ETL 505 – Describing and Analysing Educational Resources – A Critical Reflection

The increasing abundance of information available to society today has increased the importance and need to organise information for the purpose of access and retrieval. ETL 505 provided me with a sound understanding of what information organisation is and entails.

So what is information organisation? Hider (2012, p. 11) refers information organisation as “various ways in which information resources are organised so as to improve access to them, and not just to their physical arrangement”. These so called ‘various ways’ include labeling, searchable databases and indexing information. Combining these three functions with the items physical arrangement is essential for the efficient retrieval of an item.

Through the provision of quality information resource description Teacher Librarians improve access to resources. Taylor (2004, p. 2) believes that we “organise information so that others can find it, read or otherwise absorb it, and use it to add to their store of knowledge”. Not all resources are equal in their relevance, accuracy or value for the purpose they are intended (Hider, 2012). Therefore, patrons and information specialists need to be able to easily determine which resource is the best for a particular circumstance or context. For this very reason the organisation of information is critical to the success of acquiring quality information resources.

One of the main concepts used throughout the course was the term ‘metadata’. Resource description is quite often referred to as metadata. Metadata provides different functions, but mainly supports effective access to information resources, indicates how to obtain a resource and helps the user decide whether a resource should be obtained (Hider, 2012).

The first assignment for ETL505 introduced me to the international cataloguing standard currently being implemented, ‘Resource Descriptive and Access (RDA) created to provide standards that are both computer and people friendly (Hider, 2012). RDA focuses on the use of FRBR user tasks of find, identify, select and obtain. Using these standards first hand clearly highlights the benefits of improving consistency and quality of metadata as it allows the sharing of metadata among information agencies (providing a major reduction in cost).

The introduction of SCIS Subject Headings was both interesting and useful. Controlled subject vocabularies improve retrieval of works and the aim is for each concept to be represented by one particular term, with detailed guidelines resulting in more consistency (Hider, 2014). Now that I have mastered the use of SCIS subject headings I have a greater ability to assist in adding a subject heading to a resource that would provide increased access for my particular users. This is an important skill for a Teacher Librarian when cataloguing resources within the school library.

The last major section of the course focused on ‘classification schemes’. Classification schemes are used to arrange resources to facilitate browsing. Similar materials are located in the one area. One such scheme, the Dewey Decimal Classification was looked at in more detail (and I might add provided some headaches). The number building tasks and related SCIS guidelines relating to adaptations has provided me with knowledge that will benefit guidance to patrons in relation to specific resources. I am however very appreciative of the service provided by SCIS.

When information is effectively organised, is assigned quality standardised metadata and operates within an effective retrieval system access and retrieval is both effective and efficient. Information professionals play a role in aiding users to access information through education in relation to decisions regarding retrieval of information, systems, tools and the structure of information organisation. The subject content will allow me as a future Teacher Librarian to better organize educational resources for both students and teachers.


Hider, P. (2012). Information resource description: creating and managing metadata. London: Facet

Taylor, A. (2004). The organization of information. (2nd ed.). Westport. Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.


Web 2.0 Tool – Animoto

Animoto. (2014). Animoto. Retrieved August 15, 2014 from


Legal Obligations
• Animoto respects the legal obligations of intellectual property rights.
• Copyright laws must be adhered to when creating Animoto videos i.e. users must use their own images and music or have granted permission to utilise items.
• You retain all rights to your content. Animoto assumes no ownership in your material.
• You must be 13 or older to use Animoto.
• Animoto take not responsibility for any claims, liabilities, damages or loss from breaches of obligations.

Facilities for Privacy/Safety
• Animoto privacy policy states that it will not disclose any personal information provided to third parties without permission and will keep such information secure.
• All videos are completely private. The only way someone can watch a video is if they are directed to that video’s specific URL or if it is posted to another website.
• There is no ability to contact students via Animoto.

Ease of Use and access
• Accessing and setting up an Animoto account is easy.
• Teachers have the ability to set up student accounts.
• Directions and tips are provided throughout the process of creating a video. Simply add photos, video clips and music and Animoto will create a video in minutes.
• How to use Animoto – youtube.

• Personal Pricing plans
• Teacher’s can apply for an education account which is free however education accounts expire every 6 months.
• Free for 30sec video creation.

