Category Archives: ETL523

ETL523 Final Blog Reflection

Screenshot 2016-05-31 13.16.29



I am pumped! I feel passionate, compelled and motivated to become a connected, collaborative and creative Teacher-Librarian. I finally know I have the skills to apply theory into practice. Other subjects have contributed to my learning and I’ve begun implementing changes such as Guided Inquiry, however, ETL523 has expanded my concept of Digital Citizenship (DC) and “forced” me to use new Web 2.0 tools. Ribble (2016) defines DC as the appropriate use of responsible behaviour regarding technology practice. This subject has extended my view of DC to include student manipulation of technology-researched information to create a meaningful, original, digital artefact, combined with appropriate online behaviour that involves connecting and collaborating one-to-one and in teams, nationally and globally (Stripling, 2010; Wheeler, 2015).

Web 2.0 Tools

I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with a multitude of Web 2.0 tools I had never previously explored:

  • Wiki, to collaboratively create units of work;
  • Symbaloo, a digital curation tool, which I’ll utilise on our school’s website page;
  • Padlet, to introduce ourselves on this subject, which I have employed as a sharing tool with a class overseas;
  • Skype, to bond, communicate and collaborate on a team assignment, which led me to connect with a Singaporean teacher to instigate a Mystery Skype that will evolve into a sharing opportunity for students to showcase work completed in class.

I’m no longer scared. There are so many cool tools out there and I’m never going to be able to use them all (Shearing, 2016). It’s not about what you use but how you use the tool to achieve a particular educational goal. Reviewing my blog (Ellis, 2016a), one essential tool to initiate is student curation. I rely heavily on diigo to catalogue my websites and I need to introduce this (or something similar) to assist students with digital organisation.

So what?

Leadership and Teacher Professional Development

My role as TL has extended from being an information resource manger, a curriculum leader, a collaborative partner, a budget manager, a website manager, an information literacy leader (Herring, 2007) and now, includes being a confident technology teacher and leader. “Leadership is needed to promote change” (MacBeath & Dempster, 2008, p. 32). I am a confident educational leader who has led and implemented successful school-wide change in my previous role as Assistant Principal. Experimenting and being challenged by Web 2.0 tools, has made me realise that I need to push myself into the unknown – it’s great to trial and succeed; it’s also okay to fail and think laterally, to overcome problems by seeking collaborative help with those online. It’s not about what you know, but the skills and abilities one uses to come to know.

It is essential to develop a supportive digital learning environment, which is engaging, exciting and motivating in promoting positive student learning outcomes. Optional and informal responses from the Computer Technology survey (Ellis, 2016b), indicated that teacher professional development is fundamental at my school for developing the skills to effectively integrate technology into classroom practice across all curriculum areas, leading to positive student learning outcomes and creating 21st C learners (Hanover Research, 2014, p. 4).

Now what?

The future

Five key points I discussed in a forum post that needed to be included in a DC policy, which was previously non-existent (Ellis, 2016c):

  • Acceptable Use Policy (✔);
  • DC program (in progress);
  • Parent workshops (in the future);
  • Utilising Web 2.0 tools with students (✔) and
  • Student use and citation of creative commons (in progress).

It is positive to see the ✔’s and progress made during this course. Submitting this report is the next crucial step because I believe it is an honest, practical, theoretically sound and realistic critique of how our school can move forward. My next step is to scrutinise my Personal Learning Network to assist me to take further control of my own life-long learning and move with the times as I adapt to this constantly changing technologically driven world (Cooke, 2012). ETL523 has provided me with the digital confidence and motivation to be a voice in consultation with others, in moving our school forward and fostering 21st C teacher and student learning.



Cooke, N. (2012). Professional development 2.0 for librarians: Developing an online personal learning network (PLN). Library Hi Tech News, 29(3), 1-9.

Ellis, S. (2016a). Sammy’s Scribblings: Module 2- Content curation [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Ellis, S. (2016b). Computer Technology [SurveyMonkey]. Retrieved from

Ellis, S. (2016c, May 3). Module 6.1: Developing policies to support a DLE [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from

Herring, J. (2007). Teacher librarians and the school. In S. Furguson (Ed.), Libraries in the twenty-first century: Charting new directions in information (pp. 27-42). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

Ribble, M. (2016). Digital citizenship: Using technology appropriately. Retrieved from

Smiley face thumbs up #1723. (n.d.). [Online image]. Retrieved May 24, 2016 from

Shearing, L. (2016). Web 2.0: Cool Tools for Schools [Website]. Retrieved May 24, 2016 from

Stripling, B. (2010). Teaching students to think in the digital environment: Digital literacy and digital inquiry. School Library Monthly, 26(8), 16-19.

MacBeath, J., & Dempster, N. (Eds.). (2008). Connecting leadership and learning: Principles for practice. Routledge.

Wheeler, S. (2015). Learning with’e’s: Educational theory and practice in the digital age. United Kingdom: Crown House Publishing Limited.

