Too much information

Well firstly I’m really excited because while I’ve been in the Philippines I’ve got quite a few more hits on this blog. Not sure who reads it or if anyone finds it useful but it makes me feel positive when I see the hits counter increase. I’m hardly a blogging superstar but nearly 2000 isn’t to be sniffed at.
So to the assignment. Well plenty of research done and words written. Too much in fact. I think I’ve wandered from the plan and will need to rearrange the info and the slides but I think I’m almost there. I’ve particularly enjoyed learning about this as I knew nothing before and i have to say I was a nay sayer. My son can’t believe that I now think games have some value and that some should be utilised within the classroom.
Just read a great article by Waelchli Playing with process: video game choice as a model of behavior. A really interesting read, especially as it relates to librarians and the research cycle. In essence he is saying that librarians should use games with learners and then demonstrate how gaming and research are similar. This would enable our learners to make connects and frame research skills and information literacy in a positive light. Watch this great video by Paul Walchli. A brief summary from my notes is as follows…

Our digital citizens are required to be able to plan their inquiries, locate and analyse information and evaluate information. (ISTE 2007) Waelchli (2010. p. 380 ) argues that games require players to search out information, organise it, evaluate its usefulness and make decisions based on it’s value. This imitates the research cycle we expect our students to follow.
When gamers are actively engaged they need to make decision based on the information available. These decisions, or choices, are where information literacy skills are used. To be successful, players must be able to collect, evaluate, organise and apply information within the context of the game. These skills alone are enough to provide justification for using games with our learners. (Waelchli, 2010. p. 383) Even when playing action games, which are renown for their fighting and shooting, the most successful players need to assess the situation, consider resources and tools and make a plan of action, just as successful researchers do. (Waelchli ,2010. p. 386) As with the other ISTE standards, games are used not for their educational content but for the educational processes players use when engaged in the game.
Persistence is also a virtue that needs to be developed within our learners. Learners who look for a quick way through the research cycle will not be rewarded with rich and deep understandings; this is mirrored by players who will be unsuccessful with only one single game play. Research, like gaming, is not a one hit wonder, many engagements are necessary in order to gain a more focused end product or a higher ranking. (Waelchli, 2010. p. 385)

WAELCHLI, P. (2010). Playing with Process: Video Game Choice as a Model of Behavior. Public Services Quarterly, 6(4), 380-388. doi:10.1080/15228959.2010.521091
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Role of the TL. Ideas gathered.

Browsing the planning room shelves my eyes lit upon an author who seems to be cropping up quite frequently in the Information Literacy circles…Carol Kuhlthau. Her book Guided Inquiry Learning in the 21st Century has a couple of pages on the role of the TL that I thought might be interesting. ( Kuhlthau, C. et al( 2007) Guided Inquiry Learning in the 21st Century, Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited.) Hmmm trying to learn how to reference again is going to be a challenge!

” The school librarian is a necessary member of every Guided Inquiry team.” pg 57

She highlights 3 main roles; resources specialist, information literacy teacher and collaboration gatekeeper.

Resource specialist… developing the school library resources, providing internet resources and contacts with community resources.

Information literacy teacher… teaching concepts for information access, evaluation and use, maintaining long-term relationships with students from year to year and fostering a guided inquiry environment (constructivist learning)

Collaboration gatekeeper…coordinating the guided Inquiry team, keeping communication open, using flexible managerial skills and communicates with the community. (See figure 4.3 Roles of the School Librarian, pg 57)

I had sort of thought about the first 2 roles, obviously not as in-depth but hadn’t really seen it as my role to bring in resources from outside in the community. I can see why it is vital but had thought it was more a job for our team leaders.  In taking on this aspect of the job I need to foster more communication between our community and ensure that we can access experts, knowledge and materials to the maximum effect. This means being visible, not just within school but through all modes of communication. marketing the LC as something very important and getting our community to recognise that and the role that they need to play within that….. not an easy task!

Half a day left of the school term! Everything is packed and I’m ready to move into the LC. My children all know that I am moving to the LC but are obviously confused about what the role is. ” Is tomorrow your last day of teaching?” was one question I was asked at the end of today. The children do not see their time in the LC as learning time. It is viewed as something separate where they chose a book, browse and chat with their friends. Now there’s nothing wrong with browsing or chatting but we need to get them to understand that our time in the LC is for learning and that we are going to be developing skills that will help us with our inquiries and turn us into life long learners. I’m not sure how easy that is going to be but by providing a curriculum rich in interesting, authentic and engaging experiences that give them the skills they need to question and locate the information they need, should take us someway along the line.

Bring on the holidays!