ETL402 final blog post

I entered this unit thinking that I had a lot to offer in the way of children’s literature. My eldest son was diagnosed with Autism at the end of 2013 along with hyperlexia. I discovered a lot about children’s literature through this experience. We read… lots! The truth is, I was wrong, I did have lots to learn. In this unit I examined what is children’s literature, an examination of various genres, child development and reading needs, the changing nature of literature, the importance of including multiliteracies and the use of literature strategies for a TL to collaborate with a classroom teacher.

In examining what is children’s literature and why do we read some of these readings stated the obvious but there were a few responses that resonated with me. I enjoyed the Haven article (Haven, 2007) and I liked Vanessa’s response (Kranenburg, 2015) to the question ‘Why read?’ based on this article. After reading about different genres I chose multicultural picture books as this was most appropriate in my particular school community. After reading Chapter 1 of Cai’s book (Cai, 2002) I discovered there were so many definitions of multicultural literature. The inclusion of multicultural literature is something I and others feel passionately about. See the campaign #1000BlackGirlBooks (Wingate Wire, 2015) as an example of others supporting multicultural literature in schools. I liked reading about the biopsychosocial developmental stages of the child and what that means for their reading interests and habits. (Travers & Travers, 2008)

In creating a dynamic reading program in my school I would really like to include Pennac’s ‘Rights of the reader’ into my library (Pennac, 2006) and the accompanying visual. (Pennac & Blake, 2006) Regarding the changing nature of literature I found ‘Cool Tools for School’ contained so many new ideas and web sites. (Tangient LLC, 2016a) Author skypes also sounded like a brilliant idea. (Tangient LLC, 2016b). The tone then changed to collection management, and I really liked Sophie’s ideas for collection arrangement (Partington, 2015) and replied to her. (Young, 2016) Reading about censorship is quite important and I have to be able to justify why a title is in the collection. We have a very protective and involved parent body. I liked that in Verdergrift’s article about censorship. (Vandergrift, 1997) Cremin (2010) encourages regular reading

It looked at genre hybrids and transmedia storytelling. (Lamb & Johnson, 2010) The Starfall website (Starfall Education Foundation, 2015) is amazing as is the Storyline Online. (SAG-AFTRA Foundation, 2015) I can understand how students can be consumed by fanfiction. The discussion then turned to the use of Book apps or eBooks in the classroom. I have found that eBooks just haven’t taken off in my school. I was so impressed with the idea put forward by Nadine (Bailey, 2016) of printing out the cover of a book available on Overdrive and placing it on the shelves. I might do this in a display rather than on the shelves. I am all for multiliteracies. I already do this in my teaching.

However, all this literature in all these formats are of no good if we cannot use them constructively to teach in class. We need activities to ensure that we keep students engaged. We have whole school approaches in other areas, why not in reading, such as an Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) program across the school. There was information on how to successfully integrate a literature unit in the classroom or library. (Temple, Freeman & Moss, 1998) (Kulleseid & Strickland, 1989) I started to plan my second assignment and chose a topic I am interested in again, a Year 6 migration History unit. I have used the strategies literary circles (Schlick Noe, 2013), reading aloud (Moss, n.d.) and the creation of digital book trailers for understanding.

In conclusion, in this ETL402 we examined the various genres of children’s literature, looked at child development and reading needs, the changing nature of literature as we know it, the importance of including multiliteracies and the use of literature strategies for a TL to collaborate with a classroom teacher. I am very happy that I have come away from this unit with more knowledge than I came in. These are all great skills I will implement in the library.


Bailey, N. (2016). Re: Task 1: EBooks and take up – Primary Libraries. [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from

Cai, M. (2002). Multicultural literature for children and young adults: Reflections on critical issues. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

Cremin, T. (2010). Motivating children to read through literature. In J. Fletcher, F. Parkhill & G. T. Gillon (Eds.), Motivating literacy learners in today’s world. (pp. 11-21). Wellington, N.Z.: NZCER Press. Available from CSU eReserve.

Haven, K. F. (2007). Story proof: The science behind the startling power of story. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Kranenburg, V. (2015, November 10). Re: Task 1: Why read? [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from

Kulleseid, E. & Strickland, D. (1989). Characteristics of an effective literature-based program. In Literature, literacy and learning (pp. 24-29). Chicago : American Library Association.

Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2010). Divergent Convergence part 1: Cross-genre, multi-platform, transmedia experiences in school libraries. Teacher Librarian 37(5), 76-81. Retrieved from . Available from EBSCOhost

Partington, S. (2015, December 6). Primary school junior fiction. [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from

Pennac, D. (2006). The rights of the reader. London: Walker Books.

