Sunday, 22 March 2009

Models for Integrating Technology: From a TL Perspective

I’m going to go off the beaten path with this blog post and I’m going to be really serious about what I learned this week (no really, I am, I swear!). But I have to be honest first. After spending all week cramming to finish my own counterpoint discussion for NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC on whether or not current practices in professional development for technology are effective in encouraging teachers to integrate technology (you can get a sneak peek at Better PD Needed), I have a kind of skewed vision of this week’s topic. I mean I spent all week looking at this topic from the back end! Luckily the two topics are so interrelated that I was able to mesh the readings for this week with my already conceived thoughts about next week’s topic.

Another thing you may need to understand about this week’s change in the way I’m approaching my blog is that my current professional situation is likely to change in the next couple months and that has suddenly led me to think in a whole different way about what we have been learning. I know I have often talked about the when (or if?) of me becoming a real teacher-librarian (a la Pinocchio), instead of a classroom teacher who is a teacher-librarian wannabe. This situation has led me to frame most of my blog thoughts from the perspective of a classroom teacher, whether I realized it or not. But . . . I have been given some news recently that leads me to believe I just might, possibly, perhaps be given a teacher-librarian position next year. Not really sure about the details, or if it will even really happen, but the possibility has cause my brain to switch gears. I am now looking at all these things from the perspective of “How would/could I use this information to help teachers and students on a larger school wide scale?” and “How would a veteran Teacher-Librarian integrate this information into what they already do everyday,” and “How would I present this information to teachers who were reluctant collaborators and reluctant tech users?” All this, and the fact that I am drawn to visuals like a moth to a flame, has caused me to focus on the Instructional models for integrating technology that this week’s readings presented. So, although I have much to say about whether teachers are really integrating technology effectively, and on Chris and Kathy’s wonderfully well presented point/counterpoint I have limited time and space (which I’ve probably already gone over!! I do tend to be verbose :)

I was immediately drawn to the TPACK model as the visual that was presented made it all seem so clear and so obvious (to me at least, I am very mathematical and quite visual, so . . .).

Image retrieved from on March 22, 2009.

I did a quick search and found this definition of the model:

“Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) attempts to capture some of the essential qualities of knowledge required by teachers for technology integration in their teaching, while addressing the complex, multifaceted and situated nature of teacher knowledge. At the heart of the TPACK framework, is the complex interplay of three primary forms of knowledge: Content (CK), Pedagogy (PK), and Technology (TK). . . . The TPACK approach goes beyond seeing these three knowledge bases in isoloation. On the other hand, it emphasizes the new kinds of knowledge that lie at the intersections between them.” Retreived from on March 22, 2009.

What I like about this model is that is recognizes that the process of integrating technology is much more complex than just simply using a computer to type up an essay, and it recognizes that this process requires teachers to partake in a new kind of learning of new knowledge. I think this would be a fantastic model to show to teachers. Once it is really understood by all parties it could be a valuable tool for both self assessment and goal setting for teachers AND school wide needs assessment and goal setting by administartors and of course the teacher-librarian. Having teachers point out which areas they themselves feel they are in need of new learning can also help them set goals for their personal professional growth plan and help them to determine in which areas they need professional development for. This could then drive a school wide professional development plan as well as encourage technology integration (see how I’m unable to separate the two topics!!).

The Kemp Design Model of Instructional Design (seen below) could be a very useful tool for teacher-librarians to use (either formally or informally) with teachers who are interested in collaboration with regards to ICT skills.

Image retreived from on March 22. 2009.

The nine key elements of this model are(Retrieved from on March 22. 2009):

1. Identify instructional problems, and specify goals for designing an instructional program.
2. Examine learner characteristics that should receive attention during planning.
3. Identify subject content, and analyze task components related to stated goals and purposes.
4. State instructional objectives for the learner.
5. Sequence content within each instructional unit for logical learning.
6. Design instructional strategies so that each learner can master the objectives.
7. Plan the instructional message and delivery.
8. Develop evaluation instruments to assess objectives.
9. Select resources to support instruction and learning activities.

Those key elements could be worked into a graphic organizer and then used during a meeting between a teacher and the teacher-librarian. The information collected can then aid in the creation of collaborative lessons and/or units. But even better, if this model is paired with a working knowledge on the teachers behalf of the TPACK model, it could not only provide a good staring point for collaboration, but also allow the teacher to be very specific in defining their own needs and in their request for help from the teacher-librarian. For example after gioing through Kemp’s model, teachers then refer to the TPACK areas which they have already determined they need assistance with and those are the areas where the teacher-librarian focusses her expertise. In this way the collaboration becomes much more effective and the teacher also learns and grows in the areas they have defined as their areas of need.

