This evening I am beavering away finishing off a paper for the ASCILITE 2014 conference in Otago, and as part of the process went hunting for some old information. It was the search terms of “parramatta” and “judy o’connell” that brought up a blog post from Pearson’s Always LearningNews Room.
Who can believe it? The second time this year I have seen my name on the same “screen” as Sir Ken Robinson 🙂 I have seen, been in the same room with, and worked with all these gentlemen at one time or another, though I doubt that they all knew or noticed. Play hangman with me if you like, and see if you can work out who, what, when?
Never mind – just read Follow the Leader and be introduced to 1.Sir Ken Robinson 2.Alan November 3.Stephen Heppell 4.Judy O’Connell 5. Greg Whitby
Pity that the facts are a bit wrong about my role at CSU, and I certainly do way more than teacher librarianship – but I don’t mind – I’m just a digital navvy at heart. I earn the least amount of money too (of course).
A great gathering of educators today in Melbourne for the SchoolsTechOZ conference. Always a favourite, and as always a great lineup of speakers and workshop leaders.
Here are the slides for my presentation in the afternoon. Not identical, but the main links that attendees might be looking for are all there 🙂 . I’m looking forward to digging into some of this a little more deeply at my workshops tomorrow.
While it was published a little while ago, I am still pleased to share the NMC Horizon Report 2014 edition, in case you’ve missed it.
Launched in 2009, the NMC Horizon Report > K-12 Edition broadened the reach of the NMC Horizon Report series to include primary, middle, and high schools. The K-12 Edition explores the key trends accelerating educational technology adoption in schools, the significant challenges impeding it, and emerging technologies poised to impact teaching, learning, and creative inquiry.
I’ve been along for the journey in every K-12 edition as a member of the K-12 Expert Panel, which has been amazing! Now we have this amazing collection that tells an extraordinary story of change, development and innovation in education as part of the mapping of new horizons. It is fantastic to be involved at this level in education – I love it 🙂
Check out the trends, challenges and technology forecast in the report. Look for the opportunities where you can contribute to your school’s development, especially in ways that technology can be embedded into the curriculum programs.
What happens when two friends get together, and pretty much impromptu, create 10 videos in a few hours on 10 tech topics?
Tara Brabazon, Professor of Education and Head of the School of Teacher Education at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst invited me (Courses Director, School of Information Studies in the Faculty of Education, Charles Sturt University , Wagga Wagga) to test this question.
The result was the J3TJudy and Tara Talk Tech series of 10. Here we now have ten pebbles in a big digital pond – let the ripples begin….. We introduce the J3T series here for you.
You will find the full series under the following topics:
J3T1 Email and the digital glut
Judy and Tara reveal strategies to manage the information glut. How do we control email? How do we stop email controlling us?
J3T2 Information Organization
Judy and Tara talk about how to manage information. How do students avoid plagiarism? How can software help to organize our ideas and sources?
J3T3 Managing Digital Lives
Judy and Tara explore how to differentiate our digital lives. How do we separate private and professional roles, on and offline? How is our understanding of privacy transforming?
J3T4 Creating rich learning management systems
Judy and Tara probe the problems and strengths of learning management systems. They explore how to create rich, imaginative and powerful environments to enable student learning.
J3T5 Open Access Resources
Judy and Tara explore the changing nature of publishing, research and the resources available for teaching and learning. They probe open access journals and the open access ‘movement.’
J3T6 Fast Media
Judy and Tara explore the challenges of fast media, like Twitter and other microblogging services. While valuable, how do we control the speed of such applications to enable interpretation, analysis and reflection?
J3T7 Sound and Vision
Judy and Tara explore the nature of sonic and visual media. When are sound-only resources best deployed? How do we create reflection and interpretation on visual sources?
J3T8The Google Effect
Judy and Tara probe the impact of the read-write web and the ‘flattening’ of expertise and the discrediting of experts such as teachers and librarians. Judy also demonstrates the great value of meta-tagging.