Implementation proposal

Curriculum Area – PDHPE Stage 4 – Individual and Community Health

Outcome – 4.7 A student identifies the consequences of risk behaviours and describes strategies to minimise harm.
Students learn to: describe strategies to minimise harm in each of the following real life situations when: travelling alone at night, at a party, feeling depressed, experiencing unwanted sexual contact, being offered or using drugs, in water environments, exposed to the sun, as a pedestrian, passenger and user of wheeled devices,
Students learn about: strategies to minimise harm

In pairs students are asked to develop and create an advertising campaign using Animoto. The campaign needs to address strategies that could be utilised to minimise harm in the contexts listed above. Students are required to use either images from Animoto or produce them themselves. It is encouraged that students use text and overlay an appropriate soundtrack.

Advantages of using Animoto for this lesson:
• The short 30sec timeframe means that students must analyse and be critical of the images that they include to ensure that their main focus is developed and portrayed.
• Animoto caters for differing student learning styles and allows students to express themselves graphically.
• Extends students storyboarding and video skills.
• Animoto provides low literacy level students an opportunity to display their knowledge and understanding.
• Students are able to produce something for a wider audience.
• Research skills, collaboration and creativity are fostered.
• Students have the ability to choose a topic that they are interested in, meeting individual needs.
• Finished videos can be shared via email, blogs, exporting to YouTube or by downloading to a computer.

Issues that may arise:
• If not using the images provided by Animoto the time it takes to produce images may be considerable.
• Creation of an Animoto video by the teacher and allowing students to view and learn from ‘best practice’ before they create their own presentation would be beneficial, however, time consuming.
• A scaffold would need to be developed outlining the process of producing the video.
• Students would first need to be taught copyright regulations and provided with information regarding where to access free from copyright images.

Why embed Web 2.0 Tools into the curriculum?

The following is a summary of the rationale as to why teachers should incorporate Web 2.0 tools into their curriculum programs.

ICT and the National Curriculum – A key dimension of the Australian Curriculum are the 7 general capabilities, one of which is ICT. The Melbourne Declaration on the Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008) identified ICT as an area in which students need to be highly skilled. Therefore, a strong emphasis on ICT skill development and integration across all curriculum areas is required (ACARA, 2011).

Future work and life – for students to thrive in the 21st century in both the workforce and everyday life contexts it is advantageous for them to develop confidence, knowledge and the skills necessary to use ICT effectively, e.g. email, wordprocessing, information seeking/searching skills, design and layout of digital documents, using technology appropriately and copyright and privacy issues (ACARA, 2011; Combes, 2014).

Relevance and engagement – technology offers educators an effective student engagement tool that can help students see the relevance between what they are learning and the real world (Wanago, 2013; Berger & Trexler, 2010).

Pedagogical benefits – many ICT tools support and enable learner centred and interactive practices that support a constructivist theory for teaching and learning (Pegrum, 2010; Grennon-Brooks, 2004; Lee & McLoughlin, 2008; Hayes, 2007).

Interest and motivation –school students like the newest and coolest gadgets and their related technological applications. Often students are already using these in their daily lives, thus using technology to deliver and implement curriculum content provides interest and motivation by allowing students to relate to their learning in an observable and immediate way (Backes, 2012; Combes, 2014).

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy of learning and collaboraton – the revised Bloom’s digital taxonomy is a tool for teachers representing the learning process in relation to new technologies and the 21st century learner. The model identifies collaboration as a separate skill essential for the 21st century learner. It is identified that Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, google documents and social networking sites enable collaboration and communication and therefore enhance teaching programs (Churches, 2009).

Access – Web 2.0 tools provide a learning environment both to teachers and students anywhere, anytime. Providing access to information for the learner has never been easier (Berger & Trexler, 2010; Backes, 2012).

Flexibility – differing learning styles can be accommodated with the use of Web 2.0 tools. Multimodal, active learning practices and sound effects are some variations in the way information is presented and created through the integration of ICT.

Assessment and creation of content – Web 2.0 tools allow students to collaborate to create content and therefore develop their knowledge. The creation process and sharing of content provides teachers an avenue for integrated assessment (Lee & McLoughlin, 2008).

