Tag Archives: collaboration

ETL504 Assessment Item 2: Critical Reflection


During the course of this subject I have learnt an enormous amount about leadership and the plethora of different leadership styles. The 21st century is bringing a need for the library service to provide a richer virtual learning space. As transformational leadership embraces change and growth, it is a relevant and necessary style of leadership for the educational context and particularly for the teacher librarian (TL) (Leithwood, as cited in Marzano, Waters, & McNulty, 2005, p. 15). Transformational leadership skills include considering the needs of others. The role of the TL requires the consideration of the needs of the school community. The TL can develop and implement innovative programs to address the changes that are needed for the growth of the library service. The TL can develop a vision for the library service that is aspirational and motivates others to work towards always improving. The TL can model best practices and be an advocate for lifelong professional learning. This style of leadership can assist a TL to lead the changes necessary for 21st century learning.

One of the main understandings that I have come away with is that leadership in schools will have a great impact on the quality of teaching which in turn influences the educational success of students (Townsend, 2011, p. 99). I touched on this understanding in my critical reflection in the first assessment task (Walker, 2013a). This understanding has become clearer for me over the course of this subject.

In my first blog post for this subject (Walker, 2013b) I stated a number of qualities that I believed a leader would possess. I mentioned twice that being a good listener is an important quality for a leader. I still believe this to be true. Although I have gained a deeper understanding that being a good listener is only one aspect of being an effective communicator. A leader needs to be able to communicate effectively with other colleagues about visions and goals for the future.

The TL as a leader will need to have effective communication skills to work collaboratively with the school principal and colleagues. I have gained a deeper understanding of how valuable it is for the TL as a leader to possess effective communication skills. Communication skills assist the TL to gather a comprehensive understanding of the school learning community so that learning needs can be clearly identified and addressed. This big picture perspective can assist the TL to provide a relevant, quality and balanced collection for the school community they serve.

This big picture perspective enables the TL to lead in developing innovative programs that meet the learning needs of the students and supports the teaching outcomes of the curriculum (Charles Sturt University [CSU], 2013, para. 2).

In my critical reflection for assessment one I wrote that:

“TLs have many opportunities to influence positive change and create innovation in how the school library is used by the school community. TLs can lead the way in developing teaching strategies for the incorporation of information literacy into the curriculum across the all levels of the school learning community. ” (Walker, 2013a)

I believe in essence I was on the right track with this statement. I now have a clearer understanding of how the TL can be a leader. Supporting the learning needs of the students and the teachers is essential (Collay, 2011, p. 83). The TL can do this by being a leader in curriculum development, which involves collaborative skills to work in teams with classroom teachers to design teaching programs and strategies. The TL can lead by building positive relationships with colleagues so that collaboration is effective and benefits the students and the teachers. Leadership is based on positive relationships (Collay, 2011, p. 84).

The TL is required to have a thorough understanding of the entire curriculum so that the library resource collection supports curriculum requirements and student’s learning needs. The TL can be a leader in designing innovative      pedagogical strategies and frameworks that help students to develop information literacy skills and supports the curriculum in a 21st century learning space and resource centre.


Collay, M. (2011). Everyday teacher leadership: Taking action where you are. Retrieved from EBook Library. 

Charles Sturt University. (2013). Leading Change: Innovation and change management  [ETL504 Module 2]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL504_201360_W_D/page/0dbf0579-ff3f-4f6c-00ab-d0a2f70454e2

Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results. Retrieved from Ebook Library.

