What’s Technology For, Anyway?

In this guest post, Kristin Fontichiaro, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, School of Information highlights key ideas from her upcoming presentation at SLAV’s, Transliteracy, multiliteracy, makerspaces: how can I participate? on Friday, 16th August.

The other day, I heard a story. A parent of young children heard that the oldest children in the school – ages 9 and 10 – were going to be having an end-of-year technology celebration to which everyone in the building was invited.  Eager to hear what her kids would be experiencing in a few years, she dropped by. The students filed in front of the assembly and, without a word, held up an A4  printout of a presentation slide.

That was it.

The whole school had been pulled out of class to gaze at small pieces of paper dozens of feet away.

Ahem.

Now, I have no doubt that the educators behind that project had great intentions and worked hard. (Anyone who has ever tried to get an entire primary school class to print out a project without mixing up whose is whose knows what a feat it is that each kid actually ended up with anything.)

But how did a tool meant to serve as an illuminated backdrop for public speaking end up as a small paper rectangle held up by a silent child? How did a faculty make a decision that seeing these faraway papers merited pulling every other child out of class? What was this project supposed to accomplish?

It’s hard to know. Maybe the technology curriculum focuses on the acquisition of specific skills and behaviours (“the learner will print from software,” “the learner will format a presentation slide”). Maybe the educators were pressed for time. Maybe something else.

I would argue that the crux of the issue is this: there were not clear, aspirational expectations for how technology could transform, extend, and deepen student learning. I would bet that this faculty did not have a clear understanding of what it meant to teach and learn with technology and how to use technology as a game-changer. I have a hunch that the administration pushed for its staff to use technology without talking about how and why to use it.

I quote an extreme example, but (I fear) it probably resonated within the realm of possibility for you. In this madcap Web 2.0 world, where there are endless “creative” tools, just waiting for you to type in a few words and pick a template, how do we move the conversation from “teachers need to use technology, period,” to, “technology needs to transform the teaching and learning and take students further than they could go without technology.”

Next Friday, we’ll gather to talk about this phenomenon. We’ll look at a possible vocabulary and framework for planning and discussing student work, and we’ll draw inspiration from Alan Liu’s Transliteracies Project as we collaborate to articulate what it means to do robust “reading” and “writing” in multimedia. At the end of the day, we’ll dip quickly into two alternative ways to use technology with kids: digital badging to track learning in formal and informal spaces and the makerspace movement. Come roll up your sleeves and dig in with us!

Image credit : cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Brad Flickinger

Be in control: participate in the new age of school libraries

On May 24th, SLAV hosted ‘Be in control: participate in the new age of school libraries’, a conference for library teams. In this post Cindy Tschernitz, SLAV Executive Officer, reflects on the day. The Bright Ideas team also interviewed delegates at the conference and you can listen to the recording here.

What a fantastic day for all delegates. We embraced the year’s theme of ‘Participate, engage, shine – you, me, us’ with a great level of engagement, interaction and enthusiasm. Delegates don’t want to be passive receptors of information and we need to engage, challenge and involve which we did at this conference. It was particularly heartening to see and hear from library team members who learnt from each other and spread the word beyond Melbourne Park through Twitter.

You can see a Camilla Elliott’s Storify of tweets from the day here.

Speakers were outstanding. James Laussen Principal of Overnewton Anglican Community College and Joy Whiteside, Head of Library (a very active SLAV member and John Ward Award winner) did an excellent job setting the scene for the day. Jim gave us an overview of where education is going and Joy followed with her well researched paper on where school libraries are going. She told it as it is, no holds barred and really allowed all to reflect on their role in the school library and greater school community. We had a solid basis for the rest of the day.

Michael Jongen discussed the issues around how we can best provide access to all types of digital content. What struck me was the complexity of improving access and the more Michael spoke, the more issues were raised. As many of the delegates were involved in technical aspects of school libraries, like cataloguing, there were many many questions raised. To some degree it appears that the new cataloguing rules, RDA (Resource Description and Access) will need ongoing revision and adaptation to keep pace with digital content.

