Category Archives: ETL411

Smartphones for education & BYOD

Two recent infographics have caught my attention regarding the changing nature of edtech in education. I’m really interested in the statistic quoted about students using a smartphone to support their study are spending more time on their studies per week. Although 40 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot. When I think about this in terms of the distance education students I teach at CSU, I would suggest that a number of my students who are mobile learners are actually investing more than 40 mins of study per week via their mobile devices. I am observing far more ‘learning on the run’ in 2012 compared to 2009 when I was involved in a study which explored DE students’ preferences for accessing DE learning materials online and via mobile devices. It’s amazing how quickly emerging tech becomes mainstream these days, which leads to the second infographic I recommend Going BYOD.

Connecting Apps & Education
Provided By: OnlineColleges.net

A Teacher’s Guide to Social Media [infographic]

This infographic provides a nice visual introduction on teachers’ use to social media in their classroom. The four coloured coded functions of Connect, Teach, Notify and Curate are useful in demonstrating the different functionalities of a range of social networking tools. This infographic could be used as a discussion starter with a group of school teachers, or university lecturers.
A Teacher’s Guide to Social Media
From: OnlineColleges.net

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.

“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.

Lisa Oldham: Lsquared – Libraries x Learning | edtalks.org

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

Lisa Oldham, Development specialist for school library futures at the National Library of New Zealand, discusses the future of school libraries with EDtalks.

Lisa describes how school libraries are a great way to achieve the creation of skilled students who are able to navigate in the knowledge economy. I particularly like the way Lisa details the information specialist and teaching roles of the teacher librarian in schools. An excellent 7 minute video for professional learning in schools regarding the contribution school libraries make to student learning.

Highly recommended viewing for TLs in training, educational administrators, principals, classroom teachers and parents.
Via www.edtalks.org

School Libraries Cultivate Digital Literacy

At David C. Barrow Elementary School in Athens, Ga., media specialist Andy Plemmons works with two students to learn how to use the technology they need for the Barrow Oral History Project.

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

This converge article features a number of TL practitioners in the state of Georgia and explores how school library staff can work with teachers to integrate digital literacy into the  curriculum.

The article presents 5 digital literacy challenges:

1. Access to technology
2. Filtering
3. Sharing the importance of digital literacy
4. Instructional time
5. Teaching young children

with advice from TL practitioners on how to overcome them.

The article concludes:

“At these three libraries in Georgia — and in libraries across the country — library staff overcome challenges to teach students the digital literacy skills they need”,

with a final quote from one of our fave TL ambassadors in the US, Buffy Hamilton who sums up the work of the TL:

“At the end of the day, our emphasis is on learning and providing learning experiences and access to information in as many formats as possible.”

This article provides evidence of a range of ways that teacher librarians support students’ development as digital citizens who are content creators as well as critical users of information.

Note this article also features in Converge Magazine’s Top 10 K-12 Stories of 2011. If you are interested in technology integration, introduction of iPads in schools, bring your own device (BYOD) programs and flipped classrooms, these stories are well worth checking out.

Via www.convergemag.com

Curating Information & Making Sense of Data Is a Key Skill for the Future [Research]

Via Scoop.itFuture Trends in Libraries

Excellent scoop on Scoop.it by Future Trends in Libraries curated by nickcarman. He states:

Extremely valuable skills for Information Professionals of the future… The Institute for the Future and the University of Phoenix have teamed up to produce, this past spring, an interesting report entitled Future Work Skills 2020.   By looking at the set of emerging skills that this research identifies as vital for future workers, I can’t avoid but recognize the very skillset needed by any professional curator or newsmaster.   It should only come as a limited surprise to realize that in an information economy, the most valuable skills are those that can harness that primary resource, “information”, in new, and immediately useful ways.   And being the nature of information like water, which can adapt and flow depending on context, the task of the curator is one of seeing beyond the water, to the unique rare fish swimming through it.  The curator’s key talent being the one of recognizing that depending on who you are fishing for, the kind of fish you and other curators could see within the same water pool, may be very different.     

Here the skills that information-fishermen of the future will need the most:   1) Sense-making: ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed;   2) Social intelligence: ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions;   3) Novel and adaptive thinking: proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based;   4) Cross-cultural competency: ability to operate in different cultural settings;   5) Computational thinking: ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning;   6) New media literacy: ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication;   7) Transdisciplinarity: literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines;   8) Design mindset: ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes;   9) Cognitive load management: ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques;   10) Virtual collaboration: ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team.

Executive Summary of the Report

Download a PDF copy of Future Work Skills 2020

Via apolloresearchinstitute.com

My iCentre presentation at SLAV’s Future School Library Scenarios conference

I presented the featured address at the School Library Association of Victoria‘s (SLAV) ‘Creating collaborative learning spaces: Future school library scenarios’ conference held at Victoria University of Technology on Friday in Melbourne.

The future of school libraries has been a hot topic these past couple of years in Australia as a result of the Building the Education Revolution (BER) fund, a range of online forums and conferences exploring the vision for 21st century school libraries, followed by the national Inquiry into Australian school libraries and teacher librarians (we hope to see the outcomes of this in early May when the report is tabled at Parliament).

These have all been significant ‘blips’ on the teacher librarianship profession’s radar, and it has resulted in much discussion at the local community, regional and education sector levels, as well as the Australian general public due to increased media exposure across radio and press outlets. Check out the Links section on this blog for examples of these.

This address explored some of the issues, concerns and potentials of school library futures in the past couple of years and examined how a TL’s own practice can contribute to building capacity for a sustainable future where school libraries become key learning centres of information, inquiry, innovation, immersion and instructional excellence. I introduced the concept of the iCentre and the ways schools can develop such a centre based on the principles of form, function and brand. This is based on the Commentary I wrote for ASLA’s journal Access.

I think the three principles of form, function and brand provide a useful framework for schools wishing to explore the convergence of facilities, resources, people, funding, policy, programs and services to develop an iCentre. TLs as information, technology and learning specialists can play a leadership role in building their school’s vision towards an iCentre approach.

I presented the iCentre model as one future school library scenario that could be considered by schools, and suggested that the form-function-brand framework can be useful in exploring what a school library might look like in the future.

Some useful references on future school library scenarios and the iCentre approach include:

Hay, L., & Todd, R. (2010). School libraries 21C: School library futures project. Report for New South Wales Department of Education & Training, Curriculum K–12 Directorate, School Libraries & Information Literacy Unit. Sydney:  Curriculum K–12 Directorate, NSWDET.

Hay, L. (2010). Chapter 9: Developing an information paradigm approach to build and support the home-school nexus. In M. Lee & G. Finger (Eds.), Developing a networked school community: A guide to realising the vision (pp. 143-158). Camberwell, Vic.: ACER Press.

Lee, M. & Hay, L. (in press). Teacher librarians and the networked school community: The opportunities. Connections, Issue No. 77, Term 2.

Hay, L., & Todd, R. (2010). School libraries 21C: The conversation begins. [Refereed]. Scan, 29(1), 30-42.

Hay, L. (2010). Shift happens. It’s time to rethink, rebuild and rebrand. [Commentary]. Access, 24(4), 5-10.

I’d really like to hear from any schools already planning for or implementing the iCentre approach. We need to start documenting some school experiences as case studies in 2011.