Monday, 30 January 2012

Changing views of the role of teacher librarian

ETL401 Assignmment 2

Task C

A critical synthesis of your reflection on how your view of the role of the teacher librarian may have changed during the subject. This should include examples captured from your personal blog and from participation in the ETL401 forum.

In my first blog I muse about how the family is like a mini-library with all its collections and about the importance of consultation when planning. In the blog there seems to be a hint of my general awareness of the intricacies of a library. However the terminology is not library appropriate. As the course progresses I am continually bombarded with more appropriate terminology.

Kukielka E. Beginnings Retrieved January,30. Retrieved from

In ‘Website Labyrinth’ I am going, inadvertently, through Kulthau’s ISP model. I am frustrated and I need assistance. When I think about it the whole course has really been an aspect of IL models or ISP processes. The feelings aspects are quite important. There have been areas where I have required more assistance than in others.

Kukielka E. Website Labyrinth. Retrieved January,30. Retrieved from

An important aspect of a TL is being to locate information. Rather than relying on Wikipedia or Google it is important to look at professional literature and research articles. The section about using journal database was most informative. I was able to understand that you need to rely on a variety of sources. It also helped me understand the importance of key words and narrowing the field. I was able to compare Academic Search versus Informit.

Kukielka E. (2011, November 21) [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from

In Topic 2 we looked at the role of TLs. I was able to compare a statement from a school where I once worked to other professional documents. I discovered that some items were exactly the same. Late in the course, through another subject, I understood the need to acknowledge sources.

Kukielka E. (2011,November 25). [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from 

Kukielka E.Copyright. Retrieved January,30. from

There was also discussion regarding prioritising the role TL play at school. Purcell promoted the concept of time study. I shared my experience of working at a library as a casual teacher and noting down everything I did during an administration block. I noted this down before I had commenced this course. Actually this was one incident that inspired me to learn more about being a teacher librarian.  Those days made me realise how other teachers perceive the role of the TL .

Kukielka E. (2011,November 25. 9.44pm)). [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from 

( I cut and pasted the link and it came up the same as above.)

I also wrote about how the role of the TL is being downgraded  and the importance of teachers to  collaborate with the TL when selecting resources. At this stage I was unfamiliar with the term ’collaboration’ in relation to TLs.

In Topic 3 I wrote about the need for change. It is important to be flexible from year to year. As the world changes we need to keep up with developments. Students coming into our care will have been exposed to various technologies while still at home.

Kukielka E. (2011,January18). [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from

In the TL and the curriculum I wrote about how some classroom teacher are resistant to change. The more I read professional and research articles the more I am aware of  new concepts regarding teacher librarian initiatives. In addition to what I wrote I feel that all teachers should be encouraged to access professional readings. The readings should be not just about teachers but also about the importance of other specialists within the school. During this course we have read about how the teacher role of the teacher librarian is misunderstood. AS a former ESL, Reading recovery teacher I fully understand that those roles have also been misunderstood.

TLs understand the importance of IL strategies to enable students to transfer this knowledge to other situations. They are finding it hard to implement this across the whole school due to time allocation. I gave an example of one way to be able to do this.

Kukielka E. (2011,January26). [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from

Kuhlthau, Caspari and Maniotes (2007) look at the difference between assessment and evaluation in Guided Inquiry. They write about on-going assessment and not just looking at content but how students access the content. In response to this I wrote about the way projects were researched and presented about 15 years ago. This can be compared in relation to the various IL models and ISP processes

Kukielka E. (2012,January26). [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from

On the 25th January there was a discussion between Amanda Davis, Helen Tindall (Mandie) and myself about Langford’s article. We were looking at is there a time when someone is fluent in information literacy. Through the discussion we covered some of the stages of IL. There is a need, you use various sources to locate the information and then you can present the information in a variety of ways. A person in a western culture would be information literate differently to a person living in the Amazon basin. I am only including the link where the discussion starts. There are six links in all.

Davis A. (2011 December 16) [Online forum comment] Retrieved from

There are quite a few challenges to collaboration. Some factors could be: not understanding fully the strengths of the teacher librarian, some class teachers finding security in working in a class with their own students or only one class teacher from a grade collaborating with the TL and the other teachers not fully understanding the importance of what has been planned.

KukielkaE. (2012 January 12 ). [Online forum comment] Retrieved from

I have a better understanding of the role of the teacher librarian. I was aware of some aspects of it however other roles have been clarified. It is also important to promote the roles overtly and to inform classroom teachers, specialist teachers and school leadership teams of any new insights into the role and the benefits that this role can be in promoting information literacy.


