LIBE 477

LIBE 477 Final Project: Final Post

This final post for my LIBE 477 Special Topics in Teacher Librarianship course contains two artifacts of learning that represent my final project. Both are on the topic of Connections-based Learning (CBL) which was developed by British Columbia educator, Sean Robinson.

Both resources are targeted towards educators who are considering engaging their students in CBL related activities.  It is not meant to be a thorough dissection of this pedagogical approach to teaching but merely a resource that provides an introduction to the topic and includes an accompanying resource for educators interested in this type of work.  

I plan to share the presentation part of the project with staff at my school with the goal of working more collaboratively with them in the future.  

The second artifact is an open collaborative document designed to be circulated within my personal learning networks in the hope of identifying and documenting a wide variety of connections that can be used when engaging in CBL. 

The spreadsheet can be accessed and edited by anyone with the link and is broken down into three distinct categories: 

  1. Organizations Who Connect Educators to CBL Opportunities
    1. Organizations that find experts for educators to interact with
  2. Individual Contacts Known To Offer CBL Opportunities
    1. Individuals who volunteers their time to connect and share their knowledge  
  3. Organizations That Directly Offer CBL Opportunities
    1. Organizations that offer one type of classroom connection such as Mystery Skype

My goal for the spreadsheet is that others will use it and add to it if and when they have positive CBL experiences, thus growing the network and establishing connections in more areas of society.   


I experienced several challenges narrowing down my final topic and then building a digital artifact to share.  The biggest challenge was feeling like I needed to know more about Connections-based Learning in order to speak to it.  In the end, I decided that my project was merely and an introduction to the topic as the pedagogical framework is complex.  

Also, I’m not sure how successful the spreadsheet will be.  I haven’t had too much success in the past when sharing a ‘live’ document and inviting others to contribute to it. 


Knowing that CBL has it roots in constructivism was comforting.  As I continue to construct my own knowledge around learning I like to attach my beliefs to a legitimate learning theory.  It also happens to complement some other areas of interest such as inquiry-based learning and play-based learning. 


I think the library can become the hub of CBL in my school.  It has the hardware, software, and physical space required to facilitate such learning.  It also provides an opportunity for me to work directly with classroom teachers and students on some of the more interesting local and global issues of our time.    


Arnold, E. K., & Santoso, C. (2017). A boy called Bat.

Digital Citizenship School Program. (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2019, from

Harasim, L. 2012, Learning theory and online technologies, Routledge, New York.

Paterson, C. 2016, ‘Leading a school to be global. Case Study 2.4’, The global educator: Leveraging technology for collaborative learning & teaching, International Society for Technology in Education, Eugene, Oregon/Arlington, VA.

Robinson, Sean. (2019, April 15). Connections based Learning. Retrieved from

Robinson, S. (n.d.). Connections-based Learning. Retrieved November 23, 2019, from

LIBE 477 Final Project: Audience Considerations

Last week I discussed five potential topics for my final project.  It is time to get serious and narrow down some options. No doubt I’ll work on most of the ideas at some point in the near future but right now I’m leaning towards creating an artifact around the power of connections-based learning.  

YouTube Storytelling Channel

It’s possible that staff at my school could work together on the storytime YouTube channel, which could be most impactful during long breaks such as Christmas, Easter, and during the summer when students may not be reading as much as they would do during the regular school.  

Living Library Project

The Living Library Project was (is) a labour of love and I was really proud of the project and idea even if the execution may not have been as successful as I hoped it would be.  I can definitely incorporate storytelling into my current position as a teacher-librarian so it may still be possible to breathe new life into the old project.  

Information Literacy Resource

Over the last week, I have flipped back and forth between developing a resource centred around connections-based learning and working on a resource for teachers and students on the topic of information literacy.  The topic of information literacy, despite its importance, seems so vast it is difficult to know where to start and stop.  