From the feedback we received, the concurrent sessions were very engaging. Thank you to Joyce, Michael and Renate and the one I attended, Management 101 presented by Janet Blackwell. Janet spoke with experience, wisdom and honesty. Telling it like it is should have been the theme for the day. Janet led us through her toolbox, showed us the tactics that she has used to ensure that the school library she is responsible for gets the credit and dollars that it  deserves by making it an indispensable part of the school community. Jane gave us some fantastic quotes which I would encourage all to look at via the days Twitter hashtag #SLAVconf.

The partnership between SLAV and the State Library of Victoria was highlighted by the afternoon’s session led by Kelly Gardiner and Cameron Hocking. The panel discussion of PLN participants and stakeholders gave some insight into the value of the PLN. It was great for those of us who are PLN dropouts to know we’re not alone and even more importantly that there are ways we can improve our time management strategies to help complete the course next time. The hands-on demonstrations exploring search strategies, curation, social media and workflow were also excellent. Next conference we will make sure that we have more time so people can attend more than one practical session.

To finish the day and highlight the importance of SLAV’s partnerships with both ALIA and other state school library associations in the Australian arena, Sue McKerracher spoke about a number of initiatives particularly the The Future of the Profession project and the 13 Project. These projects bring together government, school library associations and other agencies in an initiative that will support the school community but will also provide an important platform for advocacy for school libraries.

If I had only one word to describe the conference it would be ‘invigorating’. I am looking forward to the next one on August 15 Transliteracy: who do you ask and how can you participate? which features Professor Kristin Fontichiaro, University of Michigan, School of Information in her first Australian visit. Hope to see you there.

Be in control: participate in the new age of school libraries

Cindy Tschernitz, Executive Officer from SLAV, introduces the second SLAV conference for 2013.

Be in control: participate in the new age of school libraries is the second School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) conference for 2013.  The conference for library team members will be held on Friday the 24th of  May, 2013 at the Melbourne Park Function Centre.

Continuing with the 2013 SLAV theme of “Participate, engage, shine – you, me, us” this conference highlights everyone’s role as a team member and recognises that teams win the game, not individuals. Whatever your role, whether selector, coach, captain, player, runner, medic or supporter, you  all contribute to team success.

We will examine:

  • what a school library is in the 21st century, the role of the individual in school library teams and how you can be in charge of your own development.
  • What type of professional fitness are we building for ourselves through our own personal training?
  • What strategies have we adopted in the new age of school libraries in accessing new resources and exploring different ways of operating and contributing to the school library team within the context of the Australian Curriculum?

Participate, engage and discover.  Where you will shine in the premiership winning school library team?

Registrations are now open. Download the Brochure and Registration form and email slav@netspace.net.au or fax  03 9349 4437

Thanks to Cindy for sharing details of the interesting program. Remember you can follow all SLAV conferences on Twitter using the #slavconf hashtag.

 

Participate, engage, shine – Professional learning in 2013

Cindy Tschernitz, Executive Officer of the School Library Association of Victoria, explores the theme of professional learning events from SLAV in 2013 and introduces the first conference of the year.

Learning has become a participatory process in schools. In recent years many have joined online professional learning networks developed through the partnership of the SLAV and SLV to grow their experience and knowledge within a worldwide context. The opportunities are limitless, it is all about participating. This year we look forward to exploring the multiple information sources required for transliteracy; research skills in the national curriculum; the integration of technology into learning, changing library spaces and reading in a digital age. With the theme ‘Participate, Engage, Shine’ we look forward to another exciting year of learning in 2013.

New technologies, a diversity of resource formats and a continuous journey of learning have become familiar landscape for school library staff. In 2013 school libraries are in a transformative period. The accelerating changes of the Australian Curriculum and AITSL national professional standards for teachers is changing the education landscape and as a consequence the role of the library. It is both an exciting and challenging time. Overwhelmingly, it is a time to participate, engage and shine to ensure success for both yourself and your students.

With this in mind the first SLAV Conference of the year will explore the world of opportunities available for teacher-librarians and school leaders. Professor Tara Brabazon, the newly appointed Professor of Education and Head of the School of Teacher Education at Charles Sturt University (CSU),  will lead the day with a provocative keynote “Note to Self: Note taking and the control of information” that will challenge our thoughts on student learning. Patricia Cowling, Principal Genazzano FCJ College and the 2012 SLAV School Leaders Award Winner will present the closing address, “A Principal’s View of school libraries”.