J3T9 Are books dead
Judy and Tara asks the provocative question: Are books dead? They explore the role of platforms – analogue and digital – in carrying information to specific audiences.
J3T10 The future? Mobility
Judy and Tara discuss the future of educational technology. Particularly, they focus on mobility, through mobile phones and m-learning.
PS I did not get my mowing man to text me at the right moment in ‘Managing Digital Lives’ – what a hoot!
It’s Monday morning, and as I sit down for my morning cup of tea and toast, I open my iPhone to see what’s in my email, and what items in my calendar will need my attention. I can take a little time over this, as I don’t have a long commute to work ahead of me, though I will ‘commute’ across the country (online) while I collaborate with my colleagues on curriculum standards and content alignment in the work we are doing for the new degree.
Next, as I flicked through Twitter (because I like to do that, and because it’s an important information tool) I stopped – and sighed at the struggle still before us of convincing teachers in K-12 schooling that they have to keep up! Well, there are lots of things they need to keep up with, and their own knowledge discipline is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about information flow – the stuff of our knowledge networks, and the fabric of our connected lives.
In just a couple of minutes of my twitter feed (never mind all the hours I was asleep) I found:
A new Project Tomorrow research report which confirms that teachers’ unsophisticated use of tech. is creating the second level digital divide
I suspect that I don’t take my information flow nearly as seriously as I should. But at least I try! You should try too! We know that there is a lot happening, and that there are various ways of responding to the speed of info-change. Putting your head under a rock is not one of them!
Workflow, for a whole range of professional needs and personal pleasures, is constantly being disrupted lately as tools and processes morph daily or my understanding deepens of what is possible.
If you are involved in education in some way and you’ve still got people who believe that email, google searching, and journal subscriptions are ‘the go’, then you’d better scramble into your Tardis and get to a timezone that’s relevant to the needs of students today.
Let’s face it – the cloud is here! Does your educational institution or management understand this? Luckily for me I work in a ‘cloud’ environment on a daily basis, whether it is managing my professional data files online, working and communicating in the cloud, or engaging with students and colleagues in some social media platform or another.
All well and good – but not too innovative if it’s just ‘me, myself and I’!
We need suits in the cloud too – real suits who share information and put a personal face to a media environment. My latest favourite suit is Andrew Vann. Professor Andrew Vann is the new Vice-Chancellor and President of Charles Sturt University (CSU), and unlike the usual new suits, he has already attracted much interest within the ranks. Here is a suit who has moved right into the cloud, and leads the way in adopting social media. Andrew runs a lively update stream at Twitter @drpievann and launched an official blog to engage with the broader CSU community.
I want to use this blog to facilitate a collegial and hopefully innovative process to establish a clearer sense of where and what we want CSU to be in the future, and later what we need to do to get there.
I suppose there is nothing new about a senior suit launching a blog – but it IS a bit innovative for higher education. If CSU is to live up to being Australia’s leading online and distance education provider, it strikes me as critical that not only Andrew, but many more of the HE leadership need to hang their suits in the cloud in order to further advance online education and the student experience. That’s #justsayin in Twitter-speak!
It’s the same with our subjects and degree programs – they also need to incorporate digital environments not only to improve learning opportunities, but also to make the learning experience relevant to the workplace.
Once again I have found that some of the subjects I have been teaching do connect directly with the student professional experience. These subjects were developed to respond to the digital environment – even allowing some of our students to get their own suits in the cloud 🙂
Today, I was offered an amazing job as Social Media Officer where I will spend my days immersed in social networking! My interest in it through study of this social media subject was noticed by those at the top.
This is the kind of outcome we strive for in the degree programs in the School of Information Studies. This is what postgraduate study should be about! As another student said after completing a subject I have been teaching:
This is the first subject where I’ve actually seen direct relevance to my work.
This is the challenge for ‘suits’! Will you be moving into the cloud some time soon?