Literacy skills – the use of instant feedback available when utilising some Web 2.0 tools allows teachers to provide students with feedback that has the potential to improve their reading and writing skills (Education & Health Standing Committee, 2012). Web 2.0 tools such as blogs have been shown to provide opportunities to improve literacy skills (Berger & Trexler, 2010).

Note: Keep the focus on the content and the outcome of the lesson, not the technology–Use Web 2.0 tools when the technology will enhance student learning (Wanago, 2013, Hobgood & Ormsby, 2011, Churches, 2009).


Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority.
[ACARA] (2011).The Australian Curriculum. Retrieved
August 14 from

Backes, L. (2012). 5 reasons to add technology to your classroom.
The Inspired Classroom [blog]. Retrieved August 8 2014

Berger, P. and Trexler, S. (2010). Choosing Web 2.0 Tools for Learning and Teaching in a Digital
. Libraries Unlimited, Santa Barbara: California.

Churches, A. (2009). //Bloom’s digital taxonomy: It’s not about the//
tools, it’s using the tools to facilitate learning. Retrieved
August 18, 2014 from

Combes, B. (2014). Integrating ICTs [ETL411 Module 3.1].
Retrieved August 17, 2014, from Charles Sturt University

Education & Health Standing Committee. (2012). //The role of ICT in//
Western Australian education: living and working in a digital
world. Report No 16, Legislative Assembly Parliament of
Western Australia. Retrieved August 16, 2014 from

Grennon Brooks, J. (2004) Workshop: Constuctivism as a Paradigm
for Teaching and Learning. Educational Broadcasting
Corporation. Retrieved from

Hayes, D. (2007) ICT and learning: Lessons from Australian
classrooms. Computer and Education, 49 385 – 395.
Retrieved from http://ac.els- S0360131505001314-main.pdf?_tid=eb0ae55e-298e-

Hobgood, B. & Ormsby, L. (2011). //Inclusion in the 21st century//
classroom: Differentiating with technology. University of
North Carolina. Retrieved August 18, 2014 from

Lee, M. J. & McLoughlin, C. (2008). Harnessing the affordances of
Web 2.0 and social software tools: can we finally make
‘student centred’ learning a reality? Association for the
Advancement of Computing Education, Chesapeake, VA,
USA. Retrieved from

MCEETYA. (2008). Melbourne declaration on educational goals for young Australians. Retrieved from

Pegrum, M. (2012). Emergent technologies in the classroom.
University of WA. Retrieved from

Wanago, N. (2013). Effective Web 2.0 tools: for your classroom.
Techniques, 88(1), 18.

The Power of Words.

The most profound effect of the Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship) course to date for me is related to Beverley Moriarty, the subject lecturer for EER500 Introduction to Educational Research. What a lovely lady.

The power of her words alone during podcasts, email and telephone correspondence and it’s ability to motivate me was absolutely amazing, and I’m sure she took such interest in all the students studying the subject. Her constant words of appreciation for all our hard work, indicating that we all had done such a marvelous job on the first wiki post, providing in depth feedback on our assignments and providing little insights into her own personal journey of study inspired me to try little bit harder.  I so didn’t want to disappoint her, even when at times I felt totally out of my depth with a lot of the information alien to me.

So why is this so very important to my future Teacher Librarian role. It highlights to me how important it is to deal with students and staff in a way that will motivate and encourage them to do the best that they can do. I totally underestimated the power of words. Making a student feel special, encouraging them to try their best and highlighting to them their strengths is a must. Yes we all know this, but at times I’m sure we don’t try hard enough in this department. Bev was what some would call “over the top”, but it certainly worked for me.

Interactions with fellow staff would also benefit from this approach and hopefully in turn encourage collaboration in the development of units of work, research or assessment tasks.

One thing is for sure, I will always remember Bev.


ETL507 Placement – Value and Learning

I undertook my 10 day library placement at my local town library. I must admit that I was extremely disappointed when I realised that I would not be able to undertake the placement within a school library as this is the place that I ultimately want to work. I believed that the crossover and value would be limited. How wrong I was!

The placement was a massive learning curve with I’m pleased to admit, loads of overlap. Many programs, systems and structures within the town library have the ability to be adapted to meet the needs of both staff and students within a school environment. A specific example of this is shelving categorisation of the non-fiction titles into genres for easy access by members.