In between we will examine new professional and cataloguing standards. Dr Graeme Hall and Ms Emma Scott will look at AITSL standards and how they will impact on teacher-librarians and Renate Beilharz will introduce us to the new cataloguing standards RDA/FRBR and the impact of the semantic web.

The afternoon brings us three dynamic concurrent sessions facilitated by practitioners. Attend a workshop on getting ready for RDA, learn about how to best use new library systems and how they enhance learning outcomes or look at different models for data gathering and analysis.

So join us and “Participate, Engage and Shine” at the first conference for 2013.

Event details:

School Libraries a new frontier – a world of opportunities: a conference for teacher-librarians and school leaders

School Library Association of Victoria Conference, Friday 15 March 2013, Etihad Stadium, Docklands

Download the conference program

Download the conference registration form

 

SLAV & NGV explore art, literature & stories

The details of the final SLAV conference for 2012, Art, literature and stories: exploring sharing across cultures have now been announced. This partnership between SLAV and the National Gallery of Victoria will be held at NGV International on Friday the 9th of November, 2012.

The program features two keynote addresses. The first by Anne E Stewart will explore storytelling as a sharing of heart and spirit. Helen Kent and Dr Larissa McLean Davies will discuss Literature in the Australian Curriciulum in a socio-historical context. The session will also explain some of the ways in which the NGV can be used with students studying Literature and English.

Explore NGV’s learning resources at their website

The conference also features a number of concurrent sessions that explore many aspects of literature and art. The day will finish with an intriguing discussion about the significance of frames and the choices made when presenting paintings to the public.

The full conference schedule is now available and registrations can be completed through SLAV. As always, you will also be able to participate in the event on Twitter using the #slavconf hashtag.

SLAV Conference: Be the expert

The program for the next School Library Association of Victoria conference has been finalised, with Hamish Curry from the State Library of Victoria announced as the keynote speaker. The conference, entitled Be the expert: promote yourself with skill development will be held on Monday the 22nd of October at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne.

The conference schedule includes featured addresses about library displays, concurrent sessions exploring digital tools and a closing address by Gerry Kennedy on e-books.  The conference registration form is available from the SLAV website.

This event follows on from the Global e-literacy conference in July at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The shared notes from this very successful day are available on the Global e-literacy site. You will find details of sessions on screencasting, digital storytelling, iPads and much more. For a summary of this conference have a look at our Storify of the day.

 

Global e-literacy: leading the reinvention of learning

 

The next SLAV conference will be held at the MCG on Friday, July 27. The theme will be Global e-literacy: leading the reinvention of learning. In preparation for the conference you might like to follow some of the speakers involved on the day, either through their blogs or on Twitter.

The conference keynote will be delivered by Judy O’Connell from the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University. We’re looking forward to seeing Judy speak as she is a passionate advocate for libraries and an internationally respected expert in her field. Make sure you follow Judy’s blog or find her on Twitter.

Jenny Luca, Head of Information Services at Toorak College and writer of the Lucacept blog, will present on Multimodal Literacies. Panel presentations will be given by John Pearce, David Fehigan (Bialik College) and Di Ruffles (Melbourne High School). You can watch Di’s screencast about search tips here. The day will be closed with a presentation by Cecilie Murray (Delphian eLearning).

To find out more visit SLAV’s Professional Development page or view the conference program.

 

Reflection – SLAV Conference: Reading Culture

The National Gallery of Victoria was the perfect venue last week for the School Library Association of Victoria conference Reading Culture: Collaborate, Create, Celebrate. Presented in collaboration with NGV Education and Programs, the relaxed and collegial atmosphere for the day was set when delegates gathered in the morning sunshine for coffee and catchup chats. The blending of culture, literature, learning and technology amidst the treasures of the National Gallery once again proved to be an inspiring combination.

Bunjil's nest

Bunjil's nest

Sue McKerracher, National Year of Reading (NYOR) spokesperson opened the conference with an invitation to the audience of approx 210 to join the excitement of this special year that puts the love of reading and the sharing of its pleasures into the spotlight.  The range of resources and ideas on the official NYOR website indicate that 2012 will be an exciting year for reading in Australia.