Back to base in Wagga Wagga, and the beginning of another academic year for me! While here at Charles Sturt University we have three sessions, rather than two semesters, and students may be starting off a graduate or post-graduate course at any one of these three sessions, there is still something ‘magical’ about starting a new program of study with a new year!
So for a whole bunch of students, around about now things are starting to get exciting. In my case, my subject outlines have gone ‘live’ – but the really juicy stuff is yet to come. Meanwhile, we have been spending a lot of time working on learning materials and beginning a process of renewal in assessment strategies. The scene above was taken from the balcony of the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre at CSU which was the venue for our ‘thinktank’. We had no wine (unfortunately!), but we did have a fabulous view for breaks…not to mention loads of fresh air (which I really notice each time I come from Sydney to visit the Wagga campus).
I’m looking forward to ‘meeting’ my newest group of students, who come from Australia and around the world. Those starting the MEdTL for the first time will find themselves engaged in a range of activities, some of which may well be new to their scholarly toolkit. But the very first thing is THE BLOG! When they start blogging they’ll discover that it’s as easy as ‘one, two, three’ once they’ve mastered the basics. It’s also an opportunity to be part of the global conversation, with other teacher librarians – and that is, perhaps, the most powerful thing of all!
I’ve been writing this blog since 2006, and along the way have learnt as much as I have shared. Our new students will ‘meet’ many excellent TL bloggers along the way, and will also discover how to develop or expand their own personal learning network.
This week I picked up an interesting post from Doug Johnson ~ Not your mother’s school library. If your mother’s school library captured your passion, then it served a great purpose for the times – but that’s a whole different story. My interest was piqued because of the (expensive) Workshops for School Library Teachers being offered by Simmon’s graduate school. That title stumped me a little as it seems particularly out-of-date (school library teacher?), but the professional development courses seem to be quite current. Interestingly, they are exactly the sort of courses that we offer free or at low cost via our professional associations here in Australia.We also learn a lot from our personal learning networks, with twitter and local lists always busy sharing the sort of information we need to keep our libraries current and vibrant places of 21st century literacy and learning.
Perhaps we are lucky! The Australian library scene is a vibrant one, as evidenced by the report tabled in the Federal Parliament that highlights the importance of teacher librarians and school libraries in education. The purpose of the Inquiry that led to the release of the report was to look into and report on the role, adequacy and resourcing of school libraries and teacher librarians in Australia’s public and private schools. So we are being noticed.
I like to think that we are also working hard to promote quality education for those who aspire to be a teacher librarian, as well as those who want to undertake further postgraduate study. It’s great to know that our CSU Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) aims to remain current. We introduce teachers to the world of teacher librarianship, and we use the most current technologies as part of the course. Think blogs, wikis and social bookmarking, and you’re at the starting line. I’m pleased with the extension opportunities that we offer as well, and next session I am keen to get stuck into some new subjects.
For those ‘in the know’ I’ll be teaching ETL501 Information Environment which is supported by the work of international leader James Herring who keenly promotes improved web use as an element of 21st century information literacy.
Throughout our courses at School Library courses at CSU we explore foundational and ground-breaking issues and technologies for school libraries and teacher librarians. I will be using Facebook, blogs, wikis, Diigo, Flickr, Slideshare, Zipcasts etc – in fact, a swag of online tools that helps makes learning relevant and vibrant for those in the courses – allowing them to learn about them and then integrate them into their own school and personal learning needs.
Our students have to be involved in their own architecture of participation if they are to help their schools and school libraries embrace the challenges to create a renewal of pedagogy and technology work practices.
So I think that we are certainly addressing the passion that our our mother’s school library inspired, and the focus and vibrant 21st century literacy and learning that our grand-children’s school library will need!
Don’t believe me? Here’s what a few students said at the end of my first session of teaching at CSU.
Thank you for a most stimulating, informative and challenging course. I have already adopted some new ways of thinking and learning into my classroom practice and I know that there is a long list that I look forward to reflecting upon and enacting as time allows.
What a pleasure it was to do this subject with you at the helm. What it has taught me is invaluable.
