The Classroom Divide – What does it look like and what can we do about it?

 

Pexels / Pixabay – Classroom divide – How is your classroom divided?

 

For a period of time, society was of the opinion that people who grew up with technology would naturally be comfortable and confident using it as it was their native ‘language’.   These technically savvy individuals would require minimal instruction on digital literacy because as a cohort, they would approach digital technologies with intuitiveness and instinct.  

 

But that assumption was WRONG!  

 

Not just kinda wrong ..

BUT

EPICALLY WRONG!

Think

BIGGER THAN

CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

 

KIND OF WRONG.

 

But I digress… 

The myth of the digital native and digital immigrant has been thoroughly debunked (Kirschner & De Bruyckere, 2017).  They myth assumed that technology competence was inherent because of life long exposure to digital technologies (Frawley, 2020).  This bias is  based upon the common image of students permanently attached to their devices for social and personal practices, and does not translate to ICT proficiency in an educational setting (Brown & Czerniewicz, 2011).  

 

Day (2012) suggests that the theorised cause of the previous digital divide was between those with computer access and those without.  But most teachers would disagree.  Many students have access to smartphones and tablets for personal use and they are still flummoxed at using technology in their schooling.  It appears there is a clear lack of translation from social use of devices and technology to educational practices.  This is observable in the way students are familiar with keyboards for gaming purposes, but very few are highly accomplished at touch typing (onlinetyping.org, 2020).  It amazes me how some students can deftly play online games and switch their screens in milliseconds to avoid detection, but are unable to create and save a document to find at a later date.  Others can create a TikTok video, but do not understand the mechanics of boolean operators to search databases.  I have students that can surf the web for hours but are unable to read an article online in depth and the list just goes on….  All these examples clearly show that any correlations of age should not be translated to an assumption of digital literacy.   Digital literacy, as I have expounded on before, are the psychomotor, cognitive and affective skills required to use digital technologies successfully (McMahon, 2014, p.525).  Students and their parents who are technology savvy are more adept at navigating the digital world (Day, 2012). 

 

How the divide manifests: 

Educational professionals around the world have realised the impact the digital divide has had on learning outcomes (Steele, 2018).  In Australia, the divide was previously acknowledged in educational circles but has been brought to the forefront with the recent Coronavirus pandemic and corresponding school closures.  The nation wide school closures identified numerous students and their families who lacked access to personal devices and high speed internet at home (Coughlan, 2020).  Some students and families did attempt to stream online learning through mobile phone data but this method proved to be unrealistic and very costly (Coughlan, 2020).   Whilst most Educational Directorates across Australia provided their disadvantaged students with laptops and internet dongles, the process was often time consuming and bogged by red tape (Duffy, 2020).  

Students with a digital disadvantage often have a very different schooling experience than students who could be considered digitally elite.  The digitally elite are able to study from the comfort of their couch or their bedroom, in pleasant and safe surroundings (Steele, 2018).  The level of work produced by these students is higher and of better quality as they are not worrying about library opening hours, or stressed or anxious about getting home late.  Whereas students who are disadvantaged may hand in poorly conducted assignments because they were unable to research under optimal conditions (Steele, 2018).  Many teenagers are too embarrassed to be seen doing school work in the library when their friends are playing games, and some students who lack NBN, broadband internet and a desktop or laptop at home, persist in doing their assignments on their mobile phones, which leads to increased fatigue and eye strain. Many disadvantaged students would rather cite lack of interest in learning, or pretend to be apathetic than admit they do not have appropriate facilities at home and just stop trying to learn.  When you consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it is clearly obvious that a student’s self actualisation is unlikely to occur if their personal safety and security is at risk (Hopper, 2020).   

Chiquo (2019) CC-BY-SA 4.0

 

Some critics would argue that personal devices such as smartphones are ubiquitous and allow anyone with a phone internet access.  Sung (2016) points out that whilst mobile phones do offer internet access, it is not conducive for conducting  research or in depth analysis of documents and as they tend to promote superficial features such as emails, social media and multimedia  (Sung, 2016).  

LoboStudioHamburg / Pixabay – Smartphones – Mostly social?

 

How to reduce the divide:  School based programs.

Education Magazine (2020) points out that the onus to reduce the divide are within the realm of federal and state government departments.  Currently, the most common method government bodies chose to address the digital gap is to supply students with a personal device such as a laptop or tablet (Jervis-Bardy, 2020).  But Steele (2018), Day (2012), and Boss (2016) all agree that bridging the divide goes beyond just supplying students with devices as simply handing each student a device does not build critical thinking and digital citizenship.  But the explicit teaching of digital literacy across all learning areas, would not only have a greater impact on bridging the gap, it would also empower students to gain further digital knowledge and understanding (Steele, 2018; Lori, 2012).  

Whilst teaching students digital literacy is an essential step, it is important to also involve their parents opportunities that build ICT competence and digital literacy (Wolohan, 2016; Hiefield, 2018).  Wolohan (2016) suggests that when schools and communities offer digital information sessions, it affords opportunities for parents who may also have low digital literacy a chance to broaden their knowledge and learning (Boss, 2016).  This then means that parents are able to assist their children with their learning at home, which improves technology integration, learning outcomes and bridges positive connections between school and home (Hiefield, 2018).  These sessions could also be used to inform families of any extra facilities and services that the school offers, such as extended library hours, homework help, as well as other local facilities such as public library and other community services (Wolohan, 2016). 

School libraries and teacher librarians are already involved with digital literacy pedagogical practices in numerous ways – as I have mentioned in this blog .  Another engaging and innovative way to boost digital literacy are digital or coding clubs.  Busteed & Sorenson (2015) suggest that lunchtime run digital clubs and programs are a fun and engaging way of teaching digital literacies and competencies at school. These clubs allow students to explore different computer programs and devices independently or in collaborative learning groups.  Lunch time clubs also open the door for many students, including digitally disadvantaged students,  a chance to explore emerging technologies that they may not normally get access to (Busteed & Sorenson, 2015).  As these clubs are predominantly social in nature, they do not have to conform to curriculum requirements, and this means students are able to explore their own interests instead of canon. Further school based options include ensuring a bank of spare devices for students who do not have access to their own, advocating for an extension of library opening hours outside school hours to allow students time to study, as well as explicitly teaching digital literacy skills as part of teaching and learning (Education Magazine, 2020). 

How to reduce the divide:  Classroom based learning.  

Teachers and educators should be encouraged to adapt their practices to reduce or minimise any unnecessary  ‘digital’ stress on their students.  Stress factors include take home assignments and feelings of overwhelm due to poor digital literacy skills.   Wolohan (2016) advises teachers to get to know their cohort and understand that whilst students may appear to be confident using their devices, it is not advisable to send large assignments home unless digital literacy and ICT facilities at home are assured.  Non submission of tasks could be due to lack of internet or even access to assistance from parents or caregivers, who may have low digital literacy skills and unable to assist their children with tasks (Wolohan, 2016). 

The other consideration classroom teachers and teacher librarians need to make is to acknowledge that each student’s ICT ability will vary and that our learning activities need to match their competencies.  This means that digital literacy needs to be differentiated the same manner as the rest of the curriculum (Wolohan, 2016).   One method is to identify students’ zone of proximal development, and create learning activities that are within that zone for optimal learning (Audley, 2018).  This method is far more efficient and beneficial than assuming capability or teaching at a fixed point.   

CONCLUSION

Steele (2018) feels like the greatest social ramification of the digital divide is that disadvantaged students will not get the same opportunities to be creative and inventive with digital technologies.  This means that the future scope of these students would be limited and possibly restricted in this new information paradigm to long term prospects of minimum wage.  Whereas students on the better half of the divide have unlimited access to information in the safety and comfort of their own home, the financial stability to access emerging technologies, increased opportunities to develop interest and skills in engaging and exploring these technologies.  Their long term prospects are far removed from their disadvantaged peers who often have to travel extensively to have the same access to technology and the internet.  This in itself is very limiting for many students and reduces their future educational and economic prospects.   As teachers and educators, we need to remember that schools are supposed to be the great equaliser, and to provide equal and equitable access to knowledge and learning.  Though in reality, we all know life and education is definitely not equal.  Government policies can often get influenced by political affiliations and can take time to come into effect.  But we as teachers have influence in our classrooms, and our actions and practice in the classroom can make a difference to improve the digital literacy of our students, improve student learning and reduce the width and depth of the digital divide. 

