This is my final assignment for EDEL 544 as I finish my 6th course towards my Masters of Education with a speciality in Teacher-Librarianship...
Final Thoughts, Takeaways, & Key Learning
Technology, Advocacy, & Participatory Culture:
As a teacher-librarian, I will use technology to help my school community become invested and involved in the running of the library; the end in mind being that they become strong advocates of library programs (Woolls, 2008, p. 190). “Only when users are aware of the quality and importance of the services will they fight to preserve them” (Woolls, 2008, p. 189). Online surveys, Internet access during non-instructional times, and creation and communication platforms/apps will encourage a participatory culture and increase usage of the library (Plemmons; 2014).
Model Digital Leadership and Citizenship:
As an educator, I have a responsibility to teach, mentor, and model the use of social technology with my students. I need to help them acquire problem-solving skills and skills for using technological platforms for the good of society. Students need opportunities to be skeptical of what they read, take a stand against inappropriate content and behaviours, and take responsibility for their actions and mistakes (Casa-Todd, 2017). I need to be a positive role model in the way I use technology in front of them and how I contribute to the “collective intelligence” (Tour, 2017, p. 185) through the use of creation, communication, collaboration, and curation Web 2.0 tools.
Information Overload & Literacy:
Christine Bruce, as cited in Bawden and Robinson (2009), states that an information literate person “has a sound knowledge of the world of information, approaches information critically, and has a personal information style that facilitates his or her interaction with the world of information” (p. 187). I believe each person has unique informational needs and unique ways of working with information, which means that solutions for information overload will look different from person to person. However, it is necessary for everyone to acquire the skills and management strategies “to make the most of the increased volume and complexity of information” (Goulding, 2001, p. 110) as to prevent and deal with information overload. I need to lead the charge against information overload for my school community by using technology and strategies to increase information literacy and set reasonable expectations of technology use.
I am excited about the possibilities and opportunities that Web 2.0 tools will bring to ALL of my students. Hamilton (2011) posits that rather than teaching for information consumption, students need instruction regarding effective collaboration and critically/ethically evaluating and sharing information and differing points of view (p. 41). Our students can learn these skills by using Web 2.0, and our most vulnerable learners will benefit from the various levels of anonymity, access to global collaboration, and use of tools for personalized artistic expression. I hope that Web 2.0 will increase the self-confidence and participation of all students.
Like Holmes, Preston, Shaw, and Buchanan (2013) mention, online PLNs do not replace face-to-face professional development interactions, but having the online alternative gives educators “more choices and control over their professional learning” (Tour, 2017, p. 189). I think back to my earliest education professional development, and it usually consisted of readings or lectures and workshops. Events were expensive, and I considered a full day of professional development successful if I came away with one good idea. By “bopping” around online and following whom I want, when I want, and about what I want, I save time, energy, and money creating a smorgasbord of professional learning (Tour, 2017, p. 189). I want to lead by example in building a strong PLN and encourage my staff to create their own PLNs online.
3 Web Tools I Still Want to Learn About
1. Google Calendar:
Due to the nature of teacher-librarianship, I am continually trying to set up collaboration and trying to book time in the library for classes. I want to set up a Google Calendar account for teachers to schedule time in the library and be aware of where I am during the day without having to text, email, or find me somewhere in the school. This is a project for the summer!
I spend much time trying to find out opinions and gather statistics for my library. It seems almost impossible at times to poll staff and families. I like the idea of using SurveyMonkey, and I want to start by having an iPad available in the library for surveys for student use. I can see myself polling families for creating community events (e.g., Reading with Seniors, Makerspace Weekend Events, Toddler Story time, Parent and Me Programs).
I have started this Weebly Blog account, but there is still so much I don’t understand or know how to do. Specifically, I want to spend time researching image copyrights and privacy, and how to increase traffic on my site. I want to use the SurveyMonkey (as mentioned above) to find out what other professionals like reading and researching so that I am producing quality blog posts.
3 Web Tools I Will Use At School
I enjoyed learning how to use screencast programs. I was concerned that it would be a very advanced tool, but Screencast-O-Matic is set up logically and the free version is more than adequate for elementary classrooms. After using Screencast-O-Matic for a course assignment, I tried using it for a Space Mining Presentation and also for an Owl Pellet Dissection activity. The students were super engaged, and I found that I was more thorough with my instructions when I could record them before the lessons. The students were curious about making their own screencasts, and I hope to help them explore this presentation tool.
2. Comic Creators:
Another Web 2.0 tool that I enjoyed exploring was Pixton’s graphic comic creator. After using Pixton for a course assignment, I purchased the educator’s subscription and taught one of my intermediate classes how to create their own comics. Next year, my principal is considering the purchase of a school subscription so that I can mentor the school community on how to use the program. I hope that teachers will allow students to demonstrate their learning by creating comics. One teacher already wants to use Pixton to create comics as summative assignment for her Explorers Unit.
Link to one of my Pixton Creations: Pixton.com/ic:1dyw1yxb
3. Curation Tools:
Until this course, I never thought of curation tools as platforms for student learning. In September, I want to teach my intermediate students to use Wakelet. I think Wakelet will allow the students to critically select information to create stories and see how information connects using various types of media.
Follow me on Wakelet: wakelet.com/@themischievouslibrarian
Thank-you to both my Discussion Group and Group Project Ladies: I have much-appreciated reading and learning from your insights, ideas, and experiences, and I feel honoured to work alongside such wise and inspiring educators!
Darren, Mela, Jillian, and Debbie: Thank-you for the insightful discussions and fabulous use of technology. Best. Discussion Group. Ever!
Dev, Jillian, and Shannon: You girls rock! Thank you for being so patient and encouraging through our entire project and for putting up with my slightly obsessive reference/citation tendencies. Go, Langley and Maple Ridge!
Congratulations to those of you who are finishing your degree after this course and to the rest of you, I hope to work with you again in the terms to come!
Thank-you Joanne for another fabulous course! I always learn so much from you!
Bawden, D., & Robinson, L. (2009). The dark side of information: Overload anxiety and other paradoxes and pathologies. Journal of Information Science, 35(2), 180-191. doi: 10.1177/0165551508095781
Casa-Todd, J. (2017). Social LEADia: Moving students from digital citizenship to digital leadership. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.
Goulding, A. (2001). Information poverty or overload? Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 33(3), 109–111. doi: 10.1177/096100060103300301
Hamilton, B. J. (2011). Creating conversations for learning: School libraries as sites of participatory culture. School Library Monthly, 27(8), 41-43. Retrieved from http://www.schoollibrarymonthly.com
Holmes, K., Preston, G., Shaw, K., & Buchanan, R. (2013). "Follow" me: Networked professional learning for teachers. Australian Journal Of Teacher Education, 38(12). doi: 10.14221/ajte.2013v38n12.4
Plemmons, A. (2014). Building a culture of creation. Teacher Librarian, 41(5), 12-16. Retrieved from www.teacherlibrarian.com
Tour, E. (2017). Teachers’ self-initiated professional learning through personal learning networks. Technology, Pedagogy & Education, 26(2), 179–192. doi: 10.1080/1475939X.2016.1196236
Woolls, B. (2008). The school library media manager. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.