Working with community members of all ages was a highlight of the placement from toddlers through to the elderly. I especially loved Toddler Time and Craft activities along with Preschool visits. The opportunity to experience such programs planted a seed in the possibility of working within a primary school as something that I would thoroughly enjoy, which after 17 years teaching High School students came as a surprise to me.

During the placement I quickly realised that catering for all members of the community takes a great deal of thought, programming and management from the Librarian. Access to resources and information was the main goal of the library, however emphasis was placed on customer service and developing a favourable experience for all patrons. This area of serving the client was also highlighted several times during my earlier attendance at the Canberra Study Visit. This simple concept of always placing the consumer first, meeting their needs in a timely manner and with a smile stresses the importance of not becoming irritated by the constant disruptions of a librarians day. Instead these disruptions should be approached with the glass half full attitude. To be able to provide a positive experience for both students and teachers in the long run will (I would hope) ensure an increase in library use and subject teacher-teacher librarian collaboration.

I was given the opportunity to weed a section of the General Fiction. Weeding within the library is a continuous process that follows the State Library Standards. The standards indicate that no greater than 25% of the collection is published outside of 10 years. By initially checking the publish date the weeding process is made more efficient. In the last year spine labels include the date published and are in bold writing to reduce the time spent checking publishing dates. The experience of weeding the collection will have a direct benefit to my work in the library of my current school. The weeding gave me practice at the task and also ideas that can be adapted and included in our school collection development policy.

One of the major ‘light bulb’ moments early in the placement was witnessing first hand ‘evidence based practice’. Though I theoretically understand the concept through my Masters studies and fully understand how beneficial such stats can be I always placed collecting usable data on programs etc. in the ‘too hard basket’. The simple recording of data on a template by the library staff and collation of this data proved this is not the case. This gave me firm ideas of what I can easily achieve in my own school library to inform the Principal and administrators of what is required for a productive library to operate.

One of the biggest benefits in undertaking the placement is the connection I have made with the library staff, especially the Library Manager. Her expertise and experience are such a valuable resource that I know feel comfortable in accessing in the future. We have planned to initiate a networking group for all the librarians within Gunnedah for later in the year.

In conclusion I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the town library, and left feeling that I have so much more to learn. I look forward to adapting different elements and programs that I was fortunate to experience to meet the needs of the staff and students within my own school library.


Computer Stations

Computer Stations


Gunnedah Town Library Front Entrance

Gunnedah Town Library Front Entrance


Children's Area

Children’s Area

Book Displays

Book Displays

Kids Craft

Kids Craft

Winter Decorations

Winter Decorations

EER500 – Introduction to Educational Research Learning and Reflection

EER500 – Introduction to educational research, took a totally different approach to other subjects that I have completed in my Teacher Librarianship studies. The development of my skills and understanding of the core course concepts revolved around the completion of the two assignments. There were no modules to work through like previous subjects, only readings linked to different sections of the assignment. I thoroughly enjoyed this type of learning as I felt as though there was only one lot of work to accomplish and it resulted in a completed assignment.

Assignment 1 for EER500 was divided up in to two sections, A & B. Section A required us to select a media release relating to an area of interest, select 2 – 3 journal articles that related to our area of interest and formulate a research question. Once this task was completed we were required to post all of the information to a wiki including how our developed research question was linked to our selected media release and journal articles. This process took an surmountable amount of time (I am very indecisive by nature). I did start to panic slightly as the due date loomed closer and I still was tossing up between 5 ideas. It is also always daunting to me when you have to post to a wiki that your fellow students are able to see.

My first draft question developed for the 1a wiki post was: The purpose of this research is to determine the role of the Teacher Librarian in facilitating the integration of technology in the school environment.

After completing extensive reading in the area of research question development, I quickly realised that  my initial research question required refinement.

I learnt that the best way to evaluate a research question is through established criteria. I developed my own set of criteria to evaluate my draft research question using a number of different sources. My basic evaluation consisted of 5 elements the research question needed to possess.