REFERENCES:

Audley, S. (2018). Partners as scaffolds. Teaching in the zone of proximal development. Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education. 24. Retrieved from https://repository.brynmawr.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1186&context=tlthe

Boss, S. (2016). Engage parents as partners to close digital divide. Edutopia – Digital Divide [Blog]. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/engage-parents-partners-close-digital-divide-suzie-boss

Brown, C., & Czerniewicz, L. (2010) Debunking the digital native beyond digital apartheid, towards digital democracy. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (26) 5. p357-369. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010.00369.x

Busteed, B., & Sorenson, S. (2015). Many students lack access to computer science learning. Gallup Education. Retrieved from https://www.gallup.com/education/243416/students-lack-access-computer-science-learning.aspx

Coughlan, S. (2020). Digital poverty in schools where few have laptops. BBC News – Family and Education. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/education-52399589

Day, L. (2013). Bridging the new digital divide. Edutopia – Technology Integration [Blog]. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/bridging-the-new-digital-divide-lori-day

Duffy, C. (2020). Coronavirus opens up Australia’s digital divide with many school students left behind. ABC News. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-12/coronavirus-covid19-remote-learning-students-digital-divide/12234454

Education Magazine. (2020). What is the digital divide and how is it impacting the education sector? The Education Magazine [blog]. Retrieved from https://www.theeducationmagazine.com/word-art/digital-divide-impacting-education-sector/

Frawley, J. (2017). The myth of the digital native. Teaching @ Sydney [blog]. University of Sydney. Retrieved from https://educational-innovation.sydney.edu.au/teaching@sydney/digital-native-myth/

Hiefield, M. (2018). Family tech nights can narrow the digital divide. E-School News. Retrieved from https://www.eschoolnews.com/2018/11/21/family-tech-nights-can-narrow-the-digital-divide/

Hopper, E. (2020). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. ThoughtCo. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/maslows-hierarchy-of-needs-4582571

Kirschner, P., & De Bruyckere, P. (2017). The myths of the digital native and the multitasker. Teaching and Teacher Education 67, p.135-14

McMahon, M. (2014). Ensuring the development of digital literacy in higher education curricula. ECU Publications. Edith Cowan University. Retrieved from https://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1835&context=ecuworkspost2013

Online Typing.org. (2020). Average typing speed (WPM)[blog]. Retrieved from https://onlinetyping.org/blog/average-typing-speed.php

Sung, K. (2016). What’s lost when kids are under connected to the internet? KQED – Mindshift. Retrieved from https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/43601/whats-lost-when-kids-are-under-connected-to-the-internet

Steele, C. (2018). 5 ways the digital divide effects education.  Digital Divide Council. Retrieved from http://www.digitaldividecouncil.com/digital-divide-effects-on-education/

Wolohan, S. (2016). How teachers can provide equal learning in a world of unequal access. EdSurge – Diversity and Equity. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-04-13-how-teachers-can-provide-equal-learning-in-a-world-of-unequal-access

 

Teens, trends and technology.

 

congerdesign / Pixabay

 

There is no comprehensive data on the recreational reading preferences of Australian children and teenagers across print or digital formats, but a study conducted by Deakin University and Murdoch University point out that teens have a clear preference for print in comparison to reading on devices (Cull, 2011; Dickenson, 2014; Earp, 2017).    This is surprising considering over 90% of Australian children and teenagers have access to a computer or laptop, but more than 75% never used them to access digital literature (Earp, 2017).   This information seems contradictory when you consider that recent fieldwork into public libraries showed a significant shift from traditional to more digital and computer based resources to compensate for the shift in the reading paradigm  (Wyatt, McQuire & Butt, 2015, p. 6-8).   This is because libraries are anticipating the long term presence of digital literature, and are motivated to curate their collection to hold a range of physical and digital resources, as well as a repository of technology for their clientele’s personal, social or educational use (Cull, 2011; Wyatt, McQuire & Butt, 2015, p. 8).   

O’Connell, Bales & Mitchell (2015) point out that the advent of e-books and e-readers have been the biggest game changers for school libraries in the past few decades.  E-books, especially e-textbooks have become increasingly popular in schools across the country as they are able to integrate multimodal features such as interactive maps, videos and images and enhance teaching and learning practices (O’Connell, Bales & Mitchell, 2015).  E-books also meet ACARA’s mandate to include a variety of print, digital and hybrid resources as part of the ICT and Literacy components of the General Capabilities (ACARA, 2018). 

Whilst e-books address curriculum requirements and educational needs of the modern student, O’Connell, Bales & Mitchell (2015) do acquiesce that including digital literature may be cost prohibitive to many schools and students.  Many students, especially those in lower socio-economic areas lack the financial ability to purchase a personal device to access e-books, and many schools cannot afford to purchase additional e-readers or other personal devices for all their students.  The other pertinent issue is internet access.  E-library subscriptions such as Wheelers require internet access at all times to read the book which is problematic when on public transport or out of wifi, whereas Borrowbox titles can be downloaded and then used offline, which is far more beneficial.  But both e-book repositories permit only one borrower at a time to access a title.  For class texts , this can be extremely expensive for schools to purchase multiple subscriptions for the same title.  The other pecuniary issue is that many e-books are often just ‘leased’, and as they are not owned by the school, can suddenly become unavailable and or the lending parameters change without warning.  

Whilst the cost of e-books may be prohibitive, the on-going costs of maintaining digital literature subscriptions for online encyclopaedias and databases are often cheaper than  obtaining individual journal subscriptions (Cull, 2011).  Academic libraries in particular, often purchase databases with access to a variety of journal articles for a lower cost than individual subscriptions.  Smaller libraries may coalesce to purchase a subscription together.  For example, ACT local libraries offer Gale databases as part of their collection.  

When it comes to genres, recent publishing trends show an increase in young adult literature across Australia and the world (Manuel & Carter, 2015).  These trends indicate two possible reasons, the first being that young adults are reading increasingly, and the second, is that as teenagers age into adults, they are retaining their young adult reading preferences.  Manual & Carter (2015, p.122) point out that fiction is still the most popular choice for teens, followed by multimedia, non-fiction and magazines.  Genre wise,  fantasy and mystery are popular with both sexes, and romance disdained by everyone (Manuel & Carter, 2015, p.123).  Graphic novels are making a comeback but this time in a digital space, girls seem to like detective stories, action and adventure, whereas boys like science fiction, informational texts and biographies AND EVERYONE HATES POETRY (Manuel & Carter, 2015, p.123-124; Moorefield-Lang & Gavigan, 2011))!  

What is interesting about reading preferences with teenagers is that text selection and pedagogical practices in the classroom actually has an impact on students.  When inappropriate classroom texts are selected, and or the pedagogy associated with them is poor, students develop an antithesis for that particular title/genre or reading in general (Manuel & Carter, 2015, p.125).  A perfect example would be Golding’s Lord of the Flies. I studied this text many moons ago and I only have ghastly memories of the text. 

I am an avid reader and I STILL GET THE HEEBIE JEEBIES when I think about that book.  

Whereas appropriate texts and good pedagogy can bolster a love of reading.  I studied Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre ain high school and I still love her to the point where I have seven copies of Jane Eyre!!!

   

 

 

*All imageswere obtained from the public domain.

YES I HAVE 7 COPIES OF JANE EYRE!!!

 

 

Digital devices have been often touted as the panacea for improving reading rates, literacy and learning for three main reasons.  Introducing digital literature into classroom practice allows teachers to bridge the digital disconnect between a teenager’s personal life in the digital world and the school’s analogue world.  By making these valuable connections, teachers are able to lure students to tasks they may normally disdain, such as reading class texts or researching online.  Combined with the fact that most teenagers are permanently glued to their personal devices means that they are very receptive to the idea of using (their phones and) digital literature for personal and educational purposes.

 

REFERENCES:

Cull, B. W. (2011). Reading revolutions: online digital text and implications for reading in academe. First Monday, 16(6). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3340/2985

Dickenson, D. (2014). Children and reading: Literature review. Australia Council 2014. Retrieved from https://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/workspace/uploads/files/research/children-and-reading-literatur-5432557e418db.pdf.

Earp, J. (2017). Infographic – Teen reading habits. Teacher Magazine. Australian Council for Educational Research.  Retrieved from https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/infographic-teen-reading-habits

Houston, C. (2011). Digital Books for Digital Natives. Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children, 9(3), 39–42. EBSCO 

Manuel, J., & Carter, D. (2015). Current and historical perspectives on Australian teenager’reading practices and preferences. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 38(2), p.115-128. Retrieved from https://www.alea.edu.au/documents/item/1175

Moorefield-Lang, H., & Gavigan, K. (2012). These aren’t your father’s: the new world of digital graphic novels. Knowledge Quest, 40(3), 30-35. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=b349502e-3dd2-48d3-9d9a-6beed7db31cc%40pdc-v-sessmgr05&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=82563984&db=lih

O’Connell, J., Bales, J., & Mitchell, P. (2015). Literature in digital environments: Changes and emerging trends in Australian school libraries. In L. Das, S. Brand-Gruwel, K. Kok, & J. Walhout (Eds.), IASL 2015 Conference Proceedings: The School Library Rocks: Living it, Learning it, Loving it (pp. 356-369). International Association of School Librarianship. http://www.meles.nl/_clientfiles/SMD/IASL2015_Proceedings_Vol2_2ndEd_ResearchPapers.pdf

Teen Reading In a Digital Era. (2017). Report at a glance – Teen Reading in a digital era. Murdoch University & Deakin University.  Retrieved from https://teenreadingdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/teen-reading-folio-report_email.pdf

Wyatt, D., McQuire, S., & Butt, D. (2015). Public libraries in a digital culture.  University of Melbourne & State Library of QLD. University of Melbourne Press. Melbourne Victoria. Retrieved from https://arts.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1867865/PublicLibrariesinaDigitalCulture.pdf

The evolving nature of literature for the digital classroom.