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Module 2 – Content Curation


Curating in an educational setting

Digital curation is the considered selection, collection, maintenance and archiving of appropriate digital resources, which are usually centred on a particular theme. It is like creating a mini online library of resources pertinent to a particular topic. The potential impact that this can have on an educational setting is enormous. Although students are considered to be ‘digital natives’ and most students can comfortably navigate their way on the Internet and effortlessly use any device, their biggest reported issue is finding appropriate, high-quality information for research. With so much digital information available to students, many find it completely overwhelming as they have not been taught how to delve through the websites that appear in their search or how to assess it for reliability, authenticity and accuracy.

Digital curation is enormously valuable in providing appropriate content for students as the teacher librarian has already undertaken a web search and filtered out the less important information and listed quality material at the top. Many of the new digital curation tools are extremely flexible and user-friendly, allowing the teacher librarian to keep the content updated on a regular basis by deleting out-of-date resources and adding new items.

Some examples of suitable content curation tools include:

Strategies to support curation for all learners

The students at the primary school in which I presently work, do not use curation tools during class time. My first strategy would be to introduce a variety of different curating tools and to explain its significance. The students would then set up accounts and begin to collect digital resources on a given topic that they are studying in class so that it is purposeful.

The only curation tool I personally use is Diigo. I haven’t decided which one I would use in a school setting, or if I would use a combination, but I would like to set up a system for teachers to be able to access high-quality digital resources that I have initially sourced for them to be able to add to as they discover other resources or delete if out-dated. This would showcase to the students and teachers how valuable digital curation can be in managing and storing collaboratively sourced information.

Mobile digital curation and how can this be integrated into learning needs within a school

Our school is currently exploring Google Apps and its many features, such as Google Classroom. This has enabled both students and teachers to integrate their teaching and learning into a mobile setting, accessible 24/7. Students using documents and other resources in Google Apps can no longer use the excuse that their work “is lost” or they “can’t find it” as they have inadvertently saved it in an obscure place on the school’s collaborative share drive. The role of mobile digital curation would be similar in allowing students and teachers access to digital resources 24/7.

I’m currently sitting at the Big 4 Dubbo camping site under the tent annex typing this up while my kids “chillax”. I was able to get free Wi-Fi access on my laptop. The beauty of 24/7 access to technology. I probably wouldn’t have chosen to go away this Easter if I couldn’t have fitted some work in the afternoons as I don’t want to fall behind. The beauty of 24/7 access to technology!



Valenza, J. (2012). Curation. School Library Monthly. 29(1), 20-23.

Valenza, J. (2011, September 30). Curation is the new search tool [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Image Credit

Content Curation unknown

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Module 1: Activity #1 – Sharing digital citizenship and digital learning environments


Definition of digital citizenship: Ribble, defines digital citizenship as the appropriate use and responsible behaviour of technology practice ( He identified nine elements of digital citizenship that in my opinion, should become imbedded into everyday school curricula and teaching and learning practice:

  • digital etiquette,
  • digital communication,
  • digital access and digital literacy,
  • digital commerce and digital law,
  • digital rights and responsibilities,
  • digital health and wellness, and
  • digital security.

My concern surrounding digital citizenship: Technology provides remarkable opportunities for students to learn, connect, create and collaborate with their local community, nationally and globally. However, while many students consider themselves to be “tech-savvy”, there is no guarantee that they are cyber-safe (Australian School Library Association, (ASLA), 2013) because it is not a mandatory part of the school curriculum. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT), capability (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2015), indicates that Australian educators have an obligation to teach students about the ethical use of technology, however, there is no explicit reference as to where it specifically sits in the curriculum or by whom it needs to be taught. While the educational community agree with the teaching of digital citizenship in principle, O’Brien (2010), policy leader of the NSW Digital Education Revolution, acknowledges that the decision to teach digital citizenship relies solely on the initiative of the individual teacher, as there is no coordinated K-12 curriculum approach. Teacher Librarians (TLs) are well placed to teach these skills, however is it their responsibility, or that of the classroom teacher (CT), or both?

An informed, publicly engaged digital citizen, is difficult to define. Greenhow (2010) states that more research is needed into exactly how students learn and then practise legal, ethical, safe, responsible and respectful uses of the Internet.

School direction: Implementing digital citizenship practices, is currently in its infancy at our school. Those students accessing the Learning Centre this term, have been given a brief overview of some of the aspects of being a safe and respectful digital user. New this year, all students (if they agreed) signed a Computer Use Contract, which states that they will abide by the policies outlined by the NSW Department of Education when they log into their student portal. Next term, there will be a trial to implement programs available from the New Wales Department of Education and Communities (2011) Digital Citizenship website (



Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2015). The Australian Curriculum v8.0. Retrieved from

O’Brien, T. (2010). Creating better digital citizens. The Australian Educational Leader, 32(2). Retrieved from

Greenhow, C. (2010). New concept of citizenship for the digital age. Learning & leading with technology, 37(6), 24-25.

Image Credit

Teaching & Technology. Free for commercial use, no attribution required. Image from flickr


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Preliminary Discussion to Digital Citizenship


By Okky.novianto – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

I’m about to embark on my 6th subject out of 8 to complete this course. I’ve read through the requirements and while I love setting up collaborative activities for my students, am anxious about my role in the forthcoming assignment. I am excited and challenged at the prospect of engaging with others undertaking this course and learning to manipulate and utilise new technology.


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