Thank you so much for all the wonderful resources and support throughout the course. You’ve taken me from someone who really had no idea what she was doing to someone who has some idea with a thirst for more. It’s very transformational, challenging and definitely lifelong learning.
Week One in my new full-time job at Charles Sturt Uni, and I have discovered the challenges that a few years of change ‘in the cloud’ have wrought! The ‘work’ challenges are being met thanks to the welcoming support from all my new colleagues. They are an amazing team, spread around the world, and in my online environment this is a wonderful extension of my already robust PLN.
However, as I settle into my preparation for working with students in courses online through Charles Sturt Uni, I also have to set up a whole swag of new equipment. Am I lucky? You think about it…
What do you do when you have to prepare a new lot of equipment for your online interactions. It should be easy – right? It used to be dead easy – load up a few software applications, add a couple of browsers (maybe) and then you’re away.
Well, if you are really working in an online 21st century kind of way (I’m sure you know what I mean), you’d find that you have to set aside loads of time, and would have to keep tinkering constantly for a week or two to re-establish your online tools, and favourite ways of managing your work productivley, collaboratively, creatively, and uber efficiently. I haven’t got the systems down pat yet – and am using this opportunity to review some things, so am keen to get some feedback if you have favourite tips and tricks that I’ve not listed.
I’ve been keeping a list as I chug along setting things up. I’ll remember more of them when I get back home from Wagga Wagga (loved seeing the kangaroos on campus!). Interestingly I find that I do different setups on different computers depending on how I ‘bend’ that particular tool to my needs. But without going into specifics, here’s what the list is looking like after one week…and I’m not finished yet. I found it incredibly frustrating initially to have a browser window that did just that – browse!! There are many tools/options, and some that I choose not to use, though I realise that they just might be amongst your favourites. Of course, it’s also about tools that synchronise, or work in partnernship with my iPhone and iPad.
I wonder how I ever used to work without the additional speed and flexibility that these tools provide me.
I wonder how YOU manage, if you don’t have a similar looking list?
It’s been rather slow in the making, but finally the new series commissioned by ALIA and ASLA is available to order from the ACER shop online.
The Learning in a Changing Worldseries addresses how the process of learning is evolving – including the array of resources available in the digital age, changing curriculum, and the different teaching strategies needed in order to use new media and technologies.
TheLearning in a Changing World series presents the core areas for teacher librarians and school leaders to consider for 21st century learning: the digital world, virtual worlds, curriculum integration, resourcing, and the physical environment. All are essential elements to enable and empower our students to be lifelong learners and active participants in our society.
I was lucky to work on the first two books in the series with my good friend Dean Groom. Books like the two we worked on can never stay completely current – but then they are not ‘how to’ guides so much as ‘why you should’ and ‘why you can’ guides. There is enough thought provoking information for readers to leverage and help innovation and change in their own schools.
Connect, Communicate, Collaborate
Our students are involved in an ‘architecture of participation’ – creating, adapting and sharing content. While for them this learning is a comfortable multimodal conversation, for us this change is revolutionary. Schools and school libraries have many challenges to address to create a renewal of pedagogy and technology work practices. As we begin to understand the importance of these seismic shifts, we come to the realisation that we are being challenged to un-learn and re-learn in order to grant students access to 21st century learning.
Many thanks go to Michael Stephens for generously contributing the Forward to this work.
Each year there are more and more avatars in rich virtual environments. These immersive worlds – where the world within the screen becomes both the object and the site of interaction – are on the increase, matching the promise of technology with the creative minds of our students. Educators, keen to incorporate the evolving literacy and information needs of 21st century learners, will want to understand the opportunities provided by MUVEs, MMORPGs and 3D immersive worlds, so as to be able to create more interactive library, educational and cultural projects. The challenge is to accept that these interactive environments are here to stay and that schools can, and should, embrace learning in virtual worlds.
Virtual worlds will provide the knowledge, inspiration and motivation to get you started.
Many thanks to Peggy Sheehy for generously contributing the Forward to this work.