Tag Archives: collaboration

Digital Content Curation

It is only in the last few years that I have undertaken my own curation of digital content. It began as a way to keep a track of the information and resources I was discovering through my study and then naturally gravitated into my professional and personal life. Now I am looking more closely into how I can use it with my students.

In the 21st century where it is very easy to suffer from information overload as an adult, imagine how overwhelming it must be at times to a child in primary school. We need to teach children how to filter information and how to organise the information they find that is useful to them in such a way that they can retrieve it easily. We should also be introducing them to: 1) the benefits of accessing information from other curators; 2) how they can collaborate with others as curators themselves and; 3) how being effective curators and sharers of information can be of benefit others.

Tolisano (2011), in her blog post Students becoming curators of information? identifies that quality curation requires the skills of higher level thinking, the ability to organise, categorise and tag the content and a responsibility towards the network relying on you. As such these are skills that will benefit students throughout their lives both in and out of formal learning situations and so should be taught from as early as possible. Valenza (2012) supports this when she states that curation skills are information life skills that can meet academic and personal information needs.

In my reading and research Scoop.it keeps popping up as an effective tool for real-time curation which may be suitable for primary school students. I have not utilised this as yet aside from being directed to an occasional article appearing on someone’s feed but I like the way it presents visually. A post by Leanna Johnson (2013), on TeachThought about using Scoop.it in the classroom and why students and educators like it raised a few positive points for me. She states:

Why Students Like Scoop.it

1. Inclusion of visual elements

2. Community networking

3. Immediate tap-in to a broad range of social media

4. Autonomy and expression in a collaborative environment

5. Ongoing, succinct conversation through commenting

6. Ownership of personal learning

7. Mobile Learning Potential

Why Educators like Scoop.it

1. It provides personal learning and deeper understanding of topics

2. Individual or cooperative work

3. Research using filters

4. Understanding of how keywords attract online readers

5. Activity similar to discussion boards, a necessary skill for online LMS environments

6. All levels of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, the low-order to high-order cognitives educators consider when choosing technology tools

7. Mobile Learning Potential

Leanna also notes the potential of protecting and monitoring younger children using Scoop.it by logging them in to a main account. I can see the benefits of this, particularly in the early stages of teaching about curation via a social platform.

I am going to begin by exploring Scoop.it myself and creating an account and then next Term when I am facilitating Year 5 in their research on rainforests I will introduce them to collaborative curation of digital resources. We will become curators in the information jungles.

Resources

Johnson , L. (2013). Why Scoop.it is becoming an indespensible learning tool [Blog post]. TeachThought Blog. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/why-scoopit-is-becoming-an-indispensable-learning-tool/

Tolisano, S. (2011, June 12). Students become creators of information [Blog post]. Langwitches Blog. Retrieved from http://langwitches.org/blog/2011/06/12/students-becoming-curators-of-information/

Valenza, J. (2012). Curation. School Library Monthly, 29(1), 20-23.

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Problem Solving a real world situation in 7 steps

Using the 7 steps, outlined in the University of Pittsburgh’s, ‘Problem Solving’ comment on how you could solve the problem using the steps outlined.
Problem – Primary school. Relief from face to face teaching for classroom teachers is covered by the teacher librarian (TL). This means that it is difficult to plan any collaborative teaching opportunities with the teachers. You are also concerned that the students learning in the library may not be contextually relevant to their learning in the classroom. How could you approach this problem?

Step 1 Define and identify the problem

Opportunities to collaboratively teach with classroom teachers are difficult to arrange due to TL taking relief from face-to-face. Concerned about contextual relevance for students to their classroom learning.

Goal – try to create opportunities outside of relief from face-to-face time where collaborative teaching can occur. Create contextual relevance for students.

Step 2 Analyse the problem

Timetabling a big issue.

A lack of knowledge around the role of the TL and the purpose and benefits of their teaching in the Library exists.

Step 3-5 Identify, Select and Evaluate possible solutions

A staff meeting led by TL could occur where problem  is explained and brainstorming session happens to try to find solutions.