DarkWorkX / Pixabay

 

The advent of technology, the internet and plethora of personal devices has forever changed the world and in turn, the paradigm of a secondary classroom. 

Whilst teenagers and society in general have embraced technology in its multiple forms for personal, social and recreational purposes, Education Departments and schools are often delayed in their digital pedagogical practices.  This delay in the embedding of digital technologies and literature has exacerbated the disparity between the information literacy skills that society demands, and the ability students have when they finish school.

This digital gap is even further widened in areas of lower socio-economic success, rural and remote communities, and First Nations peoples, who lack the personal means and access to devices and reliable internet connections (DIIS, 2016).  

For further information on the deepening of Australia's digital divide .. click here!

MCEETYA made a concerted effort to address this disparity by advocating for the embedding of ICT in the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians .  The argument put forward by the creators of this declaration, was that ICT is an essential skill required for active citizenship in a digitally rich information society (MCEETYA, 2008)Therefore ICT skills and competencies are essential to ensure each student is able to gain entry into this new paradigm.  ACARA’s response to this declaration was to create curriculum learning outcomes that allow students opportunities to access, analyse, modify and create a range of hybrid, digital and multimodal tasks (ACARA, 2018).  Examples of these include access to digital literature for classroom activities, explicit teaching of new literacies and assessments that require students to explore, create and analyse multimodal texts.  

The simplest form to introduce students to digital literature is within classroom practice.  Digital literature can be defined as texts that utilise computer technology and a device in order to access and engage with the text (Rettberg, 2012).  Unfortunately this may be a limiting factor for many students and schools that lack the financial means to secure devices and internet connectivity.  This issue became glaringly obvious in the recent nationwide school lock down which shifted learning to from onsite to online. 

Check out this article by the ABC published back in March 2020. 

Coronavirus opens education’s digital divide, as COVID-19 forces schools into online learning 

The level of computation associated with the digital literature varies with the device and format.  It can range from the most simple form of a scanned book on a website, to the interactive hypertext narratives with multimodal features in a mobile application (Maneti, Lipscombe & Kervin, 2018; Rettberg, 2012).  The middle of this digital literature continuum contains genres or hybrid genres such as e-stories, linear e-narratives, interactive stories, hypertext narratives and electronic games narratives (Walsh, 2013).  

My own knowledge of digital literature is rudimentary at best as I am strictly a user of digital content rather than being a creator – though this blog would be the only exception to the rule.  Whilst I do use my kindle and am able to engage with digital texts, it is a matter of expediency rather than personal pleasure.  By that token, I prefer reading digital texts rather than listening to audio-books and am  completely disinclined to use digital narratives (or anything that is non linear in nature) as I find those sources too overwhelming for indepth analysis.  But as a teacher librarian I need to be aware of the various formats and educate myself as to their benefits to student’s learning and literacy.

  The irony is that this Masters course has caused me to test, trial and experiment with more digital media than I ever would have in my life!  

Over the next few weeks I will be reviewing several different examples of digital literature that can be used in classroom practice as part of my own learning journey into literature in the digital space.   Each review will discuss the source’s value to the curriculum, to learning and literacy and to digital competency.

References:

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2018). Literacy. In Australian Curriculum – General Capabilities. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/literacy/

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (2016). Australia’s digital economy update. Retrieved from https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2016/05/apo-nid66202-1210631.pdf

Mantei, J., Kipscombe, K., & Kervin, L. (2018). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA)

MCEETYA (2008) Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Curriculum Corporation. Australia. Retrieved from http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/national_declaration_on_the_educational_goals_for_young_australians.pdf

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

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 Austr

Task 1 – INF533 – Reading, literacy and digital literature in the classroom.

xxolaxx / Pixabay – Reading in a digital landscape.

 

The advent of technology, and plethora of personal devices has revolutionised the reading paradigm to the point where, texts are no longer restricted to print, but are now available through multiple formats and platforms.  Digital literature utilises a continuum of technology to convey meaning, and the level of computation varies from a scanned book, to the interactive hypertext narratives with multimodal features  with a host of genres and hybrid genres such as e-stories, linear e-narratives, interactive stories, hypertext narratives and electronic games narratives. in the middle (Walsh, 2013; Maneti, Lipscombe & Kervin, 2018; Rettberg, 2012).  

The level of computation associated with the digital literature varies with the device and format.  It can range from the most simple form of a scanned book on a website, to the interactive hypertext narratives with multimodal features in a mobile application (Maneti, Lipscombe & Kervin, 2018; Rettberg, 2012).  The middle of this digital literature continuum contains genres or hybrid genres such as e-stories, linear e-narratives, interactive stories, hypertext narratives and electronic games narratives (Walsh, 2013; Maneti, Lipscombe & Kervin, 2018; Rettberg, 2012).

These new formats as Lamb (2011), and Sadokiesiski (2013) point out, require additional literacies to engage, process, evaluate and communicate. 

This is because reading has evolved from text decoding, to constructing meaning from symbols (Lamb, 2011) . 

ACARA’s (2018)  response has been to define literacy as the ability to interact with, engage and communicate across modalities for personal, social, economic and recreational purposes. 

This definition clearly indicates that teaching practice needs to include a variety of texts, in print, digital and hybrid formats (Leu, Forzani, Timbrell, & Maykel, 2015).  But whilst there are strong arguments and mandates to include digital texts, there are are complications.  

Many students struggle with digital text comprehension, as the simultaneous synthesising of visual, audio and text information causes information overload (Jeon, 2012; Mangen, Walgermo & Bronnick., 2013).   Students with poor fundamental literacy are at further disadvantage, as they are easily distracted away from the content by the multimodal elements, as well as being unable to locate information due poor visual ergonomics (Lamb, 2011; Leu, McVerry, OByrne, Kili, Zawilinski, Everett-Cacopardo,Kennedy, Forzani, 2011;  Jeon, 2012; Hashim & VongKulluksn, 2018; Mangen et al., 2013, p.66). 

geralt / Pixabay – Feeling overwhelmed???

 

I have noticed that here is a strong disinclination for teachers to include the creation of hypertext narratives and games in their practice (Mantei, Lipscombe & Kervin, 2018).  This hesitancy could be attributed to the premise that it requires both the student and the teacher to be competent in the additional literacies  (Leu et al., 2015).  Whilst many students could be considered digital natives and may possess the necessary skill set to create such hypertext, many teachers would be considered digital immigrants and therefore lack the confidence to implement such technologies in their classroom.  Unfortunately by excluding creation of digital texts, students are disadvantaged by the lack of potential extension and consolidation of learning. 

Armstong (2020) Bloom’s Taxonomy. CC – BY – NC

Remember Bloom – By failing to include a creative element – students are being denied opportunities for higher order thinking.  

In an effort to address some of these concerns, our library team has a balanced collection of print and digital literature, as well as have recently implemented an information literacy scope and sequence  (Leu et al., 2015).  Our students have access to a robust physical collection, e-books and audiobooks through a BorrowBox subscription, as well as online databases such as InfoBase, Gale, Britannica, EBSCO, Trove, and World Book.  

Anecdotally from my position as a teacher librarian, I can see the students vastly prefer print for recreational reading, but have a strong preference for digital resources for informational purposes.  I regularly see many teachers include digital texts into their teaching practice through reading and viewing of e-books, online databases and web based texts.  Through our information literacy program, we are endeavouring to teach digital literacy skills, such as, how to locate, evaluate and synthesise information, as well as problem solving in both online and offline scenarios (Leu et al., 2015, p. 140).  

Digital literature has transformed society, the definition of literacy and the landscape of pedagogical practice.  Time will only tell if our scope and sequence improve digital literacies and competencies in both the faculty and the students… stay tuned for further updates

 

 

References 

Armstrong, P. (2020). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/. Image licenced under CC – BY – NC 

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2018). Literacy. In Australian Curriculum – General Capabilities. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/literacy/

Hashim, A & VongKulluskn, V. (2018). E reader apps and reading engagement: A descriptive case study. Computers and Education, 125, pp.358-375. Retrieved from https://www.journals.elsevier.com/computers-and-education/

Jabr, F. (2013). The reading brain in the digital age: The science of paper versus screens. Scientific American. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/reading-paper-screens/

Jeon, H. (2012). A comparison of the influence of electronic books and paper books on reading comprehension, eye fatigue, and perception. The Electronic Library, 30(3), 390-408. doi: 10.1108/02640471211241663 

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and leading with technology, 39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/ login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=67371172&site=ehost-live

Leu, D., McVerry, J. G., O’Byrne, W. I., Kiili, C., Zawilinski, L., Everett-Cacopardo, H., Kennedy, C., & Forzani, E. (2011). The new literacies of online reading comprehension: Expanding the literacy and learning curriculum. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 55(1)5-14. Doi: 10.1598/JAAL.55.1.1

Leu, D.J, Forzani, E.,Timbrell, N., & Maykel., C. (2015) . Seeing the forest, not the trees: Essential technologies for literacy in primary grade and upper elementarty grade classroom. Reading Teacher 69: (2), p.139-145. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1073399

Mangen, A., Walgermo, B. R. & Bronnick, K.A. (2013). Reading linear texts on paper versus computer screen: Effects on reading comprehension. International Journal of Educational Research, 58, 61-68.doi:10.1016/j.ijer.2012.12.002 

Mantei, J., Kipscombe, K., & Kervin, L. (2018). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

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]. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/what-is-a-book-in-the-digital-age-19071

Sargeant, B. (2015). What is an ebook? what is a book app? And why should we care? An analysis of contemporary picture books. Children’s Literature in education, 46, p.454-466. doi: 10.1007/s10583-015-9243

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).

