My journey through ETL401, the introductory unit in Charles Sturt Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship) has been one of learning, challenges, discovery and reflection. I was motivated to study Teacher Librarianship by my desire to open more doors in my career, enhance my portfolio and, above all else: face my fear of technology.
My opening blog post is a perfect summary of where I started in this journey, as far as my own technological fluency was concerned. I feared technology, whilst knowing the reality of the career I have committed to. As a casual teacher I have seen the roll out of interactive whiteboards, laptops, and now, even iPads – for every classroom. My memories of the school library were reflected on in my blog midway through ETL401, in a post titled ‘Where did I come from?’.
The role of the Teacher librarian as I perceive it now is broad beyond words. Assignment one demanded extensive research into the roles and definition of the teacher librarian. My readings on this vast topic were insightful, whilst also being formidable. As my understanding of the teacher librarian role developed and matured, the complex nature of assignment one became apparent.
My experience with teacher librarians was limited to that of my own primary and high school experiences. Prior to beginning my studies in ETL401 I thought the teacher librarian’s role consisted of relieving teachers for RFF and teaching research skills, whilst functioning as a librarian in an isolated, small library environment.
Since commencing my studies I have begun to undertake an informal work experience placement in my local state school’s library. This role has opened channels for observation, practice, conversation and insight. I reflected on one discussion with the teacher librarian in the ETL401 forums (Topic 3, March 30), in relation to support of the teacher librarian role within the school and funding.
Being in the school library environment and working with a practising teacher librarian, has provided a practical insight into the topics covered in the modules.
In reflection, ETL401 provided me with supported learning of unfamiliar and complex topics. I have had the opportunity to explore wordles (wordle.net) , online mind mapping, prezi presentations, delicious (online social bookmarking), iCloud, and many other technological innovations which were, to me, non-existent 12 weeks ago.
My present understanding of the teacher librarian role will continue to evolve as I further my studies. I am increasing my awareness of the librarian’s position within not only the library, but also the school, and the online presence that the school library can adopt.
The ETL401 forums have provided a space for the learning community to share links, thoughts, and questions, along with discussing the module topics and creating new meanings together. Admittedly I was not comfortable with posting to the forums, initially. Regularly reading the forums and replying to other student’s posts enabled me to increase my confidence. I believe that differences in learning styles influence the approach we take to studying. I appreciate the forums provided through CSU interact, but I have a tendency to lurk as opposed to beginning new threads. I have made an effort to reply to the posts of others when the topic has been something of interest or that I have identified a link to teacher librarian or information literacy literature.
The requirement to maintain a Blog throughout ETL401 has been a beneficial reflective practice and I believe this is a valuable tool in my professional learning journey. Blogging was unfamiliar and foreign originally, however, I now am able to confidently state that I enjoy the process and gain satisfaction from logging my thoughts and tracking my learning experience. ETL401 has introduced concepts which are at the forefront of education in the digital age and provided me with a strong foundation upon which to build my understanding, pertinent to my development as a teacher librarian.