Pennac, D. & Blake, Q. (2006). The rights of the reader. Retrieved from

SAG-AFTRA Foundation. (2015). Storyline online. Retrieved from

Schlick Noe, K. (2013). Literature circles resource centre. Retrieved from

Starfall Education Foundation. (2015). Starfall. Retrrieved from

Tangient LLC. (2016a). Web 2.0: Cool tools for Schools. Retrieved from

Tangient LLC. (2016b). Authors who Skype. Retrieved from

Temple, C. A., Freeman, E. B. & Moss, J. F. (1998). Distinguishing features of a literature unit. In Children’s books in children’s hands: An introduction to their literature. (pp. 482-484). Boston, Mass. : Allyn & Bacon.

Travers, B. E., & Travers, J. F. (2008). Children’s literature: A developmental perspective. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons. Available on CSU eReserve.

Vandergrift, K. E. (1997). Censorship, the internet, intellectual freedom, and youth. Retrieved from

Wingate Wire. (2015). Sick of Reading About White Boys and Dogs, Marley Dias Launches #1000BlackGirlBooks. Retrieved from

Young, S. (2016, January 10). Re: Primary junior school fiction. [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from






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eBooks and purchasing


In the ACT we have a person in the department who is responsible for purchasing e-books, audio books and other digital resources and placing them in the OLIVER system. She sends out weekly emails with her new acquisitions that we can choose to forward to staff if we wish. All teachers and students can access these resources through the digital backpack (by typing their email and a password) at any time. Given that we are in a well-off area, most students have access to a device at home. But it has been slow in take-up of this. I don’t know if this is because it has not been advertised well or people simply are prefering to read paper copies of texts.

One thing I would like to know, does anyone encourage teachers to access the ebooks or audio books in the classroom when reading to class groups? I have done this before, but have found most teachers are still reading from one paper copy to students. When I modelled this last year, one teacher used her kindle log on to read an ebook with her students and found it successful. I am a huge fan of audiobooks (giving the teacher a rest, letting the students hear another voice reading the text, as well as other benefits) do many teachers in your schools do this?

We don’t use text books so we haven’t considered e-textbooks, but they might be handy for maths if the can link to a notebook or spreadsheet application.


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Using eBooks in the class

In considering the question ‘how do you process information and read, and are young people different?’ one of the most prominant statements that came out of the readings was in Coiro (2003). When young people reading non-fiction on screen they became frustrated if there answers were not instantly provided in a way they did not when reading a print book. Also in their rapid search for information they adopted a ‘snatch and grab’ philosophy. They made hasty decisions with little thought and evaluation process.

I think that a part of our role as Teacher Librarians is to educate students away from this. Whether we have a regular release lesson with the students or work collaboratively with the classroom teachers we have to integrate this quick and immediate answers idea away from students. They need to apply the same critical thinking skills to the information they find in a book to the information they find on the internet. As we are teaching young students and they do not have all their reasoning skills yet, they need to be coached or trained in this idea as soon as they are competent readers.

It needs to be considered that Coiro’s article is now 13 years old and alot has changed since then. Yes, students still grab at the first piece of information they find. Yes, they hate slow internet or dodgy wifi. A lot of student’s internet usage is entertainment or social networking even from a young age. There are students who still struggle with reading who will use Youtube as a reference source to find information on a topic.

I am finishing up at my current school and moving to another school this year so I will base this on my old school. It is a high achieving city school. Students have many advantages and most have a device at home. iPads have been rolled out, but the new trend across ACT is chrome books and google drives for all. We have OLIVER and there is a person in the department who buys ebooks and makes them available for all through the digital backpack. Weekly emails with new acquisitions are sent out and by now the collection is quite large. But unless they are constantly being promoted they are not being borrowed.

The ‘readers’ still walk around with paper books. Very few students take out a device for silent reading time. Like many have already said, e-readers are for holidays or travelling. I like the idea I read in this forum of having photocopies of the covers available in the library as a reminder of the books that students can borrow. I think the visual acts as a good reminder and makes the product seem more real.


Coiro, J. (2003). Reading comprehension on the internet: Expanding our understanding of reading comprehension to encompass new literacies. Reading teacher. Vol. 56 (5). p. 458. Available on Ebscohost

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Using iPad interactive fiction in class

Recently I taught a unit of work on traditional Indonesian tales to my year 5/6 Indonesian class, using the Australian Curriculum outcome ACLINC040. Rather than reading traditional print work, I taught using iPad interactive story apps. We then discussed the characters and their actions: What is right and wrong? What would you do? How do these stories describe culture?

I used the traditional stories: ‘Bawang Putih dan Bawang Merah’ and ‘Malin Kundang’.

‘Bawang Putih dan Bawang Merah’ had an advantage in that it is in bilingual. Students could see the stoy in Indonesian and in English.

With ‘Malin Kundang’ the app is only in Indonesian, so before we saw the app we watched a youtube version of the story and then the students used the app to guess what the story was saying or translating it.


