ETL503 Module 2.3 Activities and Reflections

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Search Scootle for a resource related to critical thinking. In Forum 2.4 share the strategies you used to refine your search results.

* Scootle main search box used term: critical thinking
* On sidebar, deselected all but K-2 -> 53 results
* Deselected Teacher resource, Assessment Resource and Dataset, -> 6 results

Resource found:
Exploring traditional and contemporary Aboriginal Visual Arts – TLF ID M019567 DoE collection of links to resources (a specific resource link)

I chose that resource as strengthening my resource base and skills in incorporating the Cross Curriculum priority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Histories and Cultures is something I would like to focus on in my personal development goals for this year.

An interesting side-note to be cautious about, though, is that the resource I found did not really focus on K-2 as I had requested in my search limitations.

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ETL401 Module 2.3 Activities and Reflections

The information society

Defining the information society: terms and labels/Definitions of the information society/Technological

Task: Think and reflect
A major issue relating to this technological perspective of the Information Society is the question of determinism. Who/what is driving technological change? Is it the inhabitants of the landscape or the technology? Has it reached a point where the technology itself drives the agenda or is society in control? Does society determine the rate of change, or is society still trying to catch up?

I believe that people are driving technological change. Until technology is sentient, people, with all of their cognitive and emotional motivations, will drive the development of technologies and social constructs. Technology is still a tool. It may be a “tool that directs the user” but that direction comes from programming designed by humans. I think that people can drive technological and societal change at a rate that they then lose control over, but that control doesn’t pass to technology. Control passes to other humans or to an entity made up of humans (an organisation or society) or is lost altogether. These questions also beg the question of what is meant by society. I am not sure that society, as a whole, is in control of anything – rather, I think there are smaller entities within society that exert control over various facets of life. That, however, is a philosophical question that goes beyond today’s reflection.

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ETL503 Module 2.2 Activities and Reflections

2.2 The balanced collection
Content vs container
“Developing collections” by Peggy Johnson (Chapter 4 in Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management).
This provides an overview of the broad range of resources published and how different libraries categorise these resources to facilitate selection and management.

Think about which categories are most relevant to school libraries now and in the future.

I think that the useful categories for school librarians to think about in terms of selection are: format, fiction/non-fiction, diversity of subjects and appropriate diversity of age levels. I think that looking at open source digital collaborations will be key to the school library going forward.

“E-book acquisitions and devices” by Sue C. Kimmel (Chapter 7 in Developing collections to empower learners)

There were a number of good points raised by this chapter, but also much that was frustrating. I felt that the introduction was misleading in how it presented eResources – benefits were stated in a way that was not balanced or reflective of reality. For instance, the assertions that multiple people can access eBooks simultaneously and that free eBooks exist are not universally true. In the detailed sections later in the chapter, she does provide a more balanced view of these assertions, but encountering the bald assertions in the introduction had shaken my confidence in her credibility. The other assertion from the introduction that was never really addressed was her statement regarding the miraculous lack of wear and tear on eBooks. From my understanding, a major issue in current library and archival future-proofing concerns is the preservation of born digital resources. (Neal, 2015) The State Library New South Wales (SLNSW) suggests that degradation and corruption of digital materials can be a greater problem than with paper and ink materials. (SLNSW, 2015) Later in the chapter, when she argues for the consideration of eReader devices, she has a flawed argument. She equates the cost of devices to the cost of printed reference materials and mentions the reluctance of librarians to then circulate the devices. She argues for treating the devices like a circulating hardcover book because damage to the device only requires replacing the device, not the content. This argument avoids reality because reference books – and therefore devices – are typically more expensive than a standard hardcover book. Many libraries do not, in fact, circulate reference materials so her reasoning is flawed.


Neal, J. G. (2015, May 28). Preserving the born digital record: More questions than Answers [Blog post]. Retrieved from American Libraries Magazine The Scoop blog website:

State Library New South Wales. (2015, June 24) Digital preservation [Webpage]. Retrieved from State Library New South Wales website:

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Review of Pymble Ladies College’s LibGuide

I was hoping to find an example of an Australian primary school library on LibGuides. Most of the libraries I found were private secondary schools, I suppose because most (if not all) NSW government primary schools use the Oliver System which gives similar functionality through the school portal.

I found Pymble Ladies College at The site has a lot of interesting features. There are many suggestion lists, relating to genres, authors and specific titles. There are feeds that show what others are reading. I was pleased to see links from the home page to other libraries, such as NLA, SLNSW and various public libraries in the local area. There are also subject and other specialty pages. I investigated the Year 6 set of pages as I was particularly interested in how this was being used at the primary level.

The home page for the Year 6 classes could have been utilised more effectively as it was completely blank. It merely provided access to the various Year 6 class tabs and the static sidebar options of “Quick Links” to the library catalogue, database and eBook catalogues and “About the Library” with basic contact and opening hours information. Two separate teachers had linked to a Year 6 Book recommendation pamphlet which I believe would have made a good home page display.

The various class tabs reflected a range of curation ideas. At least one teacher had nothing on the class page. Several had book recommendations with cover displays, reviews and links to the catalogue. Several teachers also had class-created content, such as review quotes, library search tips or class survey results linked to their class page.

I can see from my limited exploration of the main library site and more detailed exploration of the Year 6 sub-pages that LibGuides has a lot of potential as a curation site. It provides a way to share crowd-sourced and interest-based recommendation information and patron-created content as well as providing direct links to the library catalogue for accessibility – all key factors for a 21st century information management platform.

As a selection aid resource for external TLs there are limitations as some features require password access.

