Reflections for a Digital Age

Musings on learning, education and libraries

INF537 Digital Futures Colloquium

5th October 2016

I cannot believe that it has been a month since my last reflection. I have finished my case study research report, but need to ‘let it settle’ and go back over to read it before submitting it. I still have several days till the deadline and yet also have the critical reflection to do.

It has been an immersion into the analytical side of the case study with students engaged in a snapshot of learning which has positive implications for the school library program, that students are transferring  knowledge learnt during the information literacy sessions. Yet, on the other hand, the analytics has also verified the literature and research that I have been reading, that students as novice searchers and learners still need to be both explicitly taught the skills and strategies of research and online comprehension and given the time to explore.

6th September 2016

I have turned the page! The weekend seemed to flow with multiple readings and bringing ideas together for the case study. I feel somewhat like on the ISP (Kuhlthau) affective continuum, moving beyond the frustration and disappointment of last week to greater focus and sense of direction. I have also stared the mini provocation and hopefully sparking student student interest. I may have to continue this as a blog post…lots to think about and reflect already…

2nd September 2016

alexander and the horrible.

As a teacher librarian I love reading Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. It doesn’t matter if it is students, parents or teachers (or anyone), we can all relate to having ‘one of those days’. For me, this was a week of experiencing Alexander’s angst.  It was a week where I had to resubmit my case study proposal (and am thankful for my course coordinator’s input) and had to ‘jump through the hoops’ of having ‘to tick all the boxes’ within my educational institution. The boxes were ticked, including emails out to parents (thank you for your support!).  Now, next week, I am excited to provide a mini provocation for my year 5 students to support them in their independent inquiries as they move into the PYP Exhibition.

30 August 2016

And my case study may be crashing down around me before I even start! In spite of giving advance notice of the case study proposal to the power’s that be…perhaps they didn’t read it? Only to have a meeting today to clarify the timeline of what is happening, to be told, the students will not be starting independent inquiries, though teachers will be giving them provocations. I wonder, why the students wouldn’t then be following up with inquiry based on the provocation? Their research, jumping in the deep end, will be next term! A colleague commiserated and told me to “hang in there. All researchers experience situations like this” which gives me hope. So what now…back to the drawing board? How can I salvage this from all going down the drain?

28 August 2016

It seems that this month has been one long stress between uni and work. It has felt as though my mind has been multitasking and slightly (okay more than overwhelmed) by having to think about multiple assessment tasks simultaneously.  The case proposal was submitted. It actually came together easily. However, the challenge of the case study is now in front of me (and where I now need to be turning my thoughts to). Once that proposal was done, two of my colleagues and I put our hands up to lead the first peer colloquium on digital scholarship. I will blog on my home page (belatedly) about this, as it was a period of many conversations and texts flowing over the airways, with us being located in Singapore, Sydney and Brisbane (and factoring in time differences too!). From there, it was continuing with the literature readings for our assessment task #2 (due tomorrow!) and starting the essay writing. My husband has been visiting family in Australia, which is fortunate for him, as I have barely emerged from the study and computer since he has been away, once I am home from work. Oh, did I mention that Book Week was last week!

5 August 2016

This week has been VERY disrupted. I missed listening to our #3 Colloquium as a result of being in Melaka, Malaysia (and required for Trivia Night at the time) as part of our Year 5 camp (which was great, but tiring and being on call 24/7….or it felt like it!). Which means, listening in this weekend to the recording.

image

I managed to read some articles (on the bus, and back to Singapore, and also to add a response to Chapter 75: Multiliteracies Pedagogy from Wang’s book (Module 1.3). I am still in a state of disarray, having just arrived home. So perhaps an early night, and back to the #INF537 conversation tomorrow!

24 July 2016

I am back into the swing! Working my way through Module 2. There is ALOT of reading for this module, which I am slowly working my way through . Some of the ebooks I have downloaded on to my kindle, which makes for slow reading for me. I still prefer paper and the highlighter pen 🙂

To coalesce the colloquium and the other readings, I wrote up a blog post; as well as another on the digital technology journey of my school which we are embarking upon. Also reflected on one of my blog buddy’s articles. My colleagues are such fantastic resources.  I am also finding how important the blog is for reflecting on my understandings (which again, takes me back to module readings such as by Ross.)

Now to give myself a well deserved break and head out to enjoy Sunday lunch with friends….life is a balance!

20 July 2016

I felt a bit overwhelmed with the colloquium on Learning Analytics on Monday evening. Statistics and numbers have never been a strong point! One of the participants shared this blog post from Blue Canary (Mike Sharkey, Jan 18, 2016) and there are a couple of sentences that I totally agree with:

 Analytics aren’t a cure-all.  They don’t solve your problems for you.  There isn’t an instruction manual on how to properly use data.  Stop.  End of sentence.

I’ve always said that analytics complement the human decision-making process — they don’t replace it.

In education, analytics can help you break down the problem and look at all of the pieces, but we need to rely on faculty [or teachers/my note], advisors, dedicated administrators, or the students themselves to take action and make a difference. 

We cannot reduce learning to numbers. Part of the problem with education today is our continued focus on ‘teaching to the test’  (think, NAPLAN).  In the meantime, I have started reading different articles on Learning Analytics, while moving into module 2.  Thoughts still scattered, but I know they will settle!

16 July 2016

A new journey begins this week with INF537, the Digital Futures Colloquium. I have also just returned from another journey to Europe, where I was reminded that remix is not new when I saw this sign at the Musical Instrument Museum in Brussels.

IMG_2067 (1)

While travelling and during flights I did start delving into INF537 readings. I was also able to start with my Introduction to the coursework with my first reflection. I was stymied with my arrival back home with migraine, jet lag and work professional development scheduled on Friday and Saturday. Not an auspicious beginning! However, our first colloquium is this Monday and busy days are ahead!

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