This process could easily be recreated using the Summerville Integrated Model instead of the Kemp model, depending upon the preferences of the teacher and teacher-librarian in question. The Summerville model is more cyclical and better addresses “how knowledge is transferred among the teirs.” according to Technology Integration and Instructional Design (J. Summerville and A. Reid-Griffin,TechTrends, Sept/Oct 2008, p. 48.).

This topic has really made me think about the role of the teacher-librarian in effectively helping teachers integrate technology and ICT skills on an individual level, but the role that the TL plays on a school wide level as well. And this quote from Technology Integration and Instructional Design really hit home:

“Everything that we do . . . everything that we select . . . every standard to which we adhere . . . all the content that we design . . . every time we assess, evaluate and revise, we are working toward a common goal” (Summerville, 2006). That goal is the transfer of knowledge to other subjects.” (J. Summerville and A. Reid-Griffin,TechTrends, Sept/Oct 2008, p. 50.).

But the interesting thing for me is that I am suddenly not only able to see how this applies to classroom teachers, but also how it applies to teacher-librarians. And this is an eye-opening experience for me, one I will continue to be in awe of.

Suddenly becoming a teacher-librarian,
Christine :)

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Privacy: The Marketer’s Nemesis!

This week’s topic of privacy was a real eye-opener for me. Not only did I never really think about privacy issues with regards to the school library, but I learned an awful lot about how information collected from me online is used. I found the following video very enlightening (so much so that I feel the need to include the actual video, even though most of my classmates have seen it!):

The best things (in my opinion) about this video are that it’s Canadian and that it’s easy enough to understand that I could use it with my Grade 8 students. This video really shows how a well educated and responsible individual who knows there own privacy rights and practices them, can be a marketer’s worst enemy! Yet another resource I will be storing away to use when I become a teacher-librarian. Well . . . . I’ll probably use it with my students at the beginning of next school year when I talk about online safety in Social Studies.

Another resource from the Office of the Commissioner that was a part of our reading for this week also inspired pride and taught me a lot. Children’s Online Privacy is a fantastic resolution that makes clear concise statements about the rights of children with regards to privacy, but also calls for action from website operators to make their privacy and terms of use agreements easy to understand for children and youth. What an amazing concept! I’m a well educated adult and even I have trouble understanding many of the terms of use agreements out there. And to be honest I often just scroll through and then hit ACCEPT, so I can get to work with the tool I’m signing up for (what do you want to bet that’s what our students are doing too!) But NO MORE! From now on I will be reading those terms of use agreements quite carefully. I also think a great lesson for media literacy would be to have students analyze (as a class) a well used website’s terms of use agreement, just so they really understand what they are getting into.

We also watched a number of Google videos on privacy, which after one of my classmates pointed it out, struck me as a bit strange. She said it was almost like
“a marketing scheme which was [meant] to reassure me and not make me question whether or not my privacy was being threatened by Google and other companies.” I’m sure they were just trying to reassure their customers that even thought they had to fork over tons of information to the US federal government that what they collect doesn’t really tell the feds anything, so not to worry. Hmmmmm. It definitely does make you wonder. I think the videos were also a marketing scheme to convince their more paranoid customers to use Chrome, as it has an “incognito” setting which doesn’t store and record any information while in use.

The most blatant thing this week’s readings made me ponder was the whole issue of privacy in the school library. What books are students signing out, and who has a right to know what they are reading? Do their teachers? Do their parents? Do I? (Well that would be hard, but you get the picture, it’s a big issue that I hadn’t even thought of before!) When I was a teenager, my parents would never have had an issue with anything I read, even if it was controversial. But thinking back, even though I knew they respected my intellectual freedom, there were still things I wouldn’t have wanted them to know I was reading about. It made me think about how I would approach the idea of late returns or trying to get books back at the end of the year. Once again I must thank my classmates for providing great comments in the discussions surrounding how they handle these issues. I wouldn’t have even known where to start! I really liked the idea of having students call their own home to leave a message for themselves.

As always this week’s readings gave me lots to ponder upon and many ideas to add to my arsenal of resources. But it also made me a better more informed Digital Citizen, and for that I am thankful.

Unfiltered as always,
Christine :)