One thing that is making me second guess both of these options is a movement that I see emerging in my school, and to a larger extent in my district, away from the integration of digital technologies.  The rationale is that students have too much screen time at home and their addiction to screens is having a negative effect on their ability to concentrate, remain focused, and engage in meaningful discussion and dialogue in school.  The rise of place-based learning, outdoor education, and mindfulness seem to be a better fit for those looking to help their students become more present and attentive in school. I think there can be a happy medium but I’ve noticed that when people first feel the need for a shift to occur they tend to move to the opposite extreme before coming back to a more central mindset.  It is a shame that at a time when digital technologies can facilitate global learning in ways unimaginable a decade ago that some teachers, schools, and school districts, will not necessarily experience this valuable and underutilized resource.

Have you noticed a move away from the use of digital technologies in your school/district?     

Connections-based Learning

Having expressed some concern about how a technology-related resource may be received in my school, I’ve decided to forge ahead with the topic of connections-based learning because these experiences afford students the opportunity to develop empathy, discuss global issues such as climate change and poverty, and fight prejudice.  I plan to develop a resource that helps teachers better understand what connections-based learning means, how it can motivate and inspire students, ways to find connections, and the hardware/software required to make these connections. My resource will target teachers, so there will be several factors to consider for a successful implementation.      


In my school, the comfort level around technology usage is vast.  Like most schools I know, there are teachers who integrate technology into their curriculum on a daily basis and those that the mere utterance of the word causes panic to set in.  I’m being a little facetious here, but the point is that I need to develop a resource that is accessible for all educators, not just those with lots of prior knowledge on the topic.  


The content needs to be low floor, high ceiling.  The presentation needs to avoid technical jargon but at the same time meet the needs of those looking for more technical information. 

Time and Delivery

Any educators’ time is precious and I need to be respectful of that.  Some considerations around how and when to deliver the information will be necessary.


It is important that teachers feel supported in trying new things, so I need to think of ways to provide additional help to those who require it.  Something as simple as team teaching, in the beginning, could be super helpful.     


Research-Base: Connections-based Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2019, from

LIBE 477 Final Project Considerations

For the next three weeks, my posts will be dedicated to my final project for my course, LIBE 477 Special Topics in Teacher Librarianship.  

I have several ideas floating around in my mind for a final project.

Connections-based learning

I’ve discussed connections-based learning many times before.  It is an area of great interest to me because of its potential to motivate and inspire students.  I could produce a presentation to share with staff on the topic as well as collate resources that would help people connect with experts outside the walls of their schools.   

YouTube Channel – read alouds

I like the idea of extending beyond the walls of the school.  It’s a theme… Having the ability to record short read alouds for students and storing them in a place that can be accessed at a user’s convenience promotes a love of reading and is appealing to me.  I could even introduce a green screen to liven things up. The resource would be the channel where the clips are stored and I could put together a user manual of how I set everything up.  

YouTube Channel – book reviews

I’m always looking for reviews on great books and so, I imagine, are students and teachers.  Creating a repository of book reviews would allow me to reach a larger audience and could potentially lead to students trying different genres than they are used to.  Once I have a few reviews on the site I could open it up to other TLs in my district who could then add additional reviews of their own.  

Revisiting the Living Library Project

The Living Library Project was developed by my wife, Suzanne Bartel, and I when I first started teaching.  We were both inspired by people’s stories after attending our first WE Day.  This quote by Craig and Marc Kielburger at the event resonated with both of us.

“In all corners of the globe, storytelling is a longstanding tradition with significance that’s lost on no one.  It’s vital to preserving culture. It speaks of moments of pride. It speaks of moments of injustice. It offers an opportunity to learn.  Most importantly, it inspires us to create change for the future” (Craig and Marc Kielburger.)

We came back to our school in the hopes of helping students find their own stories and to have those stories inspire others.  The Living Library needs a refresh and a new approach so my final project could somehow centre around giving the site a refresh and a new direction.  Perhaps in my new role as teacher-librarian, I can open it up to include more students in my school. 