Isbell., D., & Kammerlocher, L. (1998) Implementing Kuhlthau: A new Model for Library and Reference Instruction . In RSR: Reference Services Review, 26(3-4)  p33- 44. Retrieved from

Kuhlthau, C. C., Caspari, A. K., & Maniotes, L. K. (2007). Introduction to guided inquiry – What is it, what’s new, why now?. In Guided inquiry: Learning in the 21st century. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited. Retrieved from

Langford, L. (1998) Information literacy: a clarification. School Libraries Worldwide, 4, 1, 59-72. Retrieved from

 New South Wales Department of Education(n.d) .Smartcopying: The Official Guide to Copyright Issues for Australian Schools and TAFE. Retrieved from 16/01/2012

Sunday, 22 January 2012


I am from NSW so my youngest (a girl)starts High School next Monday. The other 2 (boys) are in their early 20's.

It is amazing how much technology and schooling has changed over the years.

When my youngest boy was a baby (very early 1990's) I was doing a DE course. I was using an electronic typewriter for my assignments. You would ring the 'lecturer' at given times Or leave a message for them to ring you.

All materials were sent out, including tapes.

We did not have webinars, podcasts, online resources, forums and a great support system from our subject coordinators. I had to go to the nearest Uni to access materials (books).

There were no laptops from work. Every now and then I used to haul the computer home on the weekend to complete programs or worksheets.

We did not buy a computer until the boys were 6 1/2 and 9 years old.
There was one computer in the classroom.

The youngest one grew up with a computer at home. She had access to computer when she was at pre-school. Daily events were recorded and parents could watch at the end of the day. AT her school for some reason they decided against Interactive Whiteboards but she is heading there next week. There are computers in everysubject area. The students get a laptop for 4 years and something else in Year 11. They said a new laptop, but where will technology be at that stage.

Recently I got a list of textbooks. She will be getting an ebook for Maths.

I learn a lot from my children about technology.

I used to complain about mobile phones initially and about texting. One day when my eldest was in high school he wanted to go on the home computer. I told him that I needed to type from a draft. He said that he would type it for me. I came back 15 minutes later and he was doing his own work. I started to be annoyed but he stopped me and showed me mine finished work. The speed was amazing, all due to texting. Luckily his spelling skills are great even though he uses shortcuts when texting.

Good luck with your day tomorrow. Don't forget the tissues AND camera.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The journey is important

The students are assessed on learning about learning. Ongoing assessment allows the teacher to guide the student in their area of need.

They clearly identify 'Five kinds of learning in the Inquiry Process'.

In many cases the end result is what is assessed. As a teacher I have had many discussions with parents around report time. The discussion was usually about the grade given. They did not fully understand that I was also assessing the process by which the information was retrieved.

When I first started teaching students were given 'projects' to take home. Then they had to present the project to the class. Usually there was a question/topic and then sub-topics. The students were given approximately 2 weeks to complete the 'project.

Marks were allocated for the final presentation as well as the reporting back to the class. There were some interesting results.

It was obvious that in some cases it was the 'parent's
homework that was on display. In some cases the work was obviously created mainly by the parent, but the parent had worked alongside their child. When it came time for the oral presentation the child knew the topic well and was able to answer questions related to the topic.

There were other cases where the work was also of a high standard but the child relied heavily on reading the material and experienced great difficulty doing this, especially if there were technical terms involved. Also, the child had difficulty answering questions.

About 10 years, or so, ago, the process somewhat changed. Activities were completed at school. Students could still bring information from home. Students worked individually, in pairs or small groups. The groups also varied- same, ability, mixed ability, friendship groups, interest groups (students interested in one aspect of the topic).

The task was pasted in the in the students homework book as well as their research book so that parents knew what was being assessed.

Many parents still are concerned about curriculum content. As long as the end result is great the rest is not really important. This has been an on-going issue.

There have been students who only relied on the computer for gaining information. Student who have brought outdated sources from home. There were students who did little research during their group time. Then they would arrive on the day of the presentation with their own work and insisted on presenting their work separately. The other group members were stumped. They were not prepared to share this with their group during the weeks of research. As this was a group activity I had to write in the half-yearly report that the student needs to be an active group participant (or something to that effect).

The other aspect of this is that many schools try to inform parents of changes in education. There have been information sessions on 21st Century learning: Guided Inquiry, Cyberspace Bulling and many more. Information is printed in bulletins, newsletters and information sheets are sent home. There have been day and night opportunities for parents to become involved.

Unfortunately, it is the same small parents who come all the time. (In one case 3 parents RSVP to an event.) Yet, it is the parents who do not read information or attend meetings that complain the most. Many still think back to when they were being taught.

Even though I have been in the education system for quite a while I still made/make time to attend sessions at my children's schools. It is good to hear something from a different perspective or to have ideas reinforced.

It is the also the journey not just the final destination that is important. (Paraphrased from a talk by Bishop David Walker to the youth that were going to WYD 2011, Madrid)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


When I first started teaching over 25 years ago everything was recorded, though in different forms.

In most public schools there was, and in some cases is, a person responsible for printing and copying all material. Whether it was a fordigraph - remember the purple paper- or photocopy, it was that person's responsibility. Items that needed to be copied had to be handed in at the office by a given time and then they were delivered to the classroom or pigeon hole. The person recorded all things that had been copied in a special book. If there was a copyright issue you were informed.