Book Trailers – Responding to literature using digital media. 

Responding to literature using digital media.

Book trailers are often referred to as audiovisual representations of texts (Gron, 2014, p. 91).  Gron (2017) defines reader’s book trailers as a pedagogical tool to promote literary learning and multimodal literacy (p.94). These trailers are very different to the ones produced by authors and publishers for promotional purposes.  Author and publisher produced trailers are more inline with movie trailer characteristics as they both seek to lure rather than show the user’s understanding and comprehension of the text (Gron, 2014).   

Book trailers (BT) can range from complex short digital stories with interactive media, to simple slideshows of still images, to animated videos using claymation (Tobin, 2012, p43).  Predominantly used for fictional texts, BT have also recently been used as literary analysis for non fiction resources, as well as essays and other multimodal texts (Tobin, 2012, p.40).  They provide a useful way of integrating ICT in the classroom and provide a digital alternative to literary circles and book reports (Bernardo, 2019).   Reader’s book trailers work in a similar manner to literature circles, as they provide a space for students to engage with the text and to form connections between the text, the world and themselves.  Gron (2014) points out that BT offer a synopsis of the text through the perspective of the reader, which will differ depending on the reader’s own knowledge bank and the connections they make to the text and real life (p.95).  They provide an audiovisual depiction of the text from the lens of the reader, with their perspective and understanding as influences (Gron, 2017, p.93).  

Within a classroom, book trailers are flexible as a teaching tool or as an assessment piece (Tobin, 2012, p.40).    They can be used as enticement, as a tool to engage students at the commencement of a unit, or as a comprehension task at the culmination of one.  BT’s strongest efficacy is at the culmination of a unit, but often the idea of creating a BT can be an enticement for students to participate in the course.  There are three main educational benefits to using book trailers in the classroom.  They include, promoting engagement with the text and reading in general, as well as increasing comprehension, understanding and analysis of the text.  They are also an ideal activity for collaborative learning groups.  Lastly, BT increase critical thinking, visual literacy, social and emotional literacy as well as improve multimodal literacy of students.  

Book trailers can be used for narrative and expository texts (Tobin, 2012, p.47).  Their format engages students in the task and the successful completion of the trailer provides intrinsic motivation for reading as a pleasurable activity (Ginsberg, 2013; Festa, 2017).  The creation of a BT requires the reader to delve into the book, identify and analyse key events, themes and character development (Tobin, 2012, p.48).  This analysis of texts, especially fictitious ones, can lead to a cognitive change, which also provides additional motivation for reading. 

 Students need to summarise the story into key events and stages, analyse how these events affected the story as a whole and their own understanding of it (Bernardo, 2019). They also need to be able to understand the genre of the text, and ensure that the trailer is consistent with the author’s intent (Gron, 2014, p.92).  Festa (2017) points out that illustrations need to be evaluated for their effectiveness, which is especially important when creating a BT for picture books.  

Student learning is heightened within social contexts, and the literary efficacy of book trailers is increased by collaborative group work.  This is based upon Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theory, that learning in student-centred environments is more successful than in isolation (Tobin, 2012).  Collaborative groups are ideal for the implementation of BT, as they allow for the exchange of ideas, discussion of themes, events and character development which leads to optimum understanding of the text and topic. (Tobin, 2012, p. 41).   Dialogue and discussion is very important when deliberating over social and moral issues, as well as when evaluating author’s bias, veracity and use of literary devices.  

When working in collaborative learning groups, it is optimum that students are assigned a specific role or task to complete (Tobin, 2012, p.41).  Whilst many students may prefer to make their own collaborative learning groups, teachers ideally create diverse learning groups and assign roles to ensure that the task is equitably distributed.  This is especially important if the BT is used for summative assessment purposes.  Group selection can be intentional, or via a method of random allocation.  Working in collaborative groups also meets curriculum outcomes within the General Capabilities – Personal and Social Capabilities, as it promotes interpersonal skills and allows students to develop effective strategies for interacting with their peers (ACARA, 2014a).  

By allocating roles, each student is given a purposeful direction to interact with the text and an active role in their learning.  This orchestration gives the student ownership of the final product and thus promotes engagement with the task and the text.  Festa (2017) suggests that students complete a reflection of the task, peer review and a self evaluation of their own efficiency and efficacy as an assessment tool (p.109-110).  But caution should be used if BT are to be considered a summative assessment if there is an inequitable access to personal devices.  

The inclusion of book trailers in education increases critical thinking, visual and multimodal literacy as it provides a social context to develop these 21st century skills (Tobin, 2012, p. 41, Festa, 2017, p.112).  At its core, BT are essentially a miniature inquiry task as it requires the students to work on their metacognitive processes to ensure that planning, implementing and evaluation occurs appropriately (Tobin, 2012, p.42).  Inquiry tasks are an accepted teaching practice and  often used as a pedagogical method to build critical thinking and critical literacy in students (Tobin, 2012, P.42). 

Technology has often been cited as a method of engaging students in the classroom, and BT allow students to use their devices for legitimate learning activities (Moore & Cahill, 2016).  Since the actual act of creating a book trailer requires students to convert a written literary source into an audiovisual production, it obliges the creators to combine images, sound and texts together using some form of digital software (Gron, 2014, p.91; Festa, 2017, p.112).  In constructing these trailers, students become creators as well as users of digital media (Festa, 2017, p.112).  This transfer of representation can be difficult for some students therefore, teachers will be required to facilitate learning by providing scaffolding to increase personal imagination and interpretation of text (Gron, 2014, p.98).  

From a practical perspective, there are specific steps that are necessary when creating a book trailer.  The first step is to ensure that students have read and understood the text, either in a group read- aloud or individually. Picture books are consummate for book trailers.  Research has shown that picture books can be used to teach older students multiliteracies, curriculum content and broach sensitive subjects (Marsh, 2010).  Their format promotes the action of ‘reading aloud’ and their brevity creates a sense of security for reluctant readers and students with low literacy.  Many sophisticated picture books are an ideal for BTs within classroom practice.    They provide a valid alternative as a class text for disinterested teens, reluctant readers, students with low literacy and those that do not speak English at home (Marsh, 2010). 

Book trailers require the reader to connect the text to the real world and themselves as part of their reader response.   Some students may struggle with the disconnect between a physical book and digital book trailer (Gron, 2014, p. 97).  This means that students need to envision the text in an alternate setting to a book as they both use different languages (Gron, 2014, p.97). This envisaging can be difficult for some students and that is why collaborative groups are essential in tasks such as this (Gron, 2014, p.97).  Additionally, the format and illustrations of picture books gives students with minimum faculty for imagination a starting point for structuring their BT (Tobin, 2012, p.42).    A storyboard template can be used as a scaffold for students to set and frame their scenes as well as provide a sense of direction for the task (Tobin, 2012, p.43).   These templates can be paper  or digital.  Suggestions for online storyboard sites include Canva, Wideo, Comicmaker and The Plot.  Paper templates can be downloaded from here

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 The role of the teacher or teacher librarian when using book trailers is in a support function.  Teachers are required primarily to support discourse by providing a series of questions that provoke dialogue (Tobin, 2012, p.45).  They are also required to facilitate the creation of collaborative learning groups and provide scaffolding for the student’s ICT capabilities.  The latter is important as students often get distracted when using their personal devices and teachers will be required to redirect if the distraction proves to be recurrent (Tobin, 2012, p.45).  Teachers may also be required to monitor the creation of BT to ensure that they are complying with school policy and legislation requirements.  

Teacher librarians can support classroom teachers and students by providing additional technological assistance and information regarding the use of creative common images and copyright laws (Earp, 2017).  This may be required in higher levels for teachers who are less sure of their own computer proficiency.  Using book trailers as a teaching and learning activity can bolster both the teacher and the student’s multimodal capabilities.

Book trailers are not the literary derivative of movie trailers.  Rather it is a valid reader response strategy to texts studied in classes across the curriculum.    The inclusion of book trailers into teaching and learning has many educational benefits and is an excellent way of incorporating meaningful use of digital technologies into the classroom.  Whilst a fairly new method, there is ample scope to include this multimodal literary learning strategy within the curriculum.  Book trailers are an excellent method of illustrating the reader’s comprehension and analysis whilst increasing interpersonal skills and boosting multimodal literacy.  