Collating information literacy resources – content creation app

In a time when we are inundated with information, providing a resource for students and teachers to help navigate the flood of data may be helpful to both parties.  I could use a content creation app such as Scoop. It! or to collate and share resources, articles, and content on the topic of information literacy, media literacy, and digital literacy.  I could also help to define some of these terms and provide visuals that explain each of their components.   


Bartel, S., & Lister, C. (2017, January 20). The Living Library Project. Retrieved November 4, 2019, from

Collect great content. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2019, from

Content Curation Tool. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2019, from

Empowering Students and Teachers at WE Schools. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2019, from

LIBE 477 Professional Development: A Personal Summary

This week’s post represents a summary of learning around PLN’s, Information Literacy, Learning Commons, 21st Century Learning, and Professional Development related to my teacher-librarianship diploma course LIBE 477.

What are your key takeaways, learning and direction after all this exploration?

I have several takeaways from this series of blog postings both from my own personal reflections and also from the ideas and experiences of my peers in this course.  These last few weeks have reinforced my existing thoughts on professional development – A connected educator is a stronger educator. Through the use of digital technologies, it is now easier than ever to find and connect with like-minded people. I have found that technology continues to play an interesting and exciting part of the role of teachers and teacher-librarians. For example, I am interested in and fascinated by the potential of virtual and augmented reality in schools. These new educational tools allow students to experience learning in ways that didn’t exist before.  Imagine walking among dinosaurs to get an idea of how large they were. Amy’s post on Developing ICT Skills and Pedagogy: Hands-On Learning & Networking introduced me to Microsoft’s CoSpaces for Education.     

For those who are not connected, there is no need to panic, as it appears that many of the school districts in British Columbia are providing inquiry learning opportunities for their staff in the form of after school learning groups.  Schools are getting better at providing and funding opportunities for staff to develop their craft.  

What are the new avenues for development in your personal and professional practice?

There are so many areas of my practice that I’m interested in and would like to develop.  Currently, I am inquisitive about the #storystudio and #looseparts storytelling story writing movement.  I think that the library is the perfect place for the loose parts materials and could be used across the grades in my k-5 school.  It would connect well with the kindergarten and grade 2 prep classes that I teach and it aligns well with my philosophy on play. I don’t know much about it right now, but the TLs in my district are looking to set up a workshop to better understand how it fits within a library learning commons.

I found this article from the UBC journal of Transformative Educational Leadership on the topic of Story Studios very helpful.

A quick Twitter search for #storystudio and #looseparts also provided useful information on what it can look like in the classroom.

What are you going to take with you, moving forward from your own explorations and also from the explorations of others in this class?

Moving forward, I would like to continue to deepen my understanding and application of connections-based learning.  I recently joined a Voxer group on the topic and I am enjoying the voice conversations we are having.  I would love to set up an unofficial Voxer community for those in the Teacher-Librarianship diploma, certificate and Masters program at UBC. I would find the dialogue to be especially powerful. 

Connections-based learning fits nicely into a library learning commons because libraries tend to be the technological hub of many schools. As most students use the library, funding requests are seen as a benefit to the school rather than an individual ‘techie’ classroom teacher. 

Connections-based learning can create opportunities for students to reach outside of the four walls of the school and connect with experts, which can be used to motivate and inspire our youth. Connections-based learning is not without its challenges. Technology can occasionally fail and if one is seeking live, synchronous communication, then time zones can be problematic. Asynchronous opportunities also exist using platforms like Flipgrid, Padlet, Cloud-based productivity tools like G Suite for Education and Office 365, as well as platforms such as Belouga.  Connections-based learning can create meaningful and authentic learning experiences in a connected world by connected students. 

I have just set up a spreadsheet that I plan to leave open for myself and others to add contact information for excellent connection-based-learning activities and experts.