These included: 

  1. clear, concise and in the form of a question (Bryman, 2012).
  2. ability to make clear what data will be required to answer the research (Punch, 2009; Bryman, 2012)
  3. imply a relationship between 3 or more variables (O’Toole & Beckett, 2010)
  4. have a connection and contribution to current literature (Creswell, 2012)
  5. too broad or too narrow (Bryman, 2012)

After developing these criteria and applying them to my above draft research question I adapted my research question to:

‘How can the teacher librarian in school ‘x’ lead the integration of Web 2.0 technology in the secondary classroom’.

Further iterations were made during assignment 2 which involved establishing the final draft research question and selecting a research design and methods that were most appropriate to answer the research question. Bryman (2012, p. 46) states ‘a research design provides a framework for the collection and analysis of data’. Selecting the most appropriate design and method developed a good understanding of the different types of designs available for research. Ethical issues, paradigms and limitations of my proposed design were investigated. It was clear that there is a debate in the literature surrounding whether research should stem form an initial paradigm or whether the research question should guide research design and methods. For an amateur like myself I believe that it is best to start with a well developed research question that guides the research process.

Concluding knowledge:

The process of developing research questions that are focused, is an iterative and reflective process that leads to data. This data needs to add knowledge to a particular field of study. The use of criteria to evaluate research questions and narrowing the focus is essential. A strong research question will aid in the direction and the approach taken to the research. It is important to remember that providing a link between the proposed research and the current literature, as well as outlining the importance of the research and identifying the audience that will benefit are necessary preliminary steps to conduct a successful research project.

How this knowledge will benefit my role as a TL in the future.

Having developed an understanding of how to develop a strong  research question and the ability to select an appropriate research design that will answer such a question provides opportunities to gather data that can be used for within the Teacher Librarian role. The emphasis placed on the use of evidenced based practice throughout the Teacher Librarianship course indicates conducting simple research can be highly beneficial in driving decisions regarding structures, systems and programmes within the library. In addition, simple data relating to usage and outcomes of library programmes is a handy tool to present to the principal and school administrators to ensure adequate funding and resources are supplied.


Bryman, A. (2012). Social research methods (4th ed.). Oxford, UK: OUP.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Punch, K.F. (2009). Introduction to research methods in education. London: Sage.

O’Toole, B. W., & Beckett, D. (2010). Educational research: Creative thinking & doing. South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford Univ Press.







Critical Reflection: My Changing View of the Role of the Teacher Librarian

Name: Simone Jane Carlyon

Student Number: 60938153

Subject Code: ETL401

Subject Name: Teacher Librarianship

Assessment Number: 5

Assessment Title:  Assignment 2: Part B: Critical Reflection

My view of the role of the teacher librarian has made a remarkable change since commencing ETL401 Teacher Librarianship. Prior to the course my view of the role of the teacher librarian encompassed resourcing the library, developing reading programs and providing  assistance to staff in relation to team teaching and collating resources that met the need of the current curriculum. Now at the culmination of this subject I realized this is a very limited view of the teacher librarians role and that I have undergone a sharp learning curve.

The readings by Purcell (2010) opened my eyes to the broad roles of the teacher librarian including that of a leader, information specialist, program administer, instructional partner and teacher.  However the blog post by Valenza (2010) I found exciting,  interesting and helpful as it provided practical ideas on what the teacher librarian should be doing in the 21st century. She instilled energy into the library role advocating technology and teaching. After reading this post I new I had made the right decision to retrain as a teacher librarian and was amazed by the amount of new technology that can be used to aid student learning. The area of ICT, providing access and supporting it’s use is an area that I intend to develop.

The compulsory blog posts saw my understanding of the role of the teacher librarian focus on three areas – Principal Support, Evidence Based Practice and Information Literacy.

Principal Support – Blog Post 1

Garnering the support of the Principal will open avenues to provide the best possible service a teacher librarian can through promoting collaboration and advocating the librarians special skills, increasing funds so that adequate resources are provided and highlighting the importance of the library program in relation to improving student performance to staff (Oberg, 2006). The Teacher Librarian’s role involves actions that will result in their Principal’s support. The teacher librarian needs to bring to the table enthusiasm, expertise, leadership, effective communication and innovative skills to ensure principals are aware of the benefits collaborative programs and information seeking support contributes to student learning (Carlyon, 2013a).

