Colvin’s Article Response

  • Importance of Infotech
    • Libraries act a central hub to information services and the ability to incorporate Infotech within schools will provide students, teachers and wider communities’ opportunities to both gain more knowledge and to be better equipped to act as a team player in the Infotech Era.
  • Shared values
    • The library is central within the school and should focus on aligning the goals of all users, whether educational, personal or institutional. Sharing values allows the library to become a communal and collaborative area where the services are catered to the needs of the individuals and groups.
  • Knowledge workers
    • Librarians are able to actively support ‘knowledge workers’ rather than ‘physical workers’ due to the services provided by the library. TLs focus their attention on the motivation, needs and values of ‘knowledge workers’ and best services available to support them. TLs embody creative and adaptive capabilities, being ‘knowledge workers’ themselves and are able to develop a managerial/leadership role through this understanding.
  • Flexible thinking
    • Libraries are constantly updating and changing, the very nature of information in this digital era. TLs, consequentially, are the forefront to make the changes and develop the skills (creating, judging, imagining and building relationships) with their team. Given the slow-changing ideologies still present, TLs have an advantage to adopt the new ways of thinking (organisms vs. machine) faster than other managers and companies.

Colvin, G. (2002). Managing in the info ear. Fortune, 141 (5)

401 Reflective Practice

Information Literacy is a larger concept than I realised. Originally, my understanding of the concept was the ‘traditional’ literate term of being able to read, write, listen, speak, view and understand a language and its meaning. This understanding stemmed from the English Syllabus and how it was structured to view these components as the most important aspects of language. Information was known as the pieces of knowledge we collect to shape understanding and meaning within our world (Bernard, 2019, March 19). My understanding of information has shifted to a more relevant, concise and useful term and IL is the ability to create meaningful experiences and understanding through a range of skills interacting with information (Wallace & Husid, 2017). It is through the application of IL models that I now have the understanding I do today.

The strongest connection I had to an IL framework throughout this subject was Six Frames for Information Literacy Education (Bruce, Edwards & Lupton, 2015). Information Literacy is a fluid concept and dependent on the context and the purpose of the task required. The Six Frames understanding about the different applications of IL solidified. Each task will provide students with new areas of information to explore and as a TL, we must adopt the various roles to ensure students are exploring and developing a deep understanding of all aspects of IL, not just the ‘frame’ we identify with most. The right information resources and strategies morph depending on the subject content and IL is equipping students will the skills to navigate the changing environment and understand the organisation of information (Talja & Lloyd, 2010).

Challenges will arise through resistance to change and the continually fluid nature of information. Students and teachers need to constantly adapt and update the skills to work with IL. It is a set of skills and a way of learning. It is the identification and understanding of information to pass on ideas, but it is also a way of learning how to transfer information across a wide variety of settings, an extension of the current knowledge to delve deeper into a concept.

Due to my limited knowledge of IL, the introduction of models was a learning curb. IL models incorporate the steps and IL skills needed to complete an inquiry task. The models allow for exploration of a topic and the movement between not knowing to understanding. Models incorporate inquiry learning to shape the movement of learning and includes reflection to apply learning into a range of contexts. Exploring the different models available, knowing my students’ need, the GID model promoted engagement, interaction and in-depth exploration, rather than a step by step exploration.

The TL role’s has expanded beyond my original understanding as a store-keeper of books and an instigator for a lifelong love of literacy (Bernard, 2019, March 13). The TL’s role focuses on the transferal of knowledge in all forms and becoming information specialists, managers and leaders (ASLA, 2019). Inquiry learning allows TL’s to become a facilitator, skill builder and supplier whilst developing classroom teachers’ understanding and own skills to further assist the students.

TL’s have become a central force in developing community projects and through the application of IL models, students are able to combine their own interests with making a difference in the larger community context and generating real-world applications to transfer their skills between.

Learning is a continual and lifelong challenge. It allows for skills to be honed and understanding to bloom. Reflection allows for greater learning to take place where it may have been lacking. I realise that my interaction with information, especially in the form of blog posts is very lacking and has created a greater challenge for me, however, I am able to note and grow in this digital landscape and ensure that next time I will have a higher focus, not just engaging with the material but digging in deep and apply my IL into a range of contexts and environments to receive a boost my learning and demonstrate my own knowledge, even if that is just to myself.

