National Week 2012

Resourcing for the Australian Curriculum

Monday, July 22, 2013

Syba would like to share the following article written by Lyn Hay to support the upcoming seminar “Resourcing the Australian Curriculum: Building Digital Collections” on Monday 9th September, 2013 in Sydney. If you would like to know more about resourcing in the Australian Curriculum and building digital collections register now for the upcoming seminar.

Cheers, The Syba Team




Resourcing for the Australian Curriculum: Building Digital Collections

by Lyn Hay 

An extensive body of research spanning five decades has shown that the quality of a school library’s collection has a significant impact on student learning, whether measured in terms of reading scores, literacy or learning more generally, on student achievement, regardless of the socioeconomic or educational levels of the adults within the community (Lonsdale, 2003; Scholastic Library Publishing, 2008). Most recently in Australia, Softlink’s analysis of school library collections, budgets and staffing, and NAPLAN literacy results across the 2010-2012 period has consistently demonstrated a positive relationship between well-resourced school libraries and higher student literacy outcomes (Softlink Australia, 2012).

In addition, the strength of a school’s technology infrastructure connecting the library’s resources to classrooms and students’ homes has an impact on student achievement (Hay, 2006; Scholastic Library Publishing, 2008). The burgeoning growth of digital information, unprecedented levels in the production of global information where quality and authority of information is often not contested, and the emergence of participatory and collaborative web environments all provide a rich case for the necessity of school libraries as a unique learning space to develop the intellectual, social and personal agency of students to learn, live, and be productive citizens in a 21st century world (Hay & Todd, 2010).

A 21st century school library needs to achieve balance between print and digital collections, and be careful that one format is not privileged over others. This ensures the resourcing of the school curriculum is consistent with the multi-format nature of our information world (Hay & Todd, 2010). The work of the teacher librarian in resourcing the curriculum, and collaborating with teachers and students contributes to building a reading culture within a school. This extends the variety of reading experiences experienced by each student, and improves students’ literacy capacities through a range of learning strategies including the development of digital literacies, particularly when the school library provides access to a suite of digital technologies (edevices), ebooks and ejournal titles as part of its collection (Hay & Foley, 2009; Softlink, 2012). Recent research by Softlink (2012) highlights a trend of widespread use of mobile technologies (including iPods, iPads, smart phones and tablets) by students across all school types and education providers. This is having a greater impact on the role of the school library in resourcing the curriculum, particularly in terms of teacher and student demands to provide access to digital resources outside of the library (and school precinct) on these devices.

In addition, Softlink’s 2012 survey of school libraries found while very few school libraries have received additional resources for implementing the new Australian Curriculum, responses from teacher librarians demonstrated “a strong intention to purchase eBooks in the coming year” (p.2). Knowing the ins and outs of developing and maintaining ebooks as part of a school collection is one of the major challenges in 2013 for schools in effectively resourcing the curriculum (Feighan, 2012). Navigating the complexities of purchase models, platform selection and interoperability, licensing and digital rights management, and exploring the pros and cons between single platform provision versus more flexible formats to support a BYOD (bring your own device) learning environment requires considerable research and consultation to inform a school’s decision as to the best way forward. Principals, teacher librarians, IT and curriculum leaders are central to this process.

Library management and learning management systems now have the capacity to better leverage the affordances of Web 2.0 technologies to support student learning (Mitchell, 2009). Schools make significant investment in learning resources of many types and a system that makes these resources searchable and manageable maximises learning outcomes and protects the school’s investment (Mitchell, 2011). Thus resourcing of the school’s curriculum is best served when the library management system is capable of federated searching, and integration of, inhouse and external collections, thus streamlining access to resources via responsive, relevant search (Engall, Foley & Jenkins, 2011). Teacher librarians are also employing social bookmarking and content curation tools such as LibGuides, ScoopIt!, Pinterest, Delicious, Diigo to supplement resource provision in schools (Baile 2012; Davies, 2012; Hocking, 2012). These, together with educating teachers and students to become independent searchers and discerning users of resources, are the key roles of the teacher librarian in resourcing the Australian Curriculum.

References

Bailie, H. (2012). Scoop.it. FYI, Autumn, pp. 7-9

Davies, M. (2012). Libguides: Getting your message across (the Curriculum). FYI, Spring, pp.14-16.

Engall, J., Foley, C. & Jenkins, D. (2011). e-resources, e-books, and SCIS cataloguing for resourcing curriculum: Implications for student searches. Scan, 30(2), pp. 39-44.

Feighan, D. (2012). Dealing with ebooks. FYI, Spring, pp. 4-7.

Hay, L. (2006). School libraries as flexible and dynamic learning laboratories... that’s what Aussie kids want. Scan, 25(2), pp. 18–27

Hay, L., & Foley, C. (2009). School libraries building capacity for student learning in 21C. Scan, 28(2), pp.17–26.

Hay, L., & Todd, R. (2010). School libraries 21C: School library futures project. Report for New South Wales Department of Education & Training, Curriculum K–12 Directorate, School Libraries & Information Literacy Unit. Sydney: Curriculum K–12 Directorate, NSWDET.

Hocking, C. (2012). Curation tools and you. FYI, Spring, pp. 12-16.

Lonsdale, M. (2003). Impact of school libraries on student achievement: A review of the research. Camberwell, Vic.: ACER.

Mitchell, P. (2009). The Os of Web 2.0: Openness, originality and others. ‘Your School Library’ Virtual Conference, February.

Mitchell, P. (2011). Resourcing 21st century online Australian Curriculum: The role of school libraries. FYI, Autumn, pp. 10-15.

Scholastic Library Publishing. (2008). School libraries work! 3rd edn, Scholastic Research & Results Series, No.1. New York: Scholastic Library Publishing.

Softlink Australia. (2012). Australian School Library Survey 2012: Findings from Softlink’s 2012 Australian School Library Survey into school library budgets, staffing, and literacy levels in Australian school libraries. Brisbane: Softlink Australia.

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