Category Archives: ETL401

Turning Students into Good Digital Citizens

I just came across this excellent article published by THE Journal which explores a number of issues regarding students’ development of digital literacies and the need for curriculum reform that embeds more explicit teaching of digital citizenship. The article also provides some great leads to recent research in this area including the work of Michael Wesch. The three short video clips of this playlist captures key take-home message of the difference between knowledgeable and knowledge-able and the need for education to move beyond this, given that we live in such a mediated world where different technologies do actually ‘mediate’ how we interact with them and our capacity to engage with content and people, Wesch expands the meaning of being ‘savvy’:

I particularly like his take on this:

“The newer, more interesting questions that are, I think, unique to the digital world revolve around things like algorithms… When my students are freshmen, I try to get them familiar with the digital space in a new way, to begin to give them a sense that what they’re seeing on the screen is encoded. By the time they’re seniors, my hope is that they not only see those structures, but start to manipulate them and put things together in new ways.”

“Understanding that what a person sees on a screen is a construct created by somebody–perhaps even oneself–is part of “building a scaffold toward digital citizenship,” Wesch says, and the next step beyond critical thinking, information literacy, and creative thinking.

“Our lives are so entwined with the digital–so incredibly enmeshed in the digital,” he concludes, “that, if you’re going to be a good citizen, period, you have to be a good digital citizen.”

A must read and essential viewing for teachers and teacher librarians.

Seth Godin’s Stop Stealing Dreams manifesto

It is absolutely pouring with rain here in Canberra. We have had about 18mm in the past hour and for a summer’s day, it’s cold! But I don’t mind, today I downloaded Seth Godin’s Stop Stealing Dreams, and over a couple of glasses of red wine this evening I am going to devour every word of his 30,000 manifesto.


I’ve already read the first few sections and I am hooked! Section 5 really grabbed my attention:

and from what I have scanned his argument about traditional schooling being based on obedience and control captures what what we have been struggling with for the past 2 decades (at least), especially now we are living in a digitally driven, socially networked world… the ways we live and work are constantly changing, however many schools have not even shifted beyond first gear in terms of technology provision and networked access to online information and services. Not to mention a school curriculum based on critical and creative inquiry, collaborative learning, transliteracy, digital citizenship, personal learning environments, mobile learning, 3D virtual worlds as authentic learning environments, just to name a few.

Sections of Godin’s manifesto can easily be used to support professional learning activities. I can’t wait to see some of Seth’s ideas being discussed in tweet streams of edu hashtags such as #edchat and #tlchat in the near future!

I’d be interested to hear from others how Seth’s manifesto is being used to support professional learning in their school, district or PLN.

NYCC Informational Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

To demonstrate the positive impact of school libraries on the implementation of the Regents Reform Agenda in New York, the New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC) was asked in 2011 to prepare a brief which highlights specific examples of programs in states that have had success utilizing school libraries to improve student achievement.

The research on school libraries was analysed according to the five key elements of the RRA, which focus on:

  1. Teacher/School Leader Preparation and Effectiveness
  2. Early Childhood Learning Opportunities
  3. Raise Graduation Rates for At-­‐Risk Students
  4. Curriculum and Professional Development, and
  5. Assessment

Note to practitioners, this is an effective way of presenting your evidence, i.e. using your education system’s and/or school priorities as the framework for the findings in your report.

The brief concludes: “Based on the conclusions from the research cited in the brief, it is clear that school libraries play an important role in student achievement, curriculum development, and instruction. Through political and fiscal state support, effective school library programs can serve as consistent drivers for student achievement in times of constant change and churning educational reform.”

A copy of the full 19 page report is available at http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/nyla/nycc_school_library_brief.pdf

ALA Presidential Task Force: Focus on School Libraries 2012

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

In the March 2012 issue of the journal ‘School Library Monthly‘ (Vol XXVIII, No 6), Susan D. Ballard (AASL President-Elect and Co-Chair of the ALA School Library Task Force) summarises the current state of school libraries in the United States, and details the focus of the ALA School Library Task Force, which “is charged with “leading a campaign addressing the urgent need for advocacy for school libraries, as well as the impact of the de-professionalization and curtailment of school library instructional programs on students and student achievement” (ALA 2011).

Photo: ‘Science in the stacks‘ by SpecialKRB on Flickr
 

This article outlines the 5 goals of the Task Force and the strategies and tactics devised to achieve each goal. The final section on the ‘Tipping Point’ details the implications for students and society if school age children do not have access to school libraries and school librarians based on ‘what we know’ from research regarding school libraries and student achievement.

