ASLA Conference 2015 Day 1/Day2

Provoking the future: school libraries, pedagogy and technology. Held at The Playhouse, Women’s College, University of Queensland on Tuesday 29 September and Wednesday 30 September 2015

Keynote 1.1: Karen Bonanno, Managing Director Eduwebinar and June Wall, June Wall Consultancy: Capacity building the profession for the future

Karen Bonanno and June Wall talked about the huge changes caused by technology that are expected to impact over the next 5 years and what this means in terms of our own learning and our students. The pre-reading was these websites and I recommend reading them.
Learning and literacy for the future by Wall and Bonanno
Future work skills 2020
Digital disruption

Future Work Skills CC-BY-SA Joe Ross (2011)
Future Work Skills CC-BY-SA Joe Ross (2011)

Skills needed for the future both by own students and ourselves.
1. Sense Making
Definition: ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed
2. Social Intelligence
Definition: ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions
3. Novel and Adaptive Thinking
Definition: proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based
4. Cross- Cultural Competency
Definition: ability to operate in different cultural settings.
5. Computational Thinking
Definition: ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning
6. New Media Literacy
Definition: ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication
7. Transdisciplinarity
Definition: literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines
8. Design Mindset
Definition: ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes
9. Cognitive Load Management
Definition: ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques
10.Virtual Collaboration
Definition: ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team.

More information on these skills are found in the Future Work Skills 2020 document.

While acknowledging that these technological changes are scary the message was that there are also huge opportunities if we adapt and utilise them. The video Digital Disruption- Short Fuse, big bang? challenges us to have the flexibility to adapt. Project Daniel shows us some of the possibilities of the new technology.

The New Work Order Report suggests that 70% of entry level jobs will disappear due to automation in the near future. This means that teaching our students the skills they need is not optional but imperative.

Are schools ready for these changes? And where is the teacher librarian in this environment? We may not have an official leadership role in our school but we can effect change by working with early adopters in our school. Experiment with pedagogical innovations such as massive open social learning, learning design informed by analytics, flipped classroom, dynamic assessment, BYOD, Learning to learn, event based learning, learning through story telling, threshold concepts and bricolage.
Pedagogical Innovation CC-BY-SA Vivian Harris (2015)
Pedagogical Innovation CC-BY-SA Vivian Harris (2015)

Karen encouraged us to think about our personality type (Dynamo, Blaze, Tempo and Steel) and how we can use the strengths of each to take a great idea to fruition. At each of our schools there will be an unmet need. It is the challenge of all of us to find solutions to these needs and then implement them in our schools. Sometimes we can doubt our own capacity to change but ...

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Keynote 1.2: Dr Anne Gillespie QUT - Post doctoral fellow at Queensland University of Technology Finding evidence in evidence based practice
Dr Anne Gillespie helped make sense of a problem that confronts many teacher librarians- how to find the evidence for the difference we make in our students and fellow teachers lives. We KNOW that we make a difference but we may need to prove it for our Professional Teachers Maintenance report, an action research project or to convince our principal that the library is an essential and value adding part of the school.
The purpose of the data gathering will determine what data is needed. Evidence can be quantitative and qualitative. It can be deliberate or encountered (serendipitous). Evidence can be the professional knowledge that informs practice for instance conference speakers, journal articles, online communities, and list-serves.
Observations may be both deliberate or accidental for instance the teacher librarian may deliberately observe the use of the library at lunchtime or accidentally notice the playground incidents are lower on days when library is open.
Feedback can be from staff, parents, and students. It may be deliberately sought out with surveys or anecdotes from conversations. The anecdotes are important to collect and document either by writing them down or using a recording device (eg. apps on your phone). Anecdotes are a very under-utilised form of evidence.
Reflection is another under-utilised form of evidence. Keeping a weekly or daily reflection diary to write down what worked and what needed improvement and strategies to achieve this. Reflection described by Osterman (1990) is “concentration and careful consideration”. It enables critical analysis.
Data can collected through surveys, the library management system and school NAPLAN data. Teacher librarians can use the library management system to find answers to questions on girls vs boys borrowing habits, genres, age related borrowing habits. Does the visit of an author increase borrowing of books by that author afterwards? Which classes have the best/worst borrowing? Why? Look closely at NAPLAN data. Can you see any patterns in it that relate to library use. Can you see improvement with the implementation of a change in practice? Can you track student borrowing against NAPLAN results?
When presenting your evidence it is important to do so in an interesting way with a mixture of data, photos, video, audio and anecdotes.