Townsend, T. (2011). School leadership in the twenty-first century: Different approaches to common problems?. School Leadership and Management, 31(2), 93-103. doi:10.1080/13632434.2011.572419

Walker, M. (2013a). ETL504 assessment item 1: Critical reflection [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://marieleewalker.wordpress.com/

Walker, M. (2013b). ETL504 module 1: Understanding of leadership (leadership theory) [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://marieleewalker.wordpress.com/


ETL501 Topic 5 Web 2.0 and the school library


My thoughts on the key aspects of Web 2.0 that are likely to impact education in today’s schools:

  • Opportunities for creativity
  • Engaging and dynamic
  • Offers focused collaborating tools for students, teachers, parents and the wider community (blogs and wikis)
  • Offers tools to collaborate globally
  • Learning and communication not confined within the four walls of the classroom. Students can share presentations anywhere, anytime and with anyone (even a global audience)
  • The technology more accessible and easy to use
  • Students can present ideas, projects, assignments in more creative and dynamic ways (other than PowerPoint)
  • Tools can be used for professional development, curriculum planning, setting student assignments and homework e.g. Wiki’s
  • Online global collaboration and social networks for teachers, for gathering resources and ideas from others in the same profession (wealth of knowledge, better for students), creating resources

Opportunities here for teacher librarians:

  • As information and technology specialists they can be instrumental in introducing Web 2.0 tools to teachers and students and teach how to use.
  • These tools foster opportunities to improve students information literacy skills
  • TL’s can lead by example, by using many of these tools to share information about what’s happening in the library with the staff, parents and students e.g. Blogs, Wikis
  • Great opportunities to be creative with the technology and show the school community what is available and how these can be used to engage students and help to meet their learning needs for the 21st century.

Can teacher librarians afford to ignore Web 2.0 tools?

  • TL’s can not afford to ignore Web 2.0 tools, it is the responsibility of the TL to fulfil their role as an information provider and information specialist. They need to be aware of and competent in using these tools
  • This will enable the TL to help teachers and students to use these tools and benefit from their educational potential
  • It supports the information literacy needs of 21st century learners
  • Supports and is relevant to the General Capabilities in the Australian curriculum

What might be the problems a teacher librarian would face in maintaining a school library blog?

  • The main problem I see are time constraints

My thoughts on how you might use a Wiki in a classroom:

  • Collaborative tool: collaboration between students, or students and teachers and the wider school community
  • Use a Wiki to access online resources and tools, this offers immediate access for students, anywhere, anytime

My thoughts on how curation tools such as Delicious and Diigo can be useful? What are the limitations and issues relating to the use of such tools


  • TL’s can use this for bookmarking websites that are potentially useful web resources for specific groups of students. Then the TL can go back and check these against criteria later to add to resource collection
  • Students could access a library Delicious account to look at resources. Tagging could make it easier for students to access resources for a specific topic or subject
  • Limitation: Potential for students to access information that is not appropriate for their age level, so this would need to be carefully monitored


  • Can be used as a search engine
  • Create groups that students could use to work collaboratively to collect relevant information for a project (great opportunity for students to use website evaluation criteria to bookmark and share quality & relevant websites)

ETL504 Assessment Item 1: Critical Reflection


At the beginning of this subject I had a limited awareness of leadership theories. The readings that I have down up to this point of time on leadership has been enlightening. I have become more conscious of what a significant impact leadership can have on the success of student learning and how different styles of leadership affect everyone within the school community. I am beginning to understand how teacher librarians (TLs) can be leaders in a school context and really make a difference to the learning and teaching that occurs. TLs have many opportunities to influence positive change and create innovation in how the school library is used by the school community. TLs can lead the way in developing teaching strategies for the incorporation of information literacy into the curriculum across the all levels of the school learning community.

I am not currently working in a school, so it is hard for me to comment on how I practice leadership in a school context. On completing the concept map and narrative for this assessment I feel excited about the future prospect of being able to put into practice many of the leadership concepts and ideas that have inspired me from my reading so far.