When I think about what I am going to take away from the advice shared by my peers in this course, it has to be the act of continuing to build relationships with educators locally and globally.  So many of the posts I read over the last four weeks expressed how critically important it is to build with, and on, the ideas of others. Teaching can be a lonely and isolating profession, especially if one is not social outgoing or confident in their practice.  Collaboration involves being vulnerable and being vulnerable can be difficult for countless reasons. I am not particularly outgoing and often find it difficult to collaborate, so I first try to find one person to collaborate with. I then focus on developing a positive collaborative experience, which will then hopefully spread to others in my school.  

If you could pick just one topic from Phase 2 that resonated with you, which is it and why?

One exploration that touched my heart over the last four weeks and one that aligns with my passion for social justice was the brief inquiry we conducted on libraries in developing nations.  We acknowledge that in developed nations libraries are important in the development of critical literacy skills but in developing nations libraries save people’s lives (Borgonovi et al., 2018). Libraries may be the only way information is disseminated in a village or a community.  In developing nations, libraries are creating tools and resources targeted to help vulnerable sections of the population. They are beacons of hope, inclusivity, and community spirit!


Borgonovi, F., Centurelli, R., Dernis, H., Grundke, R., Horvát, P., Jamet, S., … Squicciarini, M. (2018). Bridging the Digital Gender Divide. Retrieved from

D’Aoust, C. (2018). Story Studios. Transformative Educational Leadership Journal, (November 2018). Retrieved from

Loudon, A. (2019, October 11). Retrieved from

Mobile Devices In Developing Nations

This week’s post explores how library projects in developing nations are creating new literacy opportunities for their users, expanding access to the internet and information databases, and how they support the needs of their communities.

After a brief internet search for library projects in developing countries, I found several worthwhile endeavours. 

The first project of interest I found is called Global Libraries and is sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The goal of the project is “to improve the lives of information-poor people while positioning the world’s public libraries as critical community assets for learning, creativity, and community development” (Global Libraries, n.d.).  The project provided hardware and infrastructure to ensure local libraries receive free internet, as well as training for staff in the area of information technology.

The next project I found focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) from the United Nations and discusses how libraries play an important, yet indirect role, in developing the health and welfare outcomes of those who access its services.  It is supported by The International Federation of Library Associations who claim that “Increasing access to information and knowledge across society, assisted by the availability of information and communications technologies (ICTs), supports sustainable development and improves people’s lives” (Ifla, 2016).  In Mongolia, for example, the Ulaanbaatar Public Library built two recording studios to create talking books, which hugely increased the amount of accessible material for many of the countries 15,000 blind and visually impaired people.

Libraries Without Borders, on the other hand, reimagine the purpose and design of libraries.  They provide tools, resources and facilitators to collaborate with local communities and assist some of the world’s most vulnerable people.  The KoomBook, for example, is one of the tools they have developed to help those in need. If a community suffers a natural disaster or is suffering the effects of war, the KoomBook can be used as an offline digital library.  It is a device that can stream digital content including images, documents, and digital courses to nearby mobile devices during a crisis. Thus, alleviating some of the communications challenges that occur in dangerous times.  


The Development of Mobile Devices in Developing Countries

ICT, mobile devices and the networks they connect to, provide access to important areas of knowledge and information such as science, technology and innovation.  Directly and indirectly, they allow cooperation and knowledge-sharing worldwide and should be regarded as an essential service. Living in North America, most of us are privileged to have access to the infrastructure, networks, and the latest digital technologies.  The same cannot be said for parts of the developing world. According to the United Nations assessment of ICT in the developing world many regions of Latin America, the Caribbean, Southern Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa have limited or no access to networks and mobile devices so many of their citizens remain in the digital wilderness (United Nations, n.d.).  The gap between the digital haves and the digital have-nots is vast and while we remain this digital economy that divide affects people in profound ways. A recent report carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development suggested that increased mobile phone usage in developing countries improved women’s health outcomes and made them feel safer, more autonomous and self-confident.  In Tanzania, mobile phones were used to facilitate birth registrations and promote education around important public services (Borgonovi et al., 2018).