 

References: 

ACARA. (2014a). Personal and social capability. General Capabilities Curriculum.  Educational Services Australia. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/personal-and-social-capability/

Bernardo, M. (2019). Book trailer project – step by step guide. English Teaching 101. Retrieved from https://englishteaching101.com/book-trailer-project/

Earp, Jo. (2017). Secondary English – creating book trailers. Teacher.  Retrieved from https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/secondary-english-creating-book-trailers

Festa, K. (2017). The book trailer project: Media production within an integrated classroom. Journal of Media Literacy Education. 9 (2), 105-113. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1284&context=jmle

Ginsberg, R. (2013). Voices from the Classroom – Young adult literature in the 21st century. The ALAN Review. Retrieved from https://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ALAN/v40n2/pdf/ginsberg.pdf

Gron, R. (2014). Literary experience and the book trailer as intermedial paratext. Interdisciplinary Journal of Sound and Sound Experience. 4. (1). Retrieved from https://www.soundeffects.dk/article/view/20330/17917

Marsh, D. (2010). The case for picture books in secondary schools. Lianza, 51(4), 27. Retrieved from https://doms.csu.edu.au/csu/file/f7b0a0c2-d0c5-4ba3-8644-6955ea9850b6/1/marsh-d.pdf

Moore, J., & Cahill, M. (2016). Audiobooks; Legitimate ‘reading’ material for adolescents? Research Journal of the American Association of School Librarians. Retrieved from www.ala.org/aasl/slr/volume19/moore-cah

Tobin, M. (2012). Digital storytelling: Reinventing literature circles. Fischer College of Education. 12. NSU. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=fse_facarticles

 

Digital literacy and its impact on pedagogy and the role of a TL.

The world’s economy has evolved with the transfer from production lines to one structured upon the creation and dissemination of information.  This era has been revolutionised by the ubiquitous presence of the internet and the speed in which it is generated. Combined with rapidly evolving technology; access, use and production of information is easier.  The education sector has been particularly affected by this insurgence of documentation and the skill sets required to seek, harness and use information successfully. This essay will define digital literacy and its pivotal role in information seeking behaviour trend of adolescents, its impact on educational practices and the role of the teacher librarian in this knowledge society.

Literacy has evolved from simply being able to read and write in text form into something more dynamic.  ACARA (2016a) has expanded the definition to include; the ability to interact with, engage and use language across modalities for a variety of purposes and a diversity of contexts.  In this knowledge rich society, information is available in multiple formats and can be often simultaneously engaged with (Jacobson et al., 2018). Therefore, digital literacy (DL) is the ability to appreciate the need for; the expertise to access; the capacity to evaluate, use and integrate information within the school environment and in general society (Lofton, 2016).   Thomas et al. (2018) acknowledge, even though access is widespread, individuals are grappling with the ability to use the new technologies in all areas of life (p.12).

The modern student is heavily reliant upon the internet for both information seeking and retrieval due to the widespread availability of mobile devices (McGrew et al., 2018, Mussell & Croft, 2013, Lanning & Mallek, 2017 and Mills & Angnakoon, 2015).   Teachers are often frustrated at student’s poor information seeking behaviour (ISB) and vexed by their blind dedication to Google and Wikipedia, despite a lifetime exposure to technology (Saunders et al., 2017).  The exasperation tends to peak at the student’s inability to successfully identify relevant and reliable resources online.  Unlike a library, where the librarian acts like a gatekeeper, the internet and thus everything on there, including unsubstantiated and vitriolic materials, are freely accessible.  Search engines are the most common starting point as students are familiar with their visual design, their mechanism and are viewed as fast and reliable (Lanning & Mallek, 2017; Qayyum & Smith, 2018 and Mussell & Croft, 2013).  Adolescents often base their entire study upon the virtue of Wikipedia and Google (Ricautre, 2016 and Qayyum & Smith 2018).  Wikipedia, as Ricautre (2016) elaborates, is built upon the concept of crowd-sourcing, as the public is encouraged to contribute information.  Whilst understandably these parameters allow for open dialogue and the precept of an open learning environment, it brings validity and accuracy of information presented into disrepute.

Google is an omnipresent search engine in modern society. Its pervasive presence has led to ‘google it’ often replacing ‘search for it’ in modern jargon.   Regrettably, as McGrew et al., (2018) point out, students determine the usefulness of a website based upon superficial points, such as the hierarchy of results displayed by Google.  Students fail to comprehend that Google, a corporation, controls results based upon an algorithm determined by the user’s own personal digital history (Ricautre, 2016).  In this way, Google ensures that the search results match closely to the user’s state of mind, previous search parameters and thus is more likely to be accepted (Ricautre 2016).  Some students do not even open up the individual sources but rather just peruse the content on the main search page and accept the information as correct without understanding context (Russell & Callegaro, 2019).   Other students rarely venture away from the initial website due to insufficient DL skills, so they accept information without verifying authenticity and or bias (McGrew et al., 2018). This creates a moral dilemma as they are willingly restricting access to information simply because it is easier.

The problems with students’ ISB are numerous.  Firstly, their techniques used to seek information are based most often on predetermined algorithms, ineffective search terms and minimum effort expended.  In order to cope with the overload of information available, students covertly reduce their search techniques so as to minimize the amount they are presented with (Qayyum & Smith, 2018).  Russell & Callegaro, (2019) point out correctly, that students place the whole query into the search bar and expect a complete response instantly, as there is an unwillingness to construct a bank of knowledge (Mussell & Croft 2013).  Qayyum & Smith (2018) corroborate, by suggesting that the speed in which the internet produces results prevents reflection of content. The DL skills of skimming and scanning cannot keep up with the flow of information and sources are rejected if not exactly correct.

Kobayashi (2018) found that whilst students preferred engaging with technology, they are unwilling to use advanced software and hardware, as they are unable to troubleshoot.  This self-censorship is due to an inability to interpret multimodal sources with a rich media presence (Head et al., 2018, p.4, Jacobson et al 2018; Kobayashi, 2018). This is especially true for students, who already have low literacy, as they often get overwhelmed by embedded multimedia, slowing comprehension (Kobayashi, 2018).  Other students find the layering of sources distracting which also slows cognition down. The majority of adolescents are unable to use search terms properly and when faced with an overwhelming number of sources, they simply use the first few and disregard the rest, despite the possibility of their importance (Mussell & Croft, 2013).  Their ability to navigate the internet is hampered by a lack of literacy and critical thinking skills.

Once students have managed to find sources they understand, they are unable to determine veracity.  McGrew et al., (2018), in their study, concluded that the pattern in which students investigate the reliability of a website is mainly determined by the visual appeal and seemingly professional appearance, whilst often disregarding the bias and or dubious authorship.  Jacobson et al (2018) argued that students are receptive to emotive language and the presence of speculative data was used as evidence of reliability (McGrew et al 2018). Students will also accept the reliability of sources if they subconsciously agree with the information and disregard sources that they disagree with, due to the challenges this new data imposes upon them (Jacobson et al 2018 and Russell & Callegaro 2019).   Even when presented with alternate sources, like databases, many preferred search engines due to the visual appeal and navigation ease (Lanning & Mallek, 2017, and Mussell & Croft, 2013). Shenton (2018) attributes this literacy to, in that students with lower literacy are often unable to decode more complex text and use familiarity of structure to determine reliability and rationality. In terms of DL, this ISB highlights a lack of critical thinking skills, as accessibility is preferred over validity, which is a significant issue for education and beyond.

The presence of the internet has forever changed how public policy and societal issues are addressed, and it is imperative that students are proficient at ISB so that they can do the same hereafter (McGrew et al., 2018 and Thomas et al., 2018).  DL is a citizenship issue and true democratic societies require the voter to be able to find reliable information, evaluate multiple perspectives and communicate their ideas on current issues (McGrew et al., 2018; Jacobson et al., 2018). If students are incapable of DL at school when investigating tasks simple and direct, then their ability to navigate for information on more controversial topics is hampered (McGrew et al., 2018).  This is particularly evident in an election year when society is bombarded multi-modally in an effort to persuade the voter. If one is unable to filter, understand and evaluate the information effectively, then the scope of information is greatly narrowed. One only has to look at the media about the upcoming federal election to realise how important DL is within society.

Modern pedagogy is shifting to a digital interface and it’s important that the DL skills are taught so that students and their teachers engage successfully (Jacobson et al., 2018 and Qayyum and Smith, 2018, p257).  As each generation learns to use, transfer and create knowledge in schools, it is logical that in schools, effort should be placed in establishing digital literacy and efficacious use of technology (Ricautre, 2016, McGrew et al., 2018; Berg, 2018).   A liberal attitude to DL by educational authorities will lead to an ineffectuality for critical thinking and targets for scammers such as the Nigerian scam that has played havoc within numerous households across Australia (ACCC, n.d.). It is evident that digital literacy is important in ISB beyond the classroom.