 In particular, I was inspired by Don Tapscott’s (2012, June) video on the four principles for the open world and how this relates to leadership and leading change. The four principles are collaboration, transparency, sharing and empowerment. The first principle of collaboration was one of the key concepts used in my concept map. Initiating and participating in collaboration with classroom teachers, principles and students is one way that TLs can practice leadership in schools. Collaboration is vital if the TL is to be instrumental in integrating information literacy into the curriculum and being a leader in curriculum design (Walker, 2013). On the completion of my concept map it became apparent to me that the principle of sharing can include a shared vision and shared leadership which can be fostered in a collaborative environment. Collaboration also fosters and environment where team members can feel a sense of a shared purpose and empowerment (Aguilar, 2012, para. 4 – 5). The transparency principle that Tapscott talks about can be practiced by TLs that continually communicate with the school community about what is going on in the school library, what is new and what are the plans for the future. TLs can use different modes of communication to do this, traditional and technological. Some ideas include contributing to the school newsletter, creating a library website and a library blog. Pinterest is a useful tool to keep the school community up to date about what is new in the library (Walker, 2013). Talking to teachers, students, parents and other members of the school community enables the TL to practice communication skills and active listening. Active listening can help the TL to get feedback and ideas from the school community (Rubenstein, Miles & Bassi, 2009, p. 46). Effective communication skills can aid the TL to gain a deeper understanding of the school context and its learning and teaching needs.

It will be interesting to see how my thoughts and understanding on leadership develop over the course of this subject. It is exciting that a TL has so many opportunities to be a leader in their school and make a real difference to the learning experiences of students.


         Aguilar, E. (2012, November 28). Effective teams: The key to transforming schools? [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teacher-teams-transform-schools-elena-aguilar

Rubenstein, H., Miles, F. M., & Bassi, L. J. (2009). Leadership development for educators. Retrieved from EBook Library.

TEDGlobal. (2012, June). Don Tapscott: Four principles for the open world [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/don_tapscott_four_principles_for_the_open_world_1.html

Walker, M. (2013, July 29). ETL504 module 2: Don Tapscott’s 4 principles of an open world [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://marieleewalker.wordpress.com/

ETL504 Module 2: Don Tapscott’s 4 Principles of an Open World


How can these principles be applied to school libraries or teacher librarians?

Consider how this understanding of the 4 principles can support you in leading change at your school or in your school library?

1. Collaboration:
* TL’s can be leaders in initiating collaboration with principles, classroom teachers and students.
* TL’s can collaborate with teachers to integrate information literacy into the curriculum, be proactive in curriculum design
* TL’s can teach students how to collaborate with their classmates and teachers using the internet & social media tools such as diigo, Pinterest, wiki’s and blogs etc.

2. Transparency:
* TL’s can keep the school learning community abreast of what’s going on in the library and plans for the future by contributing to the school newsletter, creating a library website or blog. A library Pinterest board is another useful tool for keeping the school learning community updated

3. Sharing:
Educating the school learning community about creative commons and how we can think differently about intellectual property. Sharing our knowledge and intelligence, this is connected to collaboration

4. Empowerment:
* Empowerment through information literacy for all students. Teaching students the skills to be critical thinkers, so that they can create and become participants of the global digital community

ETL401 – Topic 6: Time Management & Negotiation


3 ideas from the readings that are new to me:

  1. Setting up and using a library wiki is a great way to encourage collaboration between colleagues. I do know about wikis but this seems like a really great way to be able to collaborate in the virtual world (anywhere and anytime).  It provides another platform to talk about ideas and suggestions about best practices, problem solving and feeling a sense of connectedness within the library community. Of course, this may work better in a larger library, with more library staff (Gilman, 2007, Collaboration section, para. 3).
  2. The concept of the “80-20” rule (or Pareto Principle) (“Effective Time Management,” ca. 2013, Unperfect section, para. 1).
  3. Preparation is the the most important and helpful factor in regards to negotiation skills (Sanders, 2004, p. 129).