Evidenced Based Practice and the Teacher Librarian – Blog Post 2

I must admit prior to the course I had little idea about evidenced based practice and I certainly would not have related it to the Teacher Librarian’s role. I now believe that it is an integral component that has many ‘knock on’ benefits. Evidenced based practice can be defined as the “conscientious, judicious and explicit use of research evidence in making decisions about the instructional role of the librarian” (Todd, 2007, p. 62). It is a framework that involves collecting and analysing evidence to guide planning, implementation and instruction of library programs and determining the effectiveness of these programs in relation to student outcomes. The evidence attained is combined with the librarian’s expertise and experience to inform best practice.  (Todd, 2007, p.60 – 63; Carlyon, 2013b). Evidence can be obtained from two sources: research literature gathered from others or evidence gatherer from the teacher librarian in the form of test scores, student learning journals, rubrics and collection data. Another tool available to Teacher librarians in relation to evidence based practice is the SLIM toolkit (Todd & Kuthlthau et al.,2005). This evidence collected can also be used as an advocacy tool to ensure class teachers and the Principal value the library program and become involved in collaboration.

Information Literacy: more than a set of skills – Blog Post 3

“One of the main roles of the teacher librarian involves teaching and supporting student’s information literacy skills through the use of information literacy models. Information literacy is a complex process involving locating, using and communicating information effectively. It is not merely a set of skills, but a metacognitive process that enables the learner to become literate and succeed in all areas of life” (Carlyon, 3013c). In the current school that I teach information literacy is not embedded into the curriculum units, collaboratively programmed or delivered with the Teacher Librarian. It is the Teacher Librarians role to be a leader in establishing collaborative practices with classroom teachers in devising and teaching units of work that are inclusive of information literacy processes. This will allow students opportunities to practice and refine their information literacy skills. The last assessment task developed an understanding of the Information Search Process (ISP), in particular the NSW DET ISP and Kuhlthau ISP model and of course the foundation they provide for a ‘guided inquiry’ approach to research tasks. Although in my previous teaching I would use parts of the NSW ISP unintentionally e.g. brainstorming ideas with students during the Defining stage (DET NSW, 2007), the whole idea of inquiry learning units opens up avenues to provide a definite teaching role for the Teacher Librarian, motivates and engages students, increases collaborating between the Teacher Librarian and class teachers and provides opportunities to collect reflection data on student learning to aid evidence based practice (Kuhlhua, 2010). The biggest advantage, however, of developing an inquiry learning approach is the satisfaction in seeing students progress and enjoy their learning journey.

Above all the teacher librarian needs to be enthusiastic and proactive in developing relationships with the Principal, class teachers, students, parents and the community to ensure that collaborative practices in developing student outcomes are achieved.


Carlyon, S. (2013a, 3Aug.) The Teacher Librarian and Principal Support. In online learning Journal: PE to TL – The Journey Begins – Reflections and thoughts on ETL401. Retrieved from

Carlyon, S. (2013b, 9Sept).  Evidenced Based Practice and the Teacher Librarian. In online learning Journal: PE to TL – The Journey Begins – Reflections and thoughts on ETL401. Retrieved from

Carlyon, S. (2013c, 22Sept.). Information Literacy: more than a set of skills.  In online learning Journal: PE to TL – The Journey Begins – Reflections and thoughts on ETL401. Retrieved from

Kuhlthau, C. (2010). Building Guided Inquiry Teams for 21st-Century Learners. School Library Monthly, 26(5), 18.

New South Wales Department of Education and Training (2007) Information skills in the school: engaging learners in constructing knowledge Retrieved from

Purcell, M. (2010). All Librarians Do Is Check Out Books, Right? A Look at the Roles of a School Library Media Specialist. Library Media Connection, 29(3), 30-33.

Oberg, D. (2006). Developing the respect and support of school administrators. Teacher Librarian, 33(3), 13-18.Retrieved from

Todd, R. J. (2007). Evidenced-based practice and school libraries : from advocacy to action. In S. Hughes-Hassell & V. H. Harada School reform and the school library media specialist (pp. 57-78). Westport, CY : Libraries Unlimited.

Valenza, J. (2010) A revised manifesto. In School Library Journal, Retrieved from