The dramatic change in ISB and budgetary squeeze has added pressure onto teacher librarians (TL) to adapt their roles to ensure their viability in the school context (Lamb, 2011, p.27).  This adaptation has redefined the role of the TL from an archivist and curator of knowledge, into facilitators of knowledge or information specialists, curriculum leaders, information management leaders (CC, ALIA & ASLA, 2016).  This facilitation ranges from the acquisition of materials that build a school collection, text and digital, and the implicit and explicit teaching of life long skills. From their central position within the library, a TL is able to view the school as a whole and identify and analyze learning holistically (ACT Directorate, n.d.).  As the information specialist and curator of knowledge, a TL is able to assist in building positive ISB by embedding DL through the curriculum (McGrew et al., 2018; Berg, 2018). In the instructional partner role, a TL can instigate various pedagogical practices to support teaching and learning via implicit and explicit actions. Implicit methods could be characterised by the presence of maker spaces within the library, embedding of skills into curriculum units, the inclusion of carefully curated resources that support learning, and explicitly via direct instruction and assessment of skills in tasks.  

Educators need to realise that DL is not independently discovered during research tasks but rather they need to be explicitly taught and then assessed to evaluate understanding (McGrew et al., 2018).  Explicitly teaching DL in collaboration with other staff, TL can assist students in improving their ISB across the school (Shenton, 2018). As technology is an augmentation of learning, regular pedagogy on DL can increase the confidence of students in their ability to use media rich resources for example Google Docs, OneDrive and Endnote (Ricautre, 201; Berg, 2018).  This increase in digital self-efficacy will allow students to engage with more diverse sources and improve their ability to troubleshoot any potential challenges (Kobayashi, 2017).   Makerspaces are an alternative, as they encourage students to be creative, collaborate, problem solve, research and experiment and challenge the student into higher order thinking (Lofton, 2016, p.18; Berg, 2018).  A TL is an ideal person to facilitate these activities, as they are curriculum leaders, and the information expert in the school (CC, ALIA & ASLA, 2016). They can support all forms of inquiry learning and research, by either explicitly teaching correct ISB, and or implicitly, by assisting colleagues in creating coursework and assessments with supporting resources and technology.

Another method is to teach alternate methods of ISB, such as the use of the library catalogue and databases (El-Khayat, 2016).  Mussell & Croft, (2013) determined that many students were unaware of the presence of catalogue and often made it synonymous with a database search. Saunders et al., (2017) and Qayyum & Smith, (2018 p259) advocate that the explicit teaching of search terms, synonyms, and key words is the most fundamental skill, as it is the underpinning concept that illustrates critical thinking and evaluation.  Shenton (2018) interestingly noted that whilst students can often be persuaded to use databases for educational goals, this does not extend elsewhere. There appears to be a dichotomy when it comes to obtaining information. This bears thought of where do these adolescents go to access information for personal or professional reasons? Unfortunately, Google and Wikipedia continue to be the main tools of information seeking, which in itself is fraught with complications.  McGrew et al., (2018) and Lanning & Mallek (2018) both propose that DL be a course that is explicitly taught and formally assessed as a unit of work.   Lanning & Mallek (2017) counsels DL in standardised tests to monitor student progress and the recent move by NAPLAN to online testing could be a step in the right direction in assessing DL skills as DL is pivotal to academic success (ACARA 2016a; ACARA 2016b). Lanning & Mallek (2018) surmises that this is due to the student’s reluctance to learn skills unless there is an assessment attached,  which is just an unfortunate testament to the current education system’ assessment focused approach.

Occasionally, teachers do forget that students can be ignorant of digital practice such as search terms or database availability (Qayyum & Smith, 2018, p259; Miller, 2018).  This is very common in schools with a transient student population. Instead of exhibiting frustration, a TL can use this opportunity as a refresher activity, to explicitly teach that particular skill to the entire cohort in collaboration with colleagues (Qayyum & Smith 2018 p259).  Teaching suggestions include rewording search terms into keywords, keeping extra tabs open in order to read broadly , and realising that the perfect answer rarely comes up within the first few responses (Russell & Callegaro, 2019; Berg, 2018). Head et al., (2018) suggests that teachers and teacher librarians are trusted to provide access to reliable sources by students even if they may not be (p27).  Consequently, teachers themselves need to be digitally literate in order to assist their students in their learning, which is why the presence of a qualified TL is paramount.

Budgetary constraints and a lack of understanding of digital literacy have led to many schools dispensing with a qualified TL and or the library itself (Wood, 2017).  This poses a great problem for students and their ability to engage with the digital world (Berg et al., 2018). Some argue that digital resources and new seeking software is so instinctive that it compensates for student inadequacies and librarians are unnecessary (Saunders et al., 2017).  But it seems impractical to depend on an algorithm and its superficial limitation of results. This is just censorship under an alias. Others suggest the pervasive mobile device does not warrant the cost of outfitting hardware. This is a fallacy, as mobile only users, individuals with a disability and ethnic minorities are sub sections of society who are digitally disadvantaged (Thomas et al., 2018, p.16).  Mobile only users in particular are reluctant to engage in media rich practices as their device often does not have the speed and data allowance (Thomas et al., 2018 p.16). Considering the diversity within schools, the lack of a school library and TL is a clear affront to educational needs.

Students with low DL will have poor decision making skills due to an inability to filter, evaluate and critically analyse information (Berg 2018, Wood, 2017; Kachel, 2016).  This inefficacy with DL is further pronounced in lower socio-economic households where there are already hurdles due to lack of access, generational disadvantage and disability (DIIS, 2016; Thomas et al., 2018). The removal of libraries and teacher librarians infringe upon the freedom and right to access information (OIAC, N.D; UN, 1948).  Libraries seek to provide equity of access to students, and teacher librarians seek to provide self-efficacy in digital literacy to both students and teachers, for the successful navigation in this current knowledge society. The irony is that under legislation, prisons must have a library and a qualified librarian, but not schools (Kechel 2015, ALIA 2015; Bevan, 1984).

Digital literacy is essential and plays a vital role in ISB as the behaviour practiced in school is repeated in adulthood.  There is a strong correlation between low DL and poor ISB, which impacts pedagogical practices. The role of the TL in this changing information landscape, is to ensure that all students have access to information and have the ability to seek, use and share that information in a variety of formats.   In a world where there is a constant barrage of information, fake news interspersed with real news, a digitally illiterate citizen will be isolated, vulnerable and unable to self-advocate. They will be unable to participate wholly with this new society as an economic contributant. Access to the digital world is a necessity in modern times, as is the ability to navigate this information age.

REFERENCES

ACARA (2016a) National literacy learning continuum. Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/resources/national-literacy-and-numeracy-learning-progressions/national-literacy-learning-progression/what-is-literacy/

ACARA (2016b) NAPLAN online. National Assessment Program. Retrieved from https://www.nap.edu.au/online-assessment

ACCC (N.D) Nigerian Scams. Scamwatch. Retrieved from https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/unexpected-money/nigerian-scams

ACT Government (n.d.) School Libraries: The heart of 21st century learning. Education Directorate.   Retrieved from https://www.education.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/916301/School-Libraries-21st-Century.pdf

ALIA (2015) Australian Library and Information Association Minimum Standard Guidelines for Library Services to Prisoners

Retrieved from https://www.alia.org.au/about-alia/policies-and-guidelines/alia-policies/prison-guidelines

ALIA and ASLA (2016) Statement on Teacher Librarians in Australia. Retrieved from  https://asla.org.au/resources/Documents/Website%20Documents/Policies/policy_tls_in_australia.pdf

Berg, C., Malvey, D., and Donohue, M., (2018) Without foundations, we can’t build: Information literacy and the need for strong library programs. In the Library with the Lead pipe.  Retrieved from http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2018/strong-school-library-programs/

Bevan, C., (1984) Minimum standard guidelines for Australian prisons 1978 (Editor), Australian Institute of Criminology. Retrieved from https://aic.gov.au/publications/archive/min-standard-guidelines-prisons

Curriculum Corporation, Australian School Library Association and Australian Library and Information Association (2001). Learning for the future : developing information services in schools (2nd ed). Curriculum Corporation, Carlton South, Vic. pp60-62

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (2016). Australia’s digital economy update. Retrieved from https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2016/05/apo-nid66202-1210631.pdf

El-Khayat, Y (2016) Librarians help high school students improve research skills. Journal of Medical Library Association. 104:3. DOI 10.3163/1536-5050.104.3.009

Head, A., Wihbey, J., Metaxas, P., MacMillan, M., and Cohen, D., (2018) How students engage with news. Five takeaways for educators, journalists and librarians.  Project Information Literacy Research Institute. Retrieved from http://www.projectinfolit.org/uploads/2/7/5/4/27541717/newsreport.pdf

Jacobsen, R., Halvorsen, A., Frasier, A., Schmitt, A., Crocco, M., and Segall, A., (2018) Thinking deeply, thinking emotionally; how high school students make sense of evidence. Theory & Research in Social Education. I46:232-276. DOI 10.1080/00933104.2018.1425170

Lamb, A. (2011). Bursting with potential: Mixing a media specialist’s palette. Techtrends : Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 55(4), 27-36.