Many of the recommended readings and points made can be utilised by the school library profession in other countries to support their own advocacy campaigns. This article is also useful reading for our new students entering CSU’s Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) course as they are exposed to school librarianship issues and trends in Australia and worldwide in the subject ETL401 Teacher Librarianship.

If you find any recent research evidence on the impact of school libraries on student learning, please recommend journal articles, research reports and websites to my curation site on Scoop It! http://www.scoop.it/t/student-learning-through-school-libraries. The more evidence we can collect and disseminate regarding the important and essential role of school libraries in school life, the better!

Video contest asks students why they belong in their school library

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), in collaboration with SchoolTube, announces the launch of the School Library Month 2012 student video contest ‘You Belong @ Your School Library’.

Beginning Feb. 7, video submissions will be accepted that illustrate why the school library is (either physically or virtually) the place to be. More information can be found at www.ala.org/aasl/slmvideocontest. Submissions for the video contest will be accepted through March 29 and winners will be announced during School Library Month on April 17. Contest judges will select one student entry from an elementary, middle, and high school each. School librarians are encouraged to share this contest with students in their school community. Student collaboration and educator support is encouraged; however, school librarians are asked to limit their help in the production of videos.

“This year’s School Library Month theme – You Belong @ your library – is perfect for a student video contest,” said Carl Harvey, AASL president. “The great thing about today’s school libraries is that there’s not just one way to belong. The school library is a welcoming environment where students can explore and learn at their own pace, engage in great programming and collaborative projects with their peers, and be challenged and introduced to new information and technologies. I look forward to watching the students’ submissions!”

Winning entries will also be featured on the AASL and SchoolTube websites and social networking platforms.

I think this is an excellent strategy on the part of AASL collect and publish ‘student voice’ pieces as further evidence of the impact of school libraries on student learning.

Maybe the Australian School Library Association could run a similar competition… what do you think? Tweet @ASLA_National if you think this is a good idea as part of Australia’s National Year of Reading 2012.

“Who Are We? The Independent School Library: A Statistical Profile” Susan Williamson

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

Who Are We? The Independent School Library: A Statistical Profile, a chapter by Susan Williamson presents a statistical picture of a sample of independent school libraries in the United States based on a survey in 2004-2005 conducted by the Independent School Section of AASL. The profile compares libraries on the basis of schools’ student and faculty sizes, collection sizes, budgets, staffing, hours open, facilities, and access to technology. Data from three main categories of school groups (Independent, Independent Religious, and Religious) and school types (Day, Boarding, and Combined Day and Boarding) are analyzed and then compared with data from the recent AASL longitudinal survey of public and private schools. The ISS sample of libraries which consists largely of NAIS members appears to provide greater resources, more open hours and more access to databases than public schools.

In addition, studies from NCES and NAIS comparing public and private school students indicate that independent school students have higher scores both on school tests and SAT tests. The author discusses the possible role that usage of the independent school library contributes to these outcomes.

This is a chapter in the recently published book Independent School Libraries: Perspectives on Excellence published by Libraries Unlimited – see http://www.islpe.org/ for details.

There are summaries of each of the chapters including references and recommended resources supporting each chapter via The Essays page of the above website.

Learner Voices | Services to Schools – National Library of NZ

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

Some of my Student Learning project findings are featured on the National Library of New Zealand’s Services to Schools website in section on the Learner Voices.  It states:

“Listening to our students and incorporating learner voices into the many layers of data that informs our practice, ensures that we are delivering the best possible service. Tuning in to learner voices ensures that the school library is responsive and relevant to student needs…

What are students telling us about school libraries? …over 99% of students reported that their school libraries had helped them with their learning in some way.  In analysing the qualitative data in the Australian research, Hay found the following were key factors:  

* seamless integration of ICT between home and school

* access to databases and production software

* access to the library before, after and during school hours  

The top three areas that students identified as most helpful in the closed question area of the study were:  

* help defining a topic

* planning their research

* finding resources.”

Further reading on this study which was the largest Australian survey of school students about how school libraries support their learning, can be found in these articles:

Hay, L. (2006). Student learning through Australian school libraries. Part 2: What students define and value as school library support. [Refereed]. Synergy, 4(2), 27-38.

Hay, L. (2006). School libraries as flexible and dynamic learning laboratories… that’s what Aussie kids want. [Refereed]. Scan, 25(2), 18-27.

Hay, L. (2005). Student learning through Australian school libraries. Part 1: A statistical analysis of student perceptions. [Refereed]. Synergy, 3(2), 17-30.

Hay, L. (2005). Hallmarks of school library programs to support student learning. Connections, Issue No. 55, Term 4, 5-6.