Keynote 1.3: Dr Jason Zagami Lecturer Griffith University: Trends, challenges and developments in technologies that will influence the future of libraries
Sponsored by LearningField Copyright Australia

Dr Jason Zagami looked at the trends, challenges and developments in technologies that will influence the future of libraries. Jason challenges school libraries and teacher librarians to be at the forefront of the changes coming by reading and acting on the NMC Horizon Reports for Libraries and K-12 Education. School [libraries] should be the looking glass into the future. (Thorpe 2015).

Could this be the school library of the future?

He suggests rethinking the roles/skills of librarians to include data mining, web development and providing instructional support for staff and students. Teacher librarians need to embrace the need for radical change and libraries need a culture of continuous change.
As once computers were only found in the school library but are now found throughout the school, makerspaces could start off in school libraries before becoming part of the normal classroom. Makerspaces are a part of many innovative libraries already but school libraries do not generally open them to the community as originally envisioned .

He looked at
Key Trends accelerating technology adoption in K-12 including (short term) increasing use of Blended learning and rise of STEAM Learning; (mid-term) increasing use of collaborative learning approaches and the shift from students as consumers to creators ; and (long term) rethinking how schools work and a shift to deeper learning approaches.

Gapminder was used as an example of the increasing visualisation of data

Significant Challenges impeding technology adoption including (solvable) creating authentic learning opportunities and integrating technology in teacher education; (difficult) personalizing learning and rethinking the roles of teachers; and (wicked) scaling teaching innovations and teaching complex thinking.
Important Developments in Educational Technology
One year or less
  • Bring Your Own Device
  • Makerspaces
Two to Three Years
  • 3D Printing
  • Adaptive Learning technologies
Four to Five Years
  • Digital Badges
  • Wearable Technology

His presentation is here

Keynote 1.4: Leonie McIlvenny Head of iCentre Iona Presentation College W.A.: The future of digital badges: glorified stickers or powerful tools to credential learning

Jason Zagami may have talked about digital badges as in the four to five year future but at Iona presentation College in W.A they are happening now.
Leonie talked about how badges have moved from cloth, to digital badges held inside games to open badges which can be displayed in digital backpacks. Digital badges can be used to show employers skills in short courses and soft skills. At the moment you can collect them in Mozilla Packpack and on LinkedIn. The value is in sharing them with others.

Open badges can be made using Mozilla, Credly, BadgeForge, Achievery, digitalme, ClassBadges and BadgeOS.

They are already being used by Worlds of Learning @New Milford High School, and Chicago Summer of Learning.

Each badge has its meta data embedded into it. A person clicking on it can see the icon title, description , criteria used in awarding the badge, the issuer awarding it, date awarded and the evidence presented to achieve it.

At Iona Leonie started off using a paper passport which students put stickers on as they mastered ICT skills. It has evolved to the point of being website based and the Australian Curriculum syllabus content linked to the badge.

A good way to experiment with this idea would be to use the badges in a closed system like Moodle or Edmodo.

Keynote 1.5: Susan Gan Educational Consultant Softlink & Nathan Godfrey Managing Director Softlink: The Softlink Australian school library survey: trends and future directions

The 2014 Softlink Survey shows that over the last 5 years there has been a $5 million decrease in school library budgets, with government school libraries decreasing more than other sectors.

There was a correlation between lower funding for school libraries and lower NAPLAN scores.

Emerging issues are technology, ebooks, students, digital resources, makerspaces and the Australian Curriculum.

Three key concerns are alignment with ACARA, information literacy programming and access to eResources.

Challenges included

  • Managing a library that wasn’t built for the 21st C
  • Finding enough time to do it all
  • Encouraging the school community to value the library
  • Aligning the library with the Australian Curriculum
  • Getting people to understand what the library staff do
  • Accessing enough help
  • Keeping up with the digital age.

Important Opportunities included

  • Digital resources shift
  • The technology curve
  • Growth of personal portable digital devices
  • Evolution of the physical space
  • The Curriculum