Assessment item # 1

Concepts and Practices for a digital age

One of my personal and professional observations of the digital age is that most schools are trying to incorporate technology, but some are doing it better than others. The primary factor that determines this is financial, but to a lesser degree, State Governments, willingness of staff and the type of school leadership also play significant roles.

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In my school some staff are wholly committed, most are trying (yet are feeling overwhelmed), and a small minority remain unconvinced.  One eLearning coordinator, three heads of Teaching & Learning, and a small but dedicated group of IT specialists herd this disparate group. It’s already been five-year journey, with no end in sight, but that is expected, it’s an evolving, long-term, strategic plan.

Digital technology affects all institutions. Issues of equity (Harris, 2012), questions about censorship and copyright*, concerns about privacy (Marsoof, 2011) — all are important, but something even more mundane continues to be one of the biggest obstacles: Do schools have the underlying infrastructure to offer teachers genuine student engagement?

We are a 1:1 iPad school. Every day my library staff grapple with all sorts of very real issues, including merging Apple devices with existing PC technology. I have returned to complete this MEd. to gain

ipad+comp cropped

the confidence to engage with those who make the decisions about technology within the school in a meaningful way. Currently they view me as the ‘reading teacher’, but as an information specialist, and keen digital innovator, I have a lot more to offer.

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The module on digital literacy interests me the most. Connecting with students is my prime objective. I challenge myself to provide all students with consistent and relevant information, so they have the best opportunity to learn. Getting through to them is the key. I have employed a number of social networks (here, here, here, and here) over the years, with varying degrees of success. How can I keep my library in their minds? I am pushing the notion that the library is a virtual space as well as a geographical one. I am pushing myself into classrooms to talk about research and technology. And I want to be better at pushing my skills to administrators and the wider community.

This will take more time. That’s okay. I have it.

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Archer, M. (2014, March 7 2014). Brisbane East News. Retrieved from http://www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/east/mansfield-high-school-student-marcus-brown-who-was-suspended-for-having-a-mobile-phone-in-his-bag-has-received-no-sympathy-from-the-education-minister/story-fni9r0lo-1226848129072

ASLA. (2013). Future learning and school libraries (pp. 23). Canberra ACT: Australian school library association.

Downes, J. M., & Bishop, P. (2012). Educators engage digital natives and learn from their experiences with technology. Middle School Journal, 43(5), 6 – 15.

Harris, C. (2012). Going Mobile. School Library Journal, 58(1), 14.

Lee, M. (2013). The evolutionary stages of schooling: Key Indicators. Retrieved from Mal Lee website: http://malleehome.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Evolutionary-Stages-of-Schooling.pdf

Lee, M. (2014, January 2014). Leading a digital school.  Retrieved from http://malleehome.com/?p=2681

Marsoof, A. (2011). Online Social Networking and the Right to Privacy: The Conflicting Rights of Privacy and Expression. International Journal Of Law & Information Technology, 19(2), 110-132.

Photograph: Padua Library, taken by P J Buckley, image of student used with permission

* I am frustrated by my inability to find any current, relevant academic papers on this topic. Maybe it means it’s not an issue (ps I don’t believe that). Maybe I used the wrong keywords (pfft). Maybe there just aren’t any yet (could someone get on to that? Thanks).

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2 thoughts on “Assessment item # 1

  1. Some interesting thoughts – though I didn’t understand what information/papers you were looking for so can’t help 😦 I suspect that you might have been looking for the definitive paper – but really that’s not how it goes for in-depth knowledge is it? There are so many angles related to the concept and practices in digital environments, and we are only touching the tip of the iceberg in this subject. Love that you have set up categories, but you should consider setting up a subject category as well. Later on, how will you organise your posts by subject when you want to ? It’s great to be able to organise by subject as well as any common threads such as those you have set up e.g. ‘collaboration’. Thx for your engagement so far!

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  2. Thanks for your suggestions. I was just looking to see what is ‘out there” research-wise about privacy, censorship, the web and students. And was dissatisfied with what I found. Anyway, it isn’t so important, i just wanted to be able to reference something. Maybe I should have then left that comment out. Oh well.

    I enjoy thinking about my job in this way, yet agonise over every word I write. I will keep reading.

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