Cell Phones Keep Shelves Stocked In Health Clinics In Developing Countries


Access to information should be a basic human right and mobile devices provide a simple and relatively cheap way for citizens in developing regions to enter the digital world.  All too often though, that entry point does not have the same privilege as it does in the western world due to poor network infrastructure and communication/information censorship.  Libraries play an important role in connecting their users to essential digital services. In some developing countries, especially rural areas, connectivity is so poor that libraries are the only entry point to the digital world.  They offer users access to the services they need, allow citizens to have their voices heard, and create opportunities for civic engagement (United Nations Development Program, 2012). Ultimately, it brings me a sense of comfort to think that libraries can play a small part in helping those around the world gain access to the information they need when they need it.


Borgonovi, F., Centurelli, R., Dernis, H., Grundke, R., Horvát, P., Jamet, S., … Squicciarini, M. (2018). Bridging the Digital Gender Divide. Retrieved from

Global Libraries. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2020, from

Ifla. (2016). ACCESS AND OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL: How libraries contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Retrieved from

Libraries Without Borders. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2019, from

United Nations Development Program (2012). Mobile Technologies and Empowerment : Enhancing human development through participation and development. 1–58. Retrieved from

United Nations. (n.d.). ICT offers great potential for development, but also risks. Retrieved October 24, 2019, from

Developing One’s ICT Skills and Pedagogy

This week’s inquiry post associated with my teacher-librarianship diploma explores pedagogy, ICT, and professional development as an elementary school educator.  I’ll also discuss some of the strategies, tools, resources and networks I use to deepen my understanding and knowledge of my new as a teacher-librarian.

Power of Mentorship
I am lucky because teacher-librarians in my school district have a long-established culture of collaboration. As teacher librarians, we meet bi-monthly to discuss a variety of issues and share our successes. Each meeting is held in a different library in the district so it also presents a unique opportunity to check out someone else’s library for inspiration. In addition, my district also offers mentor/mentee opportunities for anyone who is looking for support. I have just taken advantage of this service and I look forward to spending time with my vastly experienced TL mentor. One of the first things I plan to do is invite him into my library to critically evaluate the collection and suggest where I should be focusing my energy, as I look to improve the collection.

Professional Development
I believe that professional development is a personal endeavour and can be a frustrating experience if you leave it up to someone else to plan, organize, and direct. It has never been easier to tailor professional development to suits one’s needs. I’m excited to attend my first British Columbia Teacher-Librarians’ Association (BCTLA) conference later this month. I am looking forward to the two sessions I signed up for, a discussion group on the topic of media and digital literacy, and a session in the afternoon title, Starting Strong – Strategies and Support for New Teacher-Librarians.

The Power of Social Networks
Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have been influential in my development as an educator, and as I am a bit of an introvert these platforms have enabled me to make connections with people I wouldn’t normally have connected with.

A recent example of the power of social networking that comes to mind occurred at the end of the last school year. In the closing months of the 2018-2019 school year, I secured my first teacher-librarian position. I knew that I would have to negotiate a very steep learning curve, so in preparation, I tried to anticipate some of the questions I would need answering and started to write them down. I then compiled them into a Google Form and shared it with the rest of my colleagues in my district. They were more than happy to offer insight, but I felt like I needed to hear from more people, so I shared the form on some of my preferred social networks using hashtags such as #teacherlibrarian #teacherlibrarianlife

I use social media as a tool to deepen my understanding of my role, strengthen my instructional practice, share my learning, and reach out for help. Primarily, I use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I am most comfortable with Twitter because I have been using it for quite some time and understand it more than the others mentioned, but I’ve shifted to Instagram lately, especially when checking out other people’s book reviews. I have bought plenty of books of my own based on Instagram book reviews and I’m sure I’ll use it just as much when I order books for my library. I follow many libraries and librarians, as well as those directly and loosely connected to education. Some of my favourites include:


There are many digital tools I access that help me be more efficient in my job.  Both at work and at home I use cloud-based productivity tools like GSuite for Education and Office 365.  I prefer the Google product, as I find it simpler to use but at work, I have to use Office 365.  If and when I stumble across something online that I want to use at a later date I use the social bookmarking app, Pocket.  I like that I can save, categorizing and curate my links.  When I’m sharing links I like URL shorteners especially when I’m working with students as they are easier to remember.  I usually use for shortening my URLs but there so many to choose from.     