Lanning, S,. and Mallek, J., (2017) Factors influencing information literacy competency of college students. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 43: 443-450.  DOI: 10.10.16/j.acalib.2017.07.005

Lofton, J., (2016) Students are makers! Building information literacy skills through makerspace programs. CSLA Journal. 40 (2). Retrieved from https://www.questia.com/magazine/1P3-4305515741/students-are-makers-building-information-literacy

Kachel, D., (2015) The calamity of the disappearing school libraries. {Blog Post} Theconversation.com. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/the-calamity-of-the-disappearing-school-libraries-44498

Kobayashi, M., (2017) Student’s media preferences in online learning. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education. 18:3. ISSN 1302-6488. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1147585

McGrew, S., Breakstone, J., Ortega, T., Smith, M., and Wineburg, S., (2018) Can students evaluate online sources? Learning from assessments of civic online reasoning. Theory & Research in Social Education. 46: 165-193. DOI 10.1080/00933104.2017.1416320

Miller, S., (2018) Diving dee; Reflective questions for identifying tacit disciplinary information literacy knowledge practices, dispositions and values through the ACRL framework for information literacy. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 44: 412-418.  DOI: 10.1016/j.acalib.2018.02.014

 

Mills, L., and Angnakoon, P., (2015) How do high school students prefer to learn? CELDA 2015. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED562093.pdf

Mussell, J., and Croft, R., (2013) Discovery layers and the distance student: online search habits of students. Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning.  7:1-2, 18-39, DOI 10.1080/1533290X.2012.705561

Nickpour, F., (2017) Information Behaviour in design; a conceptual framework. Design, User Experience, and Usability: Theory, Methodology, and Management.  pp 152-162.   DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-88634-2_12

OÇonnell, J., (2017) School Libraries. In I.Abdullahi (Ed) Global library and information science: A textbook for students and educators. Berlin, Boston; De Gruyter Saur. Retrieved from https://heyjude.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/ifla-174_16_o-connell.pdf

Office of Australian Information Commissioner (N.D) Freedom of Information Act 1982. Retrieved from https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-information/foi-act

Qayyum, M., and Smith, David., (2018) Changing research behaviours of university students with progression through a course. Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association. Vol 67: 3 pp256-277 DOI: 10.1080/24750158.2018.1502243

Ricaurte, P., (2016) Pedagogies for the open knowledge society. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. 13:32 DOI: 10.1186/s41239-016-0033-y

Russell, D,. and Callegaro, M., (2019, March 26) How to be a better web searcher: secrets from Google scientists. Scientific American Retrieved from https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/how-to-be-a-better-web-searcher-secrets-from-google-scientists/

Saunders, L., Severyn, J., and Caron, J., (2017) Don’t they teach that in high school? Examining the high school to college information literacy gap. Library & Information Science Research. 39: 276-283. DOI 10.1016/j.lisr.2017.11.006

Shenton, A., (2018) Reading in information behaviour and information literacy frameworks. Collection and Curation. 37:2. Pp6-64. DOI 10.1108/CC-04-2017-0013

Thomas, J., Barraket, J., Wilson, C., Cook, K., Louie, Y., Holcombe-James, I., Ewing, S., and MacDonald, T., (2018) Measuring Australia’s Digital Divide: The Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2018. RMIT University, Melbourne, DOI: https://doi.org/10.25916/5b594e4475a00

United Nations (1948) Human Rights Charter. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

Wood, P., (2017) School libraries disappearing as as the digital age is over. ABC News.  Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-25/school-libraries-disappearing-as-the-digital-age-takes-over/8980464

Institutionally Yours.

8300 / Pixabay – Institution – School or prison?

 

Reading is a vital skill for learning at school and success in later life.  There is multitudes of research to show that an early exposure to books has a direct correlation to literacy success.  This success during formative schooling years often translates to ameliorated schooling outcomes in primary and high school, increased self esteem and overall positive well being.  Unfortunately, substandard literacy skills often convert to poor education outcomes, decreased earnings and lower health outcomes. Thus it seems fairly obvious that literacy needs to be the forefront of the education system to ensure that our young citizens have the best chance at a successful and happy future.

But the statistics are dreadful.  ABS (2013) reports that over 40% of Australian adults lack sufficient literacy skills to cope with daily life.  This is astounding! For a first world nation this is unacceptable. How does this even happen in Australia?

Softlink (2011) research indicates that literacy levels are proportional to the presence of a school library and a qualified teacher librarian.  This is further corroborated by UNESCO (2016), that libraries are the keystone in which literacy is built and promoted upon. By this token, it seems plausible that all educational facilities have a library and librarian.  

Australian correctional centres have embraced this life long learning challenges by mandating that all prisons, jails, correctional facilities and detention centres have a library on site (ALIA, 2015). These libraries serve three main causes, to provide information for personal development; to improve educational outcomes and for recreational purposes (ALIA, 2015).  Bevan (1984) takes the point further to ensure that detainees are encouraged to read and to have access to the library.

 

StockSnap / Pixabay

 

What a marvelous thing this is?  I wish our children had the same access.

Yes, it is true.  All inmates of correctional centres have the right to access a library which is run by a qualified librarian.    Yet in Tasmania less than 50% of schools have a teacher librarian. Victoria has seen the numbers of qualified teacher librarians drop significantly over the past decade (Better Beginnings, n.d.).  Well meaning but unqualified teachers and or assistants are resourcing the library and implementing literacy goals for our students, and it is not working out.

Once again, society bemoans the inadequacies of our children in their reading and writing without actually thinking as to the cause of it.  Blame is flung eagerly at social media, inattentive parents, flying pigs and the like. But the real reason why our children’s literacy levels are deteriorating is because the information expert is  absent from the school context.

The 2011 House of Representatives inquiry into schools and their libraries detailed the importance that teacher librarians bring to schools and their community.   UNESCO (2016) Institute for Lifelong Learning published a policy dictating how libraries support lifelong literacy. Even the Bevan (1984) Institute of Criminology has mandated that prisoners get access to a library and books in order to improve well being and increase their chance of re-entering society.

 

Why can’t we give our children the same chance as we give the incarcerated? 

 

References

ABS (2013) Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, Australia, 2011-12. Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4228.0Main+Features202011-12

ALIA (2015) Australian Library and Information Association Minimum Standard Guidelines for Library Services to Prisoners.  Retrieved from https://www.alia.org.au/about-alia/policies-and-guidelines/alia-policies/prison-guidelines

Better Beginnings (n.d.) Research about Literacy and reading. Retrieved from https://www.better-beginnings.com.au/research/research-about-literacy-and-reading

Bevan, C., (1984) Minimum standard guidelines for Australian prisons 1978 (Editor), Australian Institute of Criminology. Retrieved from https://aic.gov.au/publications/archive/min-standard-guidelines-prisons

House Standing Committee on Education and Employment (2011) School libraries and teacher librarians in 21st century Australia. Retrieved from https://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/house_of_representatives_committees?url=ee/schoollibraries/report.htm

Peschers, G (2011) Books Open Worlds for People Behind Bars: Library Services in Prison as Exemplified by the Münster Prison Library, Germany’s “Library of the Year 2007”. Library Trends 59:3 pp520-543

UNESCO (2016) Libraries and literacy using libraries support nation literacy efforts. UNESCO Institute of life long learning. Retrieved from http://uil.unesco.org/literacy/libraries-and-literacy-using-libraries-support-national-literacy-efforts-uil-policy-brief-6

The Hub (n.d.) Statistics available on school libraries in Australia Softlink’s Australian School Library Survey 2011. {Blog} Quality school libraries in Australia. Retrieved from https://hubinfo.wordpress.com/background/few-statistics/

Endangered or Adaptable

Once upon a time, when the air was clear, there lived a family of moths with pretty white 

wings speckled with black spots.  This moth thrived in the woodland, blending in nicely with the fungus covered trees, living merrily among the birds, bees and butterflies of 18th century England.  Their cousins, the melanic moths, with their black wings were the poor cousins that hid in the shadows, hiding from the daylight hours that would highlight them against the drab grey green tree trunks.  

Courtesy of Flickr

But then, darkness descended upon them.  The Industrial age had arrived and with it, smog and soot filled the air and covered the trees.  The poor little speckled moths stood out with their white wings and soon became prey to all the predators around them.  They were dismayed and cried for help to their unfortunate cousins. Instead, the tides had turned. It was the time for the melanic moth to fly.  Their black wings blended in with the soot and coal dust covered trees and buildings. It was their time!! It was their day!! But, being the kind and caring moths, they shared their genetic material with their erstwhile peppery cousins and soon their little speckled moth cousins became black too and life was merry.  

Courtesy of Flickr

Adaptation.  The ability to adjust or change your behaviour, physiology or structure to become more suited to the environment (NAS 2019).  Those peppered moths defied extinction by adapting to the world around them.

 

This is exactly what libraries have done.  They have evolved from hallowed grounds, sanctified and silenced by volumes of knowledge,held in trust for the future generations; to hubs of energy and have completely embraced this fourth age, known as the digital age.  This digital age, Rouse (2005) elaborates is one in which information, its control, creation and conferment are the basis of the economy. Individuals who are not actively involved cannot call themselves digital citizens and the ramifications of this are immense.  But thats a whole other post – Read it now.