Children were engaged by the use of this technology.

Bawang Putih & Bawang Merah had hidden eggs in the story that gave information about Sumatra.

Children liked the additions to the story such as the noises or the movement. It added to engagement.

Students asked me to put these apps on the homework sheet so they could show their parents.


These apps had games which could be distracting.

A few students (not many) tried to do other things on the iPads.

In conclusion it was a positive experience. Maybe the idea that it was a new way to view a text meant that it was memorable and students asked when we would do this again.


Bawang Putih dan Bawang Merah. (2015). Luminov Global Indonesia. [mobile device app]. Retrieved from the apple store.

Malin Kundang. (2015). Educa Sisfomedia Indonesia. [mobile device app]. Retrieved from the apple store.

Kastari Sentra. (2014). Malin Kundang part 1 English version / Indonesian folklore / Kasari animation official. Retrieved from

Kastari Sentra. (2014). Malin Kundang part 2 English version / Indonesian folklore / Kasari animation official. Retrieved fom

(Apologies for my referencing…..I know this is not correctly referenced – but I am using a mac and it is not doing everything I want it to do and I am getting a bit fed up!!!! 😉 )

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ETL504 Final Blog Post

What have you learned as you examined leadership in depth during this subject?

To show growth, one of the things I would like to share is that fact that I was dubious about this subject. In the ACT we refer to principals as SLA (School Leader A), deputies as SLB (School Leader B) and executive teachers as SLC (School Leader C). A leadership role for us is to act in an executive titled position. There is a huge push for experienced teachers to be aiming for these roles. To apply successfully you have to show ‘vision’. Where do you see yourself taking the school? Personally, I am happy effecting change in my classroom. I had a leadership role at my old school and it meant that I was off class dealing with angry parents, administration and disciplinary issues. Not my idea of fun.

My first blog post showed that I thought that leadership was more about management with vision. ‘For me, leadership is about management and vision. I have worked in schools where the leadership is invisible and I have also worked under a micromanager. While I believe I am a proficient worker and perfectly capable of completing my job, there are those who need the push and direction of a leader. We also need a leader for when problems arise; an arbiter or a sounding board for ideas. (Young, 2015a)

The first two modules of this unit expanded my knowledge of leadership in looking at management styles and after reading Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005) I had expanded on this knowledge as I had never heard of Transformational leadership. I was so used to traditional hierarchies. I was able to expand on this knowledge in my first assignment where I spoke of how I would appreciate a flatter structure meaning everyone has the opportunity to contribute and be appreciated for the role they play.

The readings in these first two modules expanded my understanding that leadership does not have to come from the top. We can all affect leadership. I used Discuss Tapscott’s 4 principles for an open world (TED, 2012) to see that we can all make a difference. I also examined the role of distributed leadership and that we can all contribute in our own way. I was happy that my knowledge of what is leadership was expanding and I was happy with my blog reflection following my first assignment and how it showed my expanding knowledge of the leadership role of the TL. (Young, S. 2015b)

There were two other leadership styles we examined during the unit and these were Learning for Leadership and Leadership from the Middle. My blog post for Learning for leadership showed that I was still not quite certain as to what is meant by it but did try to work it out. After reading other posts by fellow students I gained an understanding by reading the following post which helped explain this theory to me. (Ahilleos, 2015) I quite liked the theories suggested by leading from the middle.

How has this subject extended your knowledge of the role of the TL?

I have discovered through this unit that students today have different needs and we have to adapt our teaching to make sure we cater to their different needs. Traditional subjects are still important but we have to give students a new skill set. There is a lot of reference to the 21st Century Learner throughout this unit. The role of the TL is changing to create the TL as a facilitator to bring about this new style of education. TLs can help bring in these changes and in this way they are acting as facilitators and leaders.

From my readings on advocacy I have discovered that the TL must embrace and even lead change along with being ready for the demands of an evolving profession. In order to do this, TLs must be visionaries. They need to be able to imagine what the future holds in technologies and libraries 3-5 years down the road and they need to plan for this rather than concentrate on the now. I rebranded the library and gave it a vision in my assignment.

Now that you have the vision, the necessary procedure is to break this down into achievable steps. Doucett’s (2011) book gave some good pointers for being able to do this. A SWOT or STEEP analysis gives you a good look at your situational analysis. From here you can begin strategic planning. This involves thinking through goals and actions so that any subsequent actions are based on some method and plan. In this way the TL can act as a visionary transformational leader.

To complete these tasks you will need the support of the principal and executive staff. There will be challenges as staff may be resistant to changes and you will have to work through change management strategies. You may also have to deal with conflict. To change teaching in your school to make learning more 21st century it will be worth it.

