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




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).

“Its the Skills that matter” – 401 – Task 3 – Part C

The ability to seek, use and create information successfully is an imperative in this modern world.  I have previously discussed this societal change and I have spent an inordinate amount of words prophesying the importance of fluency in information literacy (IL) to the point where I even wrote an essay on digital literacy, its impact on pedagogy and the role of a teacher librarian.

I thought I had exhausted this topic, but then it occurred to me that I have not reflected upon my own understanding of information literacy and how that impacts the role of a Teacher librarian.

…….Eh… What? More words?


Let us review what I have learned this semester… (briefly, I promise!)

  1. Society has evolved from product based to information based (Ricaurte, 2016) and people are not coping with this information overload (Thomas et al. 2016).   Check out my amazing ‘Porridge pot’ analogy in Module 2.1
  2. Literacy levels are reducing (Lanning & Mallek, 2017).
  3. IL is poorly articulated and not embedded across national curriculum (Farmer, 2014; Lupton, 2014)
  4. …an attempt was made (Bonanno & Fitzgerald, 2014) but it was poorly planned and executed (Why not review my review of Lupton’s review 2014?).
  5. IL needs to be explicitly taught and assessed so that students see its value (Jacobson et al. 2018; Qayyum & Smith, 2018, p257; McGrew et al. 2018)… and please don’t say just do a research task and the skills will be accidentally learned.  It won’t (McGrew et al. 2018).
  6. Evidence shows that Inquiry learning improves information literacy (Kuhlthau et al, 2012) as well as boosting…
  7. student motivation and self-regulation (Buchanan et al. 2016).
  1. Curriculum embedding of IL is important (McGrew et al. 2018; Berg, 2018)  and
  2. classroom integration of IL boosts IL competency (Kong, 2014)
  3. Lack of IL leads to poor decision making skills and life outcomes  (Berg, 2018; Wood, 2017; Kachel, 2016)

The lightbulb moment came about…. NOW!

Donna did phrase it better when that light switched on.  BUT I do digress…

Anywhoo… back to the task.

So from  the readings and modules in this semester I can deduce:

  1. There is a need for a IL framework in schools.
  2. IL needs to be a planned learning experience
  3. that allows students to build new IL skills upon prior knowledge.  (Christy reckons from kindy and I agree!)
  4. Therefore, IL needs to be embedded across the curriculum and year levels,
  5. As  IL is cumulative (Carolien explains this far better). 

BASICALLY – Schools and education departments need to have a  framework that addresses IL and implement a school-wide approach for the best outcome… on an aside, I find it amusing that P E Island on the Canadian east coast has such a policy. Anne Shirley would have been so proud!!

There are numerous ways that IL can be implemented in schools but for the sake of efficiency and word count, I am going to fast track the the conversation to what matters to TL in schools.

Inquiry learning is a method of increasing information literacy and promoting soft skills.  There are several models of inquiry learning available, and I could spend another inordinate number of words describing and analysing these different models but Yvette has ‘taken one for the team’ with her analysis of the various models.   So read hers.

My preference is the Guided Inquiry Design (GID).  Why?

  1. It is based upon extensive research.  As a practicing scientist for many years, I am a great believer in basing my practice on research and evidence.  GID is considered the GOLD standard, which is AMAZING for my neurotic brain!
  2. GID  places equal importance on the cognitive and affective aspects of the ISP.  Affect plays a strong role in student (and my) motivation.  So by understanding when students are having low affect, guidance and mediation can help them overcome this hurdle successfully
  3. Naturally,  there are difficulties in implementing Inquiry learning in schools.  The presence of standardised testing, is a big prevention of authentic teaching and learning within schools (… there is an elephant in the room…).  And unless ACARA and government bodies realise this, then inquiry learning may always struggle to gain a strong presence in all the KLAs.

Oh look – The elephant’s name is NAPLAN!

So what does this mean for me?

A TL role in schools is no longer just about books, referencing and plagiarism lessons (Lanning & Mallek, 2017).  Rather, the role has become more dynamic in nature, much to my surprise.


The role of a TL has evolved from

TL can affect IL by:

  1. Creating and implementing  an IL framework that executes ACARA’s general capabilities across the curriculum (working on one now at work!!)
  2. Co create and or collaborate to create: (see my GID task – NAILED IT!)
    1. Units with embedded IL
    2. Inquiry units  IL with skills
      1. Embedded within
      2. Taught explicitly
  3. Providing resources that
    1. Support content
    2. Support inquiry skills
      1. Connecting students to resources
  4. Explicitly teach information literacy skills  ie referencing, bibliographies, search terms. (Ntuli, 2016)

Trombetta (2017)

As you can see, a TL does more for IL than just occasionally teach a class about referencing.  Rather, a TL  implements a framework that embeds important literacy skills into and across the curriculum.  This makes the role of a TL extremely important to students, schools and the wider community.

(Now guess who is feeling smug?)

What’s your skill? This is mine.



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/

Bonanno, K. with Fitzgerald, L. (2014). F-10 inquiry skills scope and sequence, and F-10 core skills and tools. Eduwebinar Pty Ltd.

Buchanan, S., Harlan, M., Bruce, Christine S., and Edwards, Sylvia L. (2016). Inquiry based learning models, information literacy, and student engagement: A literature review. School Libraries Worldwide. 22(2), pp. 23-39.

