I have very limited teaching experience fueling my understanding of the school world, only theoretical knowledge about the practices in play and I’ve worked in a school library once. However, I’m gaining experience every day as a casual and have the opportunity to take the time to get to know all aspects and volunteer in the library alongside a mentor with a brain I can pick!

One interesting component of this blogging experience will be shaping my blogs into an academic text rather than the stream of consciousness you’ve just read. I did do limited life-blogging over the past few years and definitely in the stream of conscious from of writing but I’m sure taking the time to sit down and think things through and plan, it’ll be alright in the end. The idea of referencing a blog post is still foreign to me, at least I am very familiar with APA referencing and should be able to fall into the swing of things.

A reminder to myself; take it 1 day at a time. 1 step at a time. Keep up your to-do list, as detailed as you can possibility make it, so every step is an achievement. You’ve got this! Deep breath, now go write what you think a TL is.

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