One thing I could do right now that would make me more productive in my work place:

The idea of making time to plan my day – everyday.  I believe that making a plan preferably the day before (maybe at the end of the working day) would be of great benefit to me. Taking that 10 minutes every day to organise my thoughts about what needs to be done the next day or that day would make me much more effective and hopefully spending less time and energy on those tasks that are less important right now. It sounds very attractive and achievable to be in control of my time and not allowing other people to decide how my time will be used……maybe far less exhausting! (“Effective Time Management,” ca. 2013, Second section, para. 2).


Effective time management for teachers. (ca. 2013). Retrieved from http://www.time-management-success.com/time-management-for-teachers.html

Gilman, T. (2007). The four habits of highly effective librarians. In The chronicles of higher education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/The-Four-Habits-of-Highly-E/46544/

Sanders, R. (2004). Conflict resolution. In Australian library supervision and management (2nd ed.) (pp. 127-132). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

ETL401 – Topic 5


There are a number of strategies that a TL can try if they are working in a school where many teachers see collaboration as a major challenge, or they actually fight against it. Gaining the Principal’s support is fundamental in being able to change the culture of the school to being one that embraces collaboration (Oberg, as cited in Montiel-Overall, 2005, p. 38). The teachers that resist collaboration may believe that they do not have enough time or sufficient resources to support the collaborative process. A Principal that supports collaboration is essential in removing these challenges and providing the vitally needed time and resources (Montiel-Overall, 2005, p. 38). To gain the principal’s support the TL will need to build a case for the benefits of collaboration by gathering concrete evidence. Evidence-based practice will be essential to gather this information. The TL can informally talk to teachers within the school in a social manner to try to find a teacher or teachers that may be willing to attempt a collaborative project (Montiel-Overall, 2005, p. 30). The TL can use the evidence gathered from participating in a number of collaborative lessons or a unit of work with a teacher to demonstrate to the Principal and other teachers that collaboration supports students’ achievement. The TL can be a leader in garnering support for collaboration and its benefits.

Argument for collaboration between the teacher librarian, principal and teachers at a school that you know?

  • Improves student achievement
  • Integrating IL across the curriculum – skills for higher order thinking and lifelong learning
  • Assists the TL to build a library collection that better meets student learning needs and supports the curriculum more effectively
  • TL can contribute to the development & design of curriculum
  • TL can contribute to development and design of evaluation rubrics for research projects
  • TL can collaborate to develop information literacy skills amongst students and transfer across curriculum
  • Collaboration fosters creativity and innovation amongst those who participate, “these are essential components for academic success” (Montiel-Overall, 2005, p. 24)
  • Collaboration builds trust and social connections amongst teachers (Todd, 2008, p. 28)
  • Collaboration between TL and teachers is fundamental in providing students with the skills for living in a world with enormous amounts of information that needs to be understood and managed on a daily basis (Montiel-Overall, 2005, p.25).


Montiel-Overall, P. (2005). A theoretical understanding of teacher and librarian collaboration. School Libraries Worldwide, 11(2), 24-48. Retrieved from http://www.iasl-online.org/pubs/slw/

Todd, R. J. (2008). The dynamics of classroom teacher and teacher librarian instructional collaborations. Scan, 27(2), 19-28. Retrieved from http://scan.nsw.edu.au/

ETL401 – Topic 5: Collaborative practice


What possibilities arise for collaboration between teachers and the teacher librarian?

  • modelling positive behaviour to students
  • improved student achievement
  • creativity / innovation
  • community – feeling connected
  • identifying strengths and weakness – both for students and for teachers, then developing strategies to assist students to move forward
  • continual learning for teachers (life long learning for all school members) – even if challenging & out of comfort zone
  • sharing of new ideas
  • utilising expertise within school
  • culture of respect and trust amongst teachers and TL
  • TL can contribute to the development & design of curriculum
  • TL can contribute to development and design of evaluation rubrics for research projects
  • TL can collaborate to develop information literacy skills amongst students and transfer across curriculum
  • Library collection that meets student learning needs
  • Better communication between TL and teachers