Category Archives: ETL523

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!

“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.

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