References:

Australian School Library Association (2019). Retrieved from https://asla.org.au/what-is-a-teacher-librarian

Bernard, P. (2019, March 13). My Understanding of the Role of TLs [Thinkspace Blog]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/paigespages/2019/03/13/13-3-19-my-understanding-of-the-role-of-tls/

Bernard, P. (2019, March 19). Thinking About Information [Online Discussion Comment]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42380_1&conf_id=_78883_1&forum_id=_147403_1&message_id=_2191782_1&nav=discussion_board_entry

Bruce, C., Edwards, S., & Lupton, M. (2006). Six frames for information literacy education: A conceptual framework for interpreting the relationships between theory and practice. ITALICS, 5(1).

Talja, S. & Lloyd, A. (2010). Integrating theories of learning, literacies and information practices. In Talja, S. & Lloyd, A. (2010). Practising information literacy: Bringing theories of learning, practice and information literacy together. WaggaWagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies.

Wallace, V. & Husid, W. (2017). Collaborating for Inquiry-Based Learning: School Librarians and Teachers Partner For Student Achievement. 2nd ed. Santa Barbara, Ca: Libraries Unlimited.

13.3.19 – My Understanding of the Role of TLs

Reflecting on your experiences as a teacher before you became interested in working in a school library, write a 500 word piece about your understandings of the role of the TL in schools

It is a curious thing to reflect on experiences that are limited and think of a time before I became interested in working in a school library. As a student, I was passionate about the library and maintained its abilities to provide a safe haven to a bibliophile like myself. I saw the TL’s role as a “secret keeper”, one who created and maintained this place that helped students find new adventures, worlds and friends.

Reflecting, I believed the role of the TL to hold 3 crucial tasks.

  1. To be the keeper and protector of the books.
  2. To instigate, kindle and grow a love and passion for books within students.
  3. To create an environment that allows students to feel safe.

Nowadays as a teacher, I see that the role of the TL is more expansive and supportive. There is a shift in focus to being an informant and collector to assist in community projects, a place for teachers to gather necessary resources and to supply new technologies and the information necessary to access these resources.

NSW Department of Education, Teach.NSW (2019) (hyperlink) prescribe teacher librarians attributes as

Extremely organised;

 

Resource managers;

 

Information specialists;

 

Quality literacy contributors;

 

Comprehensive technological knowledge to engage and enhance learning experiences.

Similarly Australian School Library Association (2019) segment the role of TLs into three major components:

Curriculum leaders;

 

Information specialists;

 

Information service managers.

Throughout these definitions my current understanding of the role of TLs has a lot of room to grow. My previous conceptions were ignorant of the knowledge and information that TLs present to the libraries. I now understand that TLs role is heavily dependent on providing, interpreting and developing assistance in the transference of information, whether to teachers, students, administrators or the larger school community. The information connected to teachers and students is no longer solely focused on reading, rather evolving resources that shape into the current curriculum and provide learning support for all needs of students.

Another surprising aspect of the TLs role is still relating to space, however, the extent to which the library space is used and the TLs accommodate for various clubs, activities, events and the teaching of collaborative spaces for learning experiences. The learning experiences themselves are focused on inquiry, research and investigation, leading to creation and the TLs role with the students is acting as a guide, skill builder, information supplier and technological developer.

I have a long way to go developing my skills as a teacher and the learning progression of the role I hope to emerge into. The importance of having a clear direction of your dream role cannot be understated and this learning experience will be engaging and challenging. I am beginning from what I feel is the very bottom but I will work my way to fulfilling the invaluable role of TL.

 

Reference

Australian School Library Association (2019). Retrieved from https://asla.org.au/what-is-a-teacher-librarian

NSW Department of Education (2019). Retrieved from https://www.teach.nsw.edu.au/exploreteaching/types-of-teachers/specialist-teachers/teacher-librarian

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