Author talks are always an opportunity to get to know the person behind the story.  Alison Lester’s engaging conversation with Laura Harris of Penguin Books, gave us a glimpse of inspiration behind her career as an illustrator and writer.  Alison’s book Are we there yet? is the feature book for the 2012 National Year of Reading.  Her discussion with Laura focussed the book she wrote in collaboration with Coral Tulloch, One small island (set on Macquarie Island) and a special preview ‘peek’ at her forthcoming title Sally Scott goes south.

Petite and articulate author Alice Pung took the audience on a journey back to her father’s life as a survivor of Pol Pot’s Cambodian Killing Fields through her eloquent story telling.  She spoke of the lives that contributed to her books; stories of hardship and survival, full of emotion, yet shared in a way that emphasised humour and poignancy in the telling.  Her latest book Her Father’s Daughter has been a journey for Alice herself as she came to know and appreciate her father on a different level.

Workshops exploring the interaction between literature and art are always popular.  The linking of art, literature and Medieval history; explorations of the work of Albrecht Durer and the use of art to stimulate creative writing and thinking inspired a buzz of conversations.  I attended the inspiring session Bunjil’s Nest which had a strong focus on sustainability, Koori culture and environmental awareness.  It celebrates Bunjil the Eagle, creator spirit of the Kulin Nation and has involved numerous schools and community groups.  This is an ongoing collaborative project with resources available online that provide learning support and inspiration. A wonderful class activity.

After lunch in the beautiful Great Hall, delegates ventured into the ‘nuts and bolts’ activities of school libraries which included establishing an online bookclub, an exploration of apps, ipads, digital storytelling and the experiences of the SLAV/FUSE Web Elements Engaged Project.  At this time, I attend of the knowledge sharing session of SLAV members Joy Board of Beaconhills College and Anne Whisken of Carey Baptist Grammar School in an attempt, like many others present, to gain an understanding of the complex options available in setting up a library management system to handle the range of resources in today’s library.  The resources from these sessions will be available on the professional development link (past papers) on the SLAV website

The conference concluded with delegates being taken on a journey of the restoration of the painting The Crossing of the Red Sea by Nicholas Poussin with NGV Painting Conservator, Carl Villis.  Truly fascinating. You are invited to follow the progress of this major project online.

Presentation of SLAV achievement awards was the highlight of the conference.  The following awards were presented and our congratulations go to these worthy recipients:

 John Ward Award – Joy Whiteside, Overnewton Anglican Community College
Innovator’s Grant – Sally Sutherland, Melbourne Girls’ College
SLAV Research Fellowship – Pam Niewman,  Clairvaux Catholic School
School Leader’s Award – Julie Ryan, Principal, Our Lady of Mercy College

SLAV Awards 2011

SLAV Awards 2011

 This was another day celebrating the knowledge and ideas of library and learning professionals.

Camilla Elliott is Head of Library and eLearning Coordinator at Mazenod College, Mulgrave.  She is also Chair, SLAV Professional Development Committee.

Feature blog – Michael Jongen’s Web 2.0 and other library stuff blog

Our Lady of Mercy College teacher librarian Michael Jongen has been blogging since early 2009.

Screen shot 2010-12-05 at 11.52.57 AM

Designed to help support teachers integrate web 2.0 technologies into teaching and learning, Michael explains the impetus for his blog Web 2.0 and other library stuff:

I attended a SLAV PD in March 2009, where Will Richardson argued that ‘Learning in the 21st century is all about networks and the connections we can make to other learners and teachers both in our communities and around the globe. But being literate in this new learning environment requires more than knowing how to read and write, it requires us to edit, publish, collaborate, create and connect in the process of building our own personal learning spaces’.

Inspired by this, I decided to blog and work with the teachers at my school and make them aware of Web 2.0 and its potential for learning.  This blog will be about how one teacher librarian raises awareness within his school.

The great thing about Michael’s blog is that he has customised it specifically for the staff and conditions at his school. Thanks for sharing your work Michael.

Make, Share, Do Smackdown wiki

The final session of the School Library Association of Victoria Make, Share, Do conference held on Friday 30th July was a smackdown. A wiki was developed with resources for people interested in accessing resources for:

  • information fluency
  • digital citizenship
  • digital storytelling
  • reading 2.0
  • network building

Screen shot 2010-08-01 at 10.21.27 PM

Wallwisher walls were developed for each topic with conference delegates encouraged to add their own favourite sites, tools and ideas.