Back to libraries and teacher librarians.  Have they become an endangered species?

Arguably, everything in the modern world is at risk from extinction with the advent of automation and technology. An article from the Guardian (2017) finds  that in about 60% of occupations would face partial employment reduction due to aspects being phased out by technology. Combined with BBC News (2016) doomsday report about the slow extinction of libraries, one could extrapolate that teacher librarian role would soon become a figment of the past and unable to exist with the digital age.  

BUT THEY ARE WRONG!

Teacher librarians are another of these defiant species.  Like our moth mates, rather than lay stagnant and shrink away, teacher librarians, consummate professionals as always, have embraced the digital age and evolved with it.  Libraries are now filled with computers and other technology. Wifi is synonymous with public libraries and Burton (2017) found that almost a third of patrons visit a library just to access the internet.  For many, libraries are the bridge between them and rest of the world. Burton (2017) points out that libraries are becoming the information hubs of society by providing this crucial access to information

Courtesy of Flickr

The question though lies, whilst libraries have evolved into knowledge hubs, has society as a whole, sufficiently evolved to engage with this new age of information.  Is the world equipped to work with Google?

Besides providing access to technology, librarians more importantly provide programs that teach digital literacy.  Todd (2012) found that whilst there is an obvious trend in the proliferation of personal digital devices, and that this technology is the dominant platform for information access and use, he did query the ability of students to actually engage with the content and its medium.  

The question must be asked… are young people, who have used an ipad before a crayon actual able to navigate the digital world successfully? Are they able to use this technology for more than just games and social media? If not, then how are they going to become citizens of this digital world.  Herring (2007) theorized that students needed to be taught how to use search engines based upon the evaluation and understanding of the content rather than the simple act of seeking an answer. As you can plainly see, the demand is for digital citizenship education.

Digital education most commonly happens in schools and and theoretically are programmed into the curriculum by a qualified teacher librarian.  But these days of tightening budgets, schools are often forgoing the need for a qualified teacher librarian and replacing them by either a classroom teacher or an administrator, often under the false assumption that Google can solve everything.  

The problem with this is according to Bonnano (2015) is that the specialist skills that a TL brings is missing, such as understanding learner needs, comprehensive knowledge of the curriculum INCLUDING the general capabilities.  Todd (2012) goes on further to say that teacher librarians have “recognised multimodal nature of literacies that emerged from digital environments and its importance of addressing these literacies”. It is information expert component of a teacher librarian role that can ensure these literacies are addressed properly (ALIA & ASLA 2016a).  

Teacher librarians are tasked by ALIA/ASLA (2016b) to implement programs that embed information literacy within the curriculum so that students become adept at seeking and using relevant and authoritative information.  It is our profession duty, that we teach students to be able to analyse, create and disseminate information ethically in multiple formats. Teacher librarians are tasked with ensuring that students become active and informed digital citizens.   

The absence of a school library and or the absence of a qualified teacher librarian will only be detrimental to the educational outcomes of the learning community.  It is clear to me that the presence of a teacher librarian is essential for the educational outcomes of the students. Teacher librarians are certainly not endangered, rather I think the profession will soon become a necessity if society is to survive.  

References  

ALIA and ASLA (2016a) Statement on teacher librarians in Australia. Retrieved from

https://asla.org.au/resources/Documents/Website%20Documents/Policies/policy_tls_in_australia.pdf

 

ALIA and ASLA (2016b) Statement on information literacy. Retrieved from https://asla.org.au/resources/Documents/Website%20Documents/Policies/policy_Information_Literacy.pdf

BBC News (2016) Libraries: The Decline of a profession? England. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-35724957

Bonanno, K,. (2015) A profession at the tipping point (revisited). Access. Retrieved from  http://kb.com.au/content/uploads/2015/03/profession-at-tipping-point2.pdf

 

Burton, S., (2017) Does the digital world need libraries.  [BLog] Internet Citizen. Retrieved from https://blog.mozilla.org/internetcitizen/2017/09/04/libraries/

 

The Guardian (2017) What jobs will still be around in 20 years? Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/26/jobs-future-automation-robots-skills-creative-health

Herring, J., (2007) Libraries in the 21st Century. Chapter 2. Retrieved from https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/science/article/pii/B9781876938437500028

National Academy of Science (2019) Definitions of Evolutionary terms. National academies of Sciences, Engineering Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.nas.edu/evolution/Definitions.html

 

(Purcell, M. (2010). All librarians do is check out books right? A look at the roles of the school library media specialist. Library Media Connection 29(3), 30-33

 

Todd, Ross J. School libraries as pedagogical centres [online]. Scan: The Journal for Educators, Vol. 31, No. 3, Aug 2012: 27-36. Availability: <https://search-informit-com-au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=585228491693277;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 2202-4557.

Information Society – The Second Industrial Revolution – Module 2.3 & 2.5

Society is full of catch words or phrases that attempt to manage or label an era of great advancement or stagnation.  

Prehistoric generations were characterised by ‘stone age’ or ‘bronze age’ because they were defined by their advancement of particular tools.  

Other times of great advancement in thinking in the history of Homo sapiens sapiens were achieved during the Renaissance and Industrial revolution.  These latter two movements dramatically changed the social, cultural, political and economical landscapes of their societies.  The Renaissance was dominant in metamorphing the arts, science and medical fields due to the promotion of new thinking and creativity.  Erasmus’s Utopia, Gutenberg’s printing press and Protestantism were products of this time, where current thinking was challenged by new ideas.  The industrial revolution sought to improve efficiency and productivity so as to theoretically improve quality of life. Unfortunately, this improvement in quality of life was divided sharply by those that could afford it or those that could not.  The adage “have and the have-nots” was apt then and now as many of us would recall that sweatshops and horrible working conditions still exist in parts of the world today.

 

Our society is currently undergoing a digital transformation, which will be known in the generations to come as ‘the digital age’ or ‘information society’.  Information society as (Rouse, 2005) details is “a society in which the creation, distribution, and manipulation of information has become the most significant economic and cultural activity… (where) the tools of the information society are computers and telecommunications rather than lathes and ploughs”.  To put it in plain language, it means that the majority of society currently uses various forms of technology across all aspects of employment, social interactions and recreation. Unfortunately, like the Industrial revolution where the divide lead to great inequality of income, health and educational outcomes, the digital divide is also causing a schism within society.  

 

Citizens of the ‘information society’ are defined by their ability to participate everyday with information intensity through workplace and organizations; possession and ability to use technology to access business, social and learning outcomes and thirdly, the ability to communicate using digital technology.  Non-citizens of the information society, are elucidated most commonly by their inability to participate with the digital economy due to lack of access to hardware such as devices and or insufficient access to resources such as NBN or wifi and or their ability to communicate using the technology. The ADDII (2016) surmised that “there is a divide between people on lower incomes, compared to those on higher incomes” with sub groups of society such as the disabled, the elderly and persons of Aboriginal and Torres strait the most likely to be excluded from the digital age.  This divide leads to poorer overall outcomes, especially in health and education, as the the ability to share knowledge and ideas as well as give and receive information in its various formats as an important aspect of overall well being (ABS 2012).

 

The role of libraries and teacher librarians is pivotal in closing this divide.  In Australia there is no constitutional right to information. But, as a nation, the right to access information is implied by the endorsement of UN Human rights charter.  Article 19 of the charter is defined by “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers” (UN, 1948).  This means that everyone has the right to access information irrespective of their geography, finances and literacy levels.

 

The presence of libraries and public libraries is an attempt by various government and legislative bodies to ensure all members of society are able to participate in this digital age, and they are able to send and receive information through all forms of media (Graham 2012).  The role of a teacher librarian is two-fold. The first aspect, as the information specialist within a school, the TL is required to provide opportunities for the entire school cohort access to information in all formats across various platforms. The second role of the TL, in conjunction with other educators is to ensure digital literacy programs are embedded within the curriculum.  The importance of digital literacy cannot be more emphasized than this. It is absolutely irrelevant if a person has a device and access to the internet but they cannot communicate successfully using the the technology available to them. Digital literacy is becoming more and more relevant as the technology is constantly evolving and the user must be literate in order to use it effectively.  Our role as emerging TLs is to understand the landscape of the world we live in and guide our students in providing access and appropriate teaching strategies to equip them for their future.

 

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). (2015). Information and communication technology (ICT). Retrieved Nov. 2016

Graham, I. (2012). The State of Censorship – Australia. Libertus. Retrieved Nov. 2016.

Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE). (2009). Australia’s digital economy: Future directions. Retrieved Nov. 2016. Early report.

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. (DIIS). (2016). Australia’s digital economy update. Retrieved Nov. 2016.

Parliament of Australia Joint Standing Committee First Report( 2017) The rollout of       the National Broadband Network. retrieved 13/3/2019

Rouse, M. (2005). What is Information Society? Whatis. Retrieved Nov. 2016.

United Nations (1948) Human Rights Charter. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/ 13/3/19

Web Finance Inc. (2016). Information Society. Retrieved Nov. 2016.

Webster, F. (2014). Theories of the information society. 4th ed. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.