One area of ICT I’d like to utilize more is that of Connections Based Learning and virtual field trips. 

We now have the digital tools to take advantage of these opportunities to connect students to their passions outside the walls of the school and beyond geographical boundaries.  My goal this year is to encourage my admin to invest in the hardware to make connections based learning a powerful tool.  


We live in a time when educators can take full control of their professional development.  Educators need no longer wait for their school districts to offer something that aligns their needs and pedagogy.  Instead, they can harness the power of ICT by using tools like Twitter, MOOCs, and Open learning platforms such as Coursera and OpenEdx. Ultimately, maintaining a practice of self-reflection is critical in order to determine one’s needs before thinking about professional development.

Fostering A Reading Culture In School: a quick peek around.

The next few posts on my blog are going to be dedicated to discussing a few broad topics that pertain to Librarianship, as well as uses of new media and technology to assist in developing programs, pedagogy and ICT in a school library context.

Before I share my learning this week, I wanted to take a moment to discuss one of the amazing ways my school and the school library foster a culture of reading.  One of the highlights of the year occurs in January when we launch our One-School-One-Book program. Before rolling out One-School-One-Book each year, we sit down as a staff to select an appropriate book that is suitable for the whole school to read.  We use the Read To Them website to help select books.  Each family in the school receives a free copy of the book to take home and complete assigned readings and weekly activities.  A movie adaptation is often shown in the gym as a culminating activity if one is available.

While thinking about fostering a reading culture in my school, I found several interesting resources.  One of them is called Storyline Online.  Storyline Online is a website that uses SAG-AFTRA Foundation members and well-known actors, voiceover artists, broadcasters, and dancers to read books aloud in a video format.  These videos are available on their website or on YouTube. Many of the primary teachers in my school would love this resource. More suited to the older grades in elementary school, Here Comes The Garbage Barge by written by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Red Nose Studio and read by Justin Theroux is one of my favourites.  I think it would be good hook when discussion waste reduction.

“Here Comes the Garbage Barge read by Justin Theroux” by Storyline Online is licensed under Standard YouTube license

I also came across an article from the Australian Journal of Education titled, Building a school reading culture: Teacher librarians’ perceptions of enabling and constraining factors.  I was initially attracted to it because it was published this year, but as I processed it I found it quite interesting.  The article, which tries to determine whether Australian schools actively foster reading cultures that are supportive of reading for pleasure was determined by interviewing 30 teacher-librarians from Western Australian schools.  As I read the introduction the following statements made me wonder about my own practice and development as a new teacher-librarian:

  • “professionally trained librarians and information experts can provide children and young people with the transferable skills required to achieve throughout life and develop a lifelong love of reading” (The Scottish Government, 2018, p. 7)
  • At a classroom level, recent research suggests that children in upper primary school may not view their teachers as avid readers (Merga, 2016)
  • Regular reading may also be associated with mental wellbeing (Clark & Teravainen-Goff, 2018)

The conclusion that researchers came to after interviewing the librarians was that:

  1. School administrations play a vital role in developing and maintaining a school’s reading culture
  2. Adequately funded and resourced school libraries support a reading culture
  3. If the administration at the school are readers themselves, then the library is likely to be better funded and resourced
  4. Staff who are active and engaged readers act as role models for students.
  5. There is a need for increased parental support in fostering powerful reading habits.  A reading culture is stronger when there are reading partnerships between the school and home.