In those days there was really no high level of printing as there were textbooks  at schools. Usually there was an input session and then: Please turn to page ... and complete activities..... A lot of what was printed had to do with teacher materials.

Gradually as there were more photocopiers within schools the teachers were able to do their own photocopies. There was a book near the photocopier where you had to record your name, the name of the author,book name, publisher, page number(s), the number of copies,the starting number on the photocopier and the the final number.

Later , you just had to record your name,the name of the book, number of copies , and the photocopier numbers. Over time these books disappeared in many schools. Some schools now do not even have pin numbers. It is difficult to tell what was copied and by whom.

Then teachers were given pin numbers and sometimes limited number of total copies. It was at the discretion of the principal. It was on the onus of the teacher to keep a record of work photocopied.

In most schools nowadays there is a big sign above or near all photocopiers about COPYRIGHT. The TL and the IT person at my former schools continually reminded us about copyright.

Some teachers are conscientious about this and about the copy of materials that they had created.

However, many are still very laid back towards this. I am certain that Copyright is broken every day, especially from the net.

Teachers and children take an image from the net, paste it on their computer and then it is viewed on the interactive whiteboard (IWB) or used in a presentation.Very rarely is reference or acknowledgement made to the origin of the image.

I know teachers who have paid a low price for a 'CD' at a fete or a DVD. The cover looks suspicious. One teacher said that it does not matter that it is not the original. If it is watched a number of times or is lost it would not have cost her much. What about the rights of the artists to get their fair share of the proceedings?

At times it is not easy to keep copyright. It can be annoying and time consuming. I know that some journals that I have accessed have a warning label. I mostly read them on-line. However, spending too much time in front of the computer can affect eyesight and posture, especially if the article is long. I try to skim and get to the main points.

Many articles are free to download for educational purposes. These are the optimal ones.

Assignment 1 - each mark counts

Got my first assignment back. Result was more or less what I expected. Room for improvement.

After handing in my assignment and the when I got it back,I went over where I could have improved ( or lose marks).

I had thought more about the assignment contents than about the presentation. We were sent so much information but that got lost among the readings and the forums. There was no official cover page and no footer  with relevant information and page number. I think of what could have happened if something had gone wrong with the printer. The pages could have been thrown on the floor and no one would know (except for the first page) that the assignment belonged to me. This omission cost me some marks. Not a lot, but then each mark counts.

I spent more time on one part then on the other (this showed up in the marking for that part.) I did not double check the URLs. I did not answer some aspects of the question.

Roy kept writing something to the effect: always go back to the question, read over what is required, critically analyse what is required. I did do that but I should have done more. I got caught up with end of year activities, school and personal.

Referencing was another area that needed to be addressed. I need to record references in correct format as I read anything. Any interesting quotes need to be recorded  with page. numbers next to them. I spent ages looking things up again or not being able to find a URL because the link had been copied down incorrectly.

The experiences learnt here have added points to my next assignment , unless the content needs improvement.

Remember: Cover page,footnote with name,course number, student number, page number.
Double check your references, make sure the URLs work.

Organise your time to allow for family, work, study, play, rest and good eating habits. Stay hydrated.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Time, Time, Time

Time flies. Kept meaning to get to blog more often but had many things on my mind.

It took me some time to work my way around the my.csu website.

 After not studying for over 15 years distance education is different. Last time most of the major outlines were sent to me. I had a study guide that explained amongst other things all the referencing, quotes and so on.  Each subject had its own booklet. Tapes of lectures were also sent, then had to be returned.

I was aiming to commence study in February. Fate had a hand in all this. How was I supposed to know that the date for enrolment for session one was the same as late enrolment for session 3? I sent the enrolment in one week and a week later was notified that I had been accepted, as a late entry into session 3. The course was to start in 1 week.

I was thrown into this whirlwind world. I kept navigating throughout the site. It took me quite a while, and I am still finding out new things, to ensure that my knowledge of what was expected was accessed. There were  subject outlines, modules, EASTS, student services, assessments, forums, sub-forums, podcasts, webinars and so on.

I did not know how forums worked properly. (My last distance education course had no such thing.) I did not understand at first what the '+' and '-' signs meant or what was the meaning of the blue numbers after the subject heading . ( I though that it meant that it was the number of people that had read my comment.

I thought that my questions were being ignored. I was starting to get frustrated. the course was getting on. The school year was coming to a close and I thought there was little support. I couldn't have been more wrong. 

Once I worked out the meaning of the different symbols and meanings I realised that the answers had been there all along. The staff and other students were most supportive.
There was just so many places that had to be accessed to find relevant information.

It would have been good to have an introductory booklet on hand. Writing assignments has changed over the years and it is assumed that students have a great knowledge of uni websites. Each uni is different in the way it sets things out. Under each subject it might be good to have an introduction section that explains each area briefly.

On the other hand it was a quick way to become more fully aware of the technological world we live in. How time flies!!!