Reading Review Blog Post 1

MSS Library Learning Commons

MSS Library Learning Commons

The topics that I am considering exploring are all goals that my library team has identified as part of our 5 year plan to transition our library to a Learning Commons Library. These topics include: digital citizenship, virtual learning commons, and digital portfolios.

Eventually we would like to incorporate a digital citizenship orientation into our current Grade 8 Library Orientation Program to cover key topics such as safe and ethical online behaviour, appropriate use of technology at our school, and awareness of one’s digital identity online. Further, our library currently lacks a strong online presence. It is one of those library tasks that continually gets pushed to next week. Through the website I would like to provide more information literacy and research resources, promote our library events and services, and encourage student interaction through comments, and blog posts. Finally, I am interested in working with students to create digital portfolios, as discussed by Richardson (2012) in his book Why School? How Education Must Change when Learning and Information are Everywhere, when highlighting the practices of High Tech High. He explains how digital portfolios can be a useful tool for students to document their achievements, network and share with other students through comments and blogging, and publish their own work (Richardson, 2012). Educators can also use digital portfolios to help assess non-traditional student learning (Richardson, 2012).

I think that all of these topics are related directly to 21st Century Learning and information literacy. Richardson discussed how “learning and literacy are changing radically in the Internet age” (“Better”, para. 4). I think that librarians have a strong role to play in helping our students with these changes whether or not they show up directly in our prescribed learning outcomes. These key topics all involve a digital component, which is in line with the librarian’s role in the school as a technology leader. As the librarian in my school I am given a linear prep to work on technology projects and help other teachers to incorporate technology into their classrooms. I would love to work with a class during this block to get feedback on the development of all of these projects. In the case of the digital orientation or digital portfolio projects, I would like to recruit a class to pilot the program. For the purposes of this course, I will need to select one topic. I will have to spend some time exploring the literature on each before I decide what to focus on this semester. I will try to keep in mind Richardson’s (2012) challenge to schools when he says, “How can you make sure that every student who walks on graduation day is well Googled by his or her full name?” (“Share everything (or at least something)”, para. 5).


Richardson, W. (2012). Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere. TED Conferences Publishing. [EBOOK]


3 thoughts on “Reading Review Blog Post 1

  1. Well done first blog post. You’ve got a lot of goals as a new Teacher-Librarian who is building up a program and school library! Very ambitious, but also excellent goals. I definitely can empathize with the feeling of too many tasks to get done and not enough time. I hope this class allows you to carve out some time to achieve your big goals like creating your virtual learning commons website.


  2. This seemed a little odd as I could only comment by attaching to Aaron’s comments….mmm. I thought this was an interesting blog post Lia. Two things that stood out for me is that you need to focus on safe and ethical behaviour online. I think at my level of k-6 this isn’t quite the same as an issue, however the grade 6 teachers have told me some inappropriate social media use is starting. The second thing that caught my attention is that whole idea of using digital learning to represent ourselves and our students. One of the offshoots of it is that you will create a digital foot print that can be googled. I have mixed feelings about it myself. As a teacher I find it hard to keep my social self and my professional self separated when things go digital. It’s interesting, because when I was trying to find a better spot to post this than as part of Aaron’s thread, I discovered that I could have started my own new wordpress as part of my own account. Seems simple but I never explored that option before.


    1. Thanks bookbug_Mrs.G:)

      I agree that it is hard to keep a professional profile separate from personal accounts online. I struggle as a high school teacher with students wanting to add me on facebook, instagram, and twitter. I try to steer them towards my school’s social media accounts, which I manage as part of my library time, but it is not clear that it is me posting as @MSSpanters!

      I found a great article about a grade 6 teacher teaching digital citizenship to her class that specifically address safe and ethical use (mentioned in your comment above)- Check it out (it’s short):
      Berman-Dry, A. (2013). Making It Personal: A New Approach to Teaching Digital Citizenship. Learning & Leading With Technology, 41(1), 24-26.


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