StorylineOnline. (2017, November 6). Retrieved September 28, 2019, from

Merga, M. K., & Mason, S. (2019). Building a school reading culture: Teacher librarians’ perceptions of enabling and constraining factors. Australian Journal of Education, 63(2), 173–189.

LIBE 477 Reading Review Part B – Keyword Identification

As a new teacher-librarian, I would like to strengthen my understanding of information literacy and all is subsequent parts. Below is a list of resources that I have found useful.

Some of the keywords I used included:

  • Information literacy
  • Media literacy
  • Digital literacy 
  • 21st-century literacy
  • School library

Before searching for relevant information on the topic, I first need to be able to better define the term information literacy.  The Austrialian School Library Association has a very clear definition of this term, which I found helpful: 

“The ability to locate, manage and use information to create information products using a variety of inquiry methods is an essential component of any information Literacy program.”   

Link –

After some additional research, I found that the term information literacy is the overarching word used to describe important skills such as media and digital literacy.  MediaSmarts has some useful content that helps to define information literacy and also produces teaching materials for educators seeking to deepen their students’ understanding of media and digital literacy.

Link –

A brief YouTube search for ‘information literacy’ returned an extensive playlist from US media awareness organization, Common Sense Media. There are lots of useful short videos that can be used as hooks to lessons on topics such as media and digital literacy.

Link –

The Virtual Learning Commons offers a broader definition of information literacy by breaking the term up into categories such as visual literacy, library instruction, cultural literacy, and computer literacy.  It acts as a repository for all things information literacy related. 

Link –

Lastly, a UBC library search covering the last 5 years returned two interesting hits.  The first was an article written about how different schools around the world utilize their libraries to improve literacy, and the second was a book written by Denise E. Agosto titled, Information Literacy and Libraries in the Age of Fake News.  In Agosto’s book, she covers topics ranging from fake news and information literacy in society to combating cultural misinformation on the internet.



LIBE 477 Reading Review Part A – Topic Identification

During the next several weeks, I will be posting about my learning from my LIBE 477 course as part of my teacher-librarianship diploma.

In this particular post, I’d like to share some of the areas of education and learning I’m most passionate about. When I think about professional development concerning my new position as a teacher-librarian in a k-5 school I get excited about the endless possibilities. There are so many exciting and interesting areas of education that fit well within the parameters of a library learning commons.

I am interested in deepening my understanding of information literacy and all its intricate components. We are surrounded, often bombard, with a constant flow of information in our digital lives. Being able to make sense of that information, evaluate it, and extract meaning is an important skill and one we should be sharing with students in schools from an early age. We have to acquire the skills to question the mass of information we are exposed to more than ever to ensure we don’t contribute to the spread of misinformation.

In addition to information literacy, I am fascinated by the idea of connections-based learning. I would like to continue to explore the power of the latest digital technologies to reach outside of the walls of our schools and make meaningful connections with our local and global communities. Projects such as Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants and Microsoft’s virtual field trips can help students experience events that would otherwise not be feasible.

Student-led learning is also important to me. I’ve witnessed the incredible achievements of students who have been allowed to direct their learning. I am always looking for better ways to scaffold this process for students by helping them narrow down a topic of interest, collect appropriate resources, and capture their learning more efficiently and effectively. Over the years, I have developed my own framework for this that I call C.H.O.I.C.E – Children Have Ownership In Choice Education. It’s a work in progress that needs developing and refining.

Lastly, as a new teacher-librarian, I have a desire to transform my school library into a library learning commons that represents a place of inclusion, innovation, compassion, and creativity. A library learning commons has no specific standard that defines it but I would like to take the time to see what others are doing in their libraries. Ideas that are at the back of mind including moving away from Dewey into the bookstore model, researching the necessary hardware and software to enable quality virtual field trip experiences, creating a makerspace, and finding creative ways to engage our most at-risk readers in the joy of reading.

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