Step 6 Action Plan

Work with person responsible for timetabling to factor in opportunities for collaborative teaching.

Education program for principal, staff and parent community – an information meeting for staff and an information evening for parents and the wider community run by TL, a link on Library website with relevant information about the role of the TL and a flyer to go home to all parents.

Time factored into the school year (i.e. per term) for TL to plan with classroom teachers about context for learning.

Step 7 Implement the solution

Monitor feedback from all concerned in regards to the education program. A Possible survey could be developed to establish a growth in knowledge and areas requiring further address.

Monitor creation of opportunities for discussion, planning and collaborative teaching and collect evidence to support the benefits where successful collaborations occurred.

Resources:

Problem Solving. (n.d.). Home | University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved July 22, 2103 from http://web.archive.org/web/20130502065403/http://www.pitt.edu/~groups/probsolv.html

Information literacy is more than a set of skills

Bundy (2004, p.7) draws attention to the fact that in the 21st century information resources are abundant, diverse, available widely and in many forms but increasingly unfiltered. This however does not necessarily result in more informed students unless they are able to evaluate, understand and use the information ethically and effectively. Information literacy is a relatively broad term linked to the library and teachings of a teacher librarian (TL) and involves a set of skills that will aid in finding answers to particular questions through the searching, sorting and applying of information from various sources.

But information literacy is more than just a set of skills. It is described by Bundy (2004, p.8) as an intellectual framework for working with information and an attainment of abilities that develop lifelong learning; and by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) (2009) as a basic survival skill for successful 21st century learners. It is through information literacy that independent learners are formed as they become confident seekers of information; and independent learners become lifelong learners as they apply these abilities throughout their lives in many different situations. Eisenberg (2008, p.39) states that information and technology literacy are not just for students but for all types of workers and that those who rise to executive levels are those who can effectively apply information literacy skills to real situations.

ALIA (2011), states that library professionals have a responsibility to assist the development of information literacy for all and therefore the role of TLs in the process of creating information literate learners is a vital one. TLs are experts in embedding the skills of information literacy across the curriculum and teaching them explicitly through programs. This embedding of skills can only be achieved if TLs and teachers work collaboratively to develop the programs appropriate to their students through which the skills and abilities of information literacy may be taught. Fullan (1999, p.38) describes collaborative organisations as ones where knowledge and expertise are utlilsed to develop best practices. TLs have that knowledge and expertise when it comes to information literacy and therefore are invaluable contributors to collaborative efforts.

Herring (2011) raises a very strong point when he states the need not only for the learning of the skills but for the transfer of the information literacy practices across the curriculum and that this is the responsibility not of students but of teachers and TLs. Schools need to create a culture of transfer in order to develop students as active practitioners of information literacy and therefore lifelong learners. Collaborative organisations can facilitate this transfer through a culture of team-building, communication and information sharing with a focus on priorities, planning and core outcomes (Fullan, 1999, p.37) and TLs as the ‘constant’ can ensure a consistency in the teaching of information literacy skills across the school and across the curriculum.

Information literacy skills are the basic skills set of the 21st century (Eisenberg, 2008, p.39) but are not just a set of skills to learn, they are practices for independent and lifelong learning which are vital for our students to understand, utilise and master during their schooling and into the future in order to successfully function in and navigate an information overloaded world.

References

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and Australian School Library Association (ASLA) (2009). Statement on information literacy. Retrieved from: http://www.asla.org.au/policy/information-literacy.aspx

Australian Library and Information Association (2011).  Statement on information literacy for all Australians. Retrieved from: http://www.alia.org.au/policies/information.literacy.html

Bundy, A. (ed.) (2004). Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework: principles, standards and practice. 2nd ed. Adelaide: Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy (ANZIIL) and Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).

Eisenberg, M. B. (2008). Information literacy: Essential skills for the information age. Journal of Library & Information Technology, 28(2), 39-47.

Fullan, M. (1999). Chapter 3: The deep meaning of inside collaboration. In Change forces: The sequel, (pp.31-41). London, Falmer Press.

Herring, J. (2011). Assumptions, information literacy and transfer in high schools. Teacher Librarian, 38(3).