Garrison, K., and FitzGerald, L. (2016). ‘It’s like stickers in your brain’: Using the guided inquiry process to support lifelong learning skills in an Australian school library.  A school library built for the digital age. 45th IASL Annual conference. Japan.

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. 46, 232-276. DOI 10.1080/00933104.2018.1425170

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

Kong, S. (2014). Developing information literacy and critical thinking skills through domain knowledge learning in digital classrooms: An experience of practicing flipped classroom strategy. Computers & Education. 78, pp.160-173,  DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.05.009

Kuhlthau, C., and Maniotes, L. (2010). Building guided inquiry teams for 21st century learners. ZZ School library monthly.  Volume 26: 5.

Kuhlthau, C., Maniotes, L. & Caspari, A. (2012). Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Libraries Unlimited. USA.

Kuhthau, C., Maniotes, L., and Caspari, A. (2015). Guided inquiry: learning in the 21st century. 2nd Edition. Libraries unlimited, USA.

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

Lupton, M. (2014).  Inquiry skills in the Australian Curriculum v6, Access, November

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

Maniotes, L., and Kuhlthau, C. (2014). Making the shift. 43:2. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1045936

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

Qayyum, M., &  Smith, David. (2018). Changing research behaviours of university students with progression through a course. Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association. 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

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

Trombetta, S. (2017). 17 quotes that prove librarians are the best. Bookbub. Retrieved from https://www.bookbub.com/blog/2017/01/19/quotes-about-how-much-we-love-librarians



Curriculum + information + access = Superhero

My path to the role of teacher librarian is but a fortuitous accident.  A recent graduate, blissfully unaware of the actual requirements, I blithely applied for the role citing my repertoire of favourite novels, familiarity with Dewey and my flexible nature in the requested selection criteria. In hindsight, I flinch at my old self, but obviously the principal saw something within me that I had not envisaged.  Fast forward six months, and I have gained valuable insight into the role of a teacher librarian; progressed to full registration and now am a permanent member of staff as a teacher librarian.

Figure 1 – Trombetta (2017)


The role of a teacher librarian has changed dramatically from memories of high school, which had T/L as the “the literature expert at the school” (Braxton 2008).  These bastions of knowledge, could with great skill, able to place the right books into correct hands using age, developmental ability, curriculum and abilities as criteria.  But these days, the teacher librarian themselves have grown into a powerful resource due to the dynamic way information is now sourced.

The advent of the portable devices and the ubiquitous use of the internet has permanently changed how we learn.   Instead of numerous shelves holding reference books, journals and encyclopaedias, most school libraries are equipped with databases, online newspapers and encyclopaedias with a significantly smaller physical collection.  But with such transition comes with a transformation in practice and this has been described by  ALIA (2004) – Teacher Librarian in their standards.

The first role of a TL is a curriculum leader.  Whilst wearing this hat, T/Ls work with heads of departments and the executive to ensure that information literacy skills are embedded across the curriculum and school.  They work with classroom teachers to “plan, teach and evaluate…to ensure the effective integration of information resources and technologies into student learning” ASLA & ALIA (2014).  This role extends to ensuring access for students with diverse learning needs, cultural backgrounds and for students where social justice may lead to inequity. (Braxton 2008)

An information specialist is another aspect of the role.  Being able to obtain, interpret, provide access and assist students as well as staff in utilising the information management system available.  ASLA & ALIA (2014) clearly state the importance of providing “specialist assistance to students using technology and information resources in and beyond the school and for independent research”.  This is further substantiated by the General Capabilities curriculum which promotes the need of students to become independent learners with a life long learning capacity (ACARA 2014).  

Figure 2 – Trombetta (2017)

The last countenance that ASLA & ALIA (2014) deems to be part of a TL role is as an information services manager. It seems redundant to point out that teacher librarians are also responsible for maintaining the resource collection whether it be physical or electronic.  A TL must also be able to select resources that fulfil the needs of the curriculum as well as meet the needs of the students within the policies, budget and moral frameworks of the school.

So basically, a T/L is a multifaceted superhero fighting a battle against illiteracy and promoting critical thinking… without wings.


Figure 3 – Superhero Teacher Librarian (Jones, G., 2011)


ACARA (2014) General Capabilities Curriculum Overview. https://australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/ accessed 6/3/19

ALIA (2004) ALIA/ASLA standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. https://www.alia.org.au/about-alia/policies-standards-and-guidelines/standards-professional-excellence-teacher-librarians accessed 6/3/19

ASLA & ALIA (2014) Learning for the future: developing information services in schools, 2nd Ed. Cited in https://asla.org.au/what-is-a-teacher-librarian (accessed 6/3/19)

Braxton B., (2008) Teacher Librarian as literacy leader. Teacher Librarian 35 (3)

Costello, C., (2016) The role of TLs. https://www.virtuallibrary.info/tl-musings/the-role-of-tls accessed 6/3/19

Jones, G., (2011) Daring librarian. http://daringlibrarian.com/portfolio/public_html/About_Me.html accessed 6/3/19

Trombetta, S., (2017) 17 quotes that prove librarians are the best. Bookbub. https://www.bookbub.com/blog/2017/01/19/quotes-about-how-much-we-love-librarians accessed 6/3/19


Week 1

Week 1.

I am definitely a bit of a stationary fan.  Somehow, the mechanics of my little brain have figured out, that if I have lots of pretty matching books and pens, my writing will also be pretty and flow easily with carefully crafted words.

Only time will tell.