Libraries are the digital learning hub of the future. A 21st century library is a place where print and digital resources come together and assist students and teachers to be co-learners. The TL has the role of leading, promoting, and facilitating new learning for all. It will be exciting to act in this role and know you were at the forefront of change.


Ahilleos, I. (2015, July 29). RE: Task 1: Introduction: Leadership for Learning. [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from

Doucett, E. (2011). What they don’t teach you in library school. Chicago: American Library Association. Retrieved from

Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved May 29, 2014 from

TED. (2012, June 28). Don Tapscott: Four principles for the open world [Video file]. Retrieved from

Young, S. (2015a, July 27). Task 1: What is your understanding of leadership? [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from

Young, S. (2015b, August 24). Teacher librarian as a leader. [Blog post]. Retrieved from

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TL as a leader module 6a

In these readings, I read something I feel was deeply significant. The quote is:

The goal is not to increase collaboration; the goal is to improve student performance. The goal is not to force staff to attend professional development; the goal is for them to improve their practice in order to improve student performance. The goal is not to garner more respect for the learning specialists; the goal is for the interactions between learning specialists and staff to help the system improve its overall performance. (Zmuda & Harada, 2008)

This really stood out to me, because in this unit we have been talking about the teacher librarian as a leader but no one has spelt out exactly why. Why are we promoting ourselves? What is so special about the role of the Teacher Librarian that makes them natural leaders in a school?

Simon Sinek (TED, 2010) talked about the golden circle and reversing the conversation from What? How? Why? to Why? How? What? and this did not make a lot of sense to me until I had read this quote. Having read this quote I can now ask myself why should the TL hold a leadership role in the school?

TLs should have a leadership role because interactions between TLs and staff to help the system improve its overall performance. They do this by working together with teachers to improve their practice. They do this by collaborating with teachers about various aspects of the curriculum, resourcing and technology.

Makes more sense now!

Another interesting element I picked up on was why schools need the TL to take on a leadership role. While the principal is very busy as an instructional leader, they are facingan increasing ‘download’ of community issues and complaints. This means that they do not have time to devote to curriculum and content. This void must be filled by Teachers and Teacher Librarians. They can act as transformational leaders. (Belisle, 2005)


Belisle, C. (2005). The teacher as leader: Transformational leadership and the professional teacher or teacher-librarian. School Libraries In Canada24 (3), p. 1. Retrieved from

TED. (2010, May 4). Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action [Video file]. Retrieved from

Zmuda, A. & Harada, V.H. (2008). Librarians as learning specialists: moving from the margins to the mainstream of school leadership. Teacher Librarian, 14811782, Oct2008,  Vol. 36,  Issue 1

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ETL504 Digital literacies

Digital literacy learning is a constructivist process. Constructivist learning occurs when new information is built onto and added onto an individual’s current knowledge, understanding and skills. We learn best when we actively construct our understanding. Constructivist learning is active mental work. Individuals draw on their experiences of the world around them to make sense of what they percieve in order to build an understanding of what is around them. (Pritchard, 2008)

Given the General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2015) there are two that deal with digital literacies relevant to these readings. These are Information and Communication Technology and Critical and Creative Thinking. ICT General Capability refers to students ‘ learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively in all learning areas at school, and in their lives beyond school.’ This provides students with real world skills that they can use in the classroom that they could further develop beyond the classroom. The learning is relevant and applicable in the student’s daily life making this an authentic activity. Critical and Creative Thinking occurs when students ‘learn to generate and evaluate knowledge, clarify concepts and ideas, seek possibilities, consider alternatives and solve problems.’ This can work into social constructivism, where dialogue becomes the vehicle by which ideas are considered. Learning does not necessarily have to take place in the classroom and the knowledge can be scaffolded. Students can work together in small groups to expand on their learning.

According to Wall and Ryan (2010) digital literacy is a set of skills, processes and attitudes that enable a learner to utilise information so that the learner can manipulate the information to construct knowledge. The three components to of digital literacy skills include ICT literacy, information literacy and critical literacy. ICT literacy includes how to productively use the tools including web 2.0 tools. Information literacy is a critical process of locating, selecting and organising information. This takes ICT skills and incorporates Critical and creative thinking. Critical literacies are higher order learning and problem solving and helps students develop solutions to problems. It teaches students to learn how to think in order to learn. This is developing the student’s metacognition. Students learn how they learn and can be encouraged to experiment with different approaches.

This demonstrates digital literacies as a form of constructivist learning. Students interact with what is known and what knowledge they are adding to, they learn that learning is a social process, learning becomes situated in that they can apply the learning beyond the classroom and it is a metacognitive processs. The General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum are relevant and applied.


ACARA. (2015).  General capabilities in the Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from

Pritchard, A. (2008). Ways of learning: Learning theories and learning styles in the classroom (2nd ed.). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Retrieved from EBook Library.

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