ETL503 Module 2.1 Activities and Reflections

Module 2.1 Selection in the school context

Definitions of selection


Hughes-Hassell, S. & Mancall, J. (2005). Collection management for youth: responding to the needs of learners [ALA Editions version]. Retrieved from
Review the model (p. 34) developed by Hughes-Hassell and Mancall (2005) – Chapter 4, Selecting resources for learning.

Note that it presents selection as a series of YES or NO decisions. In reality, many selection decisions are not this black and white, and involve a process of prioritising across a range of criteria.

Attempt to draft your own selection decision-making model or flowchart that considers a more complex set of choices and criteria.

My model:
Resource being considered —>

Test 1: Apply selection criteria regarding Curriculum Relevance and Authority and Fit —> 90 – 95% = hold for second look, < 90% = NO

> or = 95% on Test 1 —> Test 2: Apply selection criteria regarding resource fitting the needs of the learning community (fits program units/themes/priorities) —> 75 – 85% = hold, , 75% = NO

> or = 85% on Test 2 —> Test 3: Apply selection criteria regarding learner characteristics, reading levels, scope, appropriateness of language, illustration, etc. —> 85-90% = hold, <85% = NO

>or = 90% on Test 3 —> Test 4: Consult teachers regarding whether resource fits into their teaching-learning context, fitting pedagogical and methodological planned usage —> < 90% = NO

> or = 90% on Test 4 —> Test 5: Value and budget testing —> check cost relative to budget, compare with scores received by resource going through various tests and enthusiasm of teachers for resource… if within budget and rated well for value, recommend — if not, bring to committee for further comparison with other resources, if beyond budget or scored low along the testing for value and low on teacher enthusiasm = NO.

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ETL401 Module 2.1 and 2.2 Reflections

Reflection on information and information behaviour – 2.1

What I have learned in Module 2.1

The first section of Module 2 (Coombes & Fitzgerald, 2016) has prompted me to consider the definition of information and primed me to make myself aware of how an author is defining information in any readings that I do on the topic. I have learned that a common definition for information in the library field is actually a hybrid of the two main theories of information – the semantic and the classical – and requires an item to both contain meaning and to be transmitted between users (whether biological, electronic or mechanical) to be designated as information. This hybrid definition of information fits on a continuum running from chaos – a state of items existing with no organisation, transmission or meaning – through to wisdom – where items are not only organised, imbued with meaning and transmitted but also processed and applied.
Additionally, various attributes of information have been posited that can be used to evaluate behaviours pertaining to information use. These attributes focus mainly on the fact that once you have received information you have it for keeps. It is the cake that you can have and eat too. Processing, implementing or transferring information can be done by a receiver while continuing to retain the information. However, any alteration to information, whether revision, addition, combination with other information or even truncation, changes that information and creates new information if it is then transmitted to another receiver.

How does the behaviour of information affect how we communicate, learn and use information?

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Comparing collection development and management definitions

As an exercise for ETL503, we were asked to find a definition of collection management or collection development or a statement regarding resourcing the curriculum, preferably from a governmental authority with which we are familiar, and compare it to those provided in the learning module. This was to be posted in the Discussion Forum for Module 1 into the embedded Padlet app.

It took me at least three tries to get my work into the app to my satisfaction, hopefully my cross-posting to the blog will be easier as it is gradually becoming a familiar process. Without further ado, the record of the task for my personal archive:

Comparison of definitions

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Online vs Face-to-Face Learning Formats: A Personal Reflection

I got my first degrees in the United States more than twenty years ago, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Japanese Studies from Wellesley College in 1993 and a Masters of Education in Elementary Education from Boston University in 1996. Some skills are transferable to my current studies but there are vast differences that will take getting used to.

Academic reading, research and writing skills are coming back to me, with a bit of help brushing up from the ALLaN team and other resources. The biggest changes to cope with are the differences borne of the online mode of study. In my former courses, I was a 100% faithful lecture, seminar and section attendee. I may not always have done all of the readings, but boy! did I participate in discussions and listen avidly and attentively to what my professors shared. That face-to-face interaction with course material was my primary learning environment. I am currently struggling with the digital replacements for that atmosphere and interaction.

I am lucky to have gathered together with a small band of classmates to form a study and support group via Facebook and Facebook Messenger. That has been a critical help when starting to nut out the requirements of assessment tasks or navigate the technicalities of blog setup and forum access. With a bit of luck and a small investment of time and transportation money, I should be able to meet one of the gang in Sydney later this week, score! While it does not quite replicate the camaraderie of late night dorm-room chats or trading war stories about ongoing teaching practica while trying to finish off readings before the professor entered the classroom – it is more than satisfactory and I feel real connections forming.

The area that I feel suffers the most by removal to the virtual plane is the classroom discussion. I appreciate the care that has gone into the crafting of the Discussion Forum platform, but I feel it is likely to stall discussion more than encourage it. In the classroom, when speaking, you can refer to readings without having to reference them. This lets you engage with the ideas in a more spontaneous and organic fashion. The synergy of bouncing ideas back and forth between discussants and seeing the idea develop and change before your eyes (or ears) falls flat when you need to pore over your APA Style Guide every time you want to incorporate something you have read. It turns a two minute response into a ten minute or more drafting exercise. Great practice for assessment writing, but rather antithetical to spontaneous exchange of thoughts. But here I am belly-aching as I survey the lay of the land from the vast experiential pinnacle of my second official day of classes. Perhaps the time spent drafting and crafting thoughts will refine them and hone my arguments in a way that ad-libbing off-the-cuff in class could not accomplish. Perhaps the practice of drafting discussion responses and blog posts with resource references will transform me into an APA 6th edition referencing wizard – whipping out accurately referenced sources faster than Homer Simpson can polish off a dozen of Springfield’s finest donuts. Only time will tell.

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