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A week in the life of a ‘new media’ Teacher


Judy O’Connell
Head of Library and Information Services
St Joseph’s College

Learning is no longer an individual activity. The digital ground rules have shifted.
In fact, 21st century classrooms can be recognized by their "pedagogy of
participation". In these classrooms, learning comes before the software tools and
the learning environment is more influential than the hardware used. Students
are actively engaged in using technology as a tool rather than passively receiving
information from technology - collaborating with others rather than working
individually at all times in this way building understanding rather than simply
receiving information. Students use technology tools to solve problems
meaningful to them rather than working on artificial assignments. Students use
technology tools to set goals, monitor progress and evaluate their learning

In 21st century classrooms, students and teachers can harness the capabilities of
Web 2.0 to access the power of worldwide communities at any time, in any place,
for inspiration, ideas, mentoring - drawing on the knowledge of peers, friends,
professional colleagues and external experts as needed. Our ability to not only
read information, but to create, discuss, share and collaborate using simple
online tools has transformed the way people connect, organize and share
information at almost no cost.

Our capacity to 'connect' will strengthen or weaken depending on our social
network awareness and our capacity to use Web 2.0 tools to harness and
organize information and add value to the collective. Educators who understand
this know that to be good mentors in the 21st century learning landscape is to
use the power of personal learning networks and Web 2.0 tools to empower
information seeking and knowledge creation.

The Paradigm Flip

The adoption of Web 2.0 tools for innovative and continuous evolution of learning
taps our students hunger for technology integration. Their passion for
collaborative, creative deep learning with Web 2.0 will emerge and adapt as their
academic, technology and social activities
intermingle. We want our students to be
involved in co- construction of their
knowledge development. When
once we start, we soon discover that
Web 2.0 becomes a mediating tool that
makes visible the organization of the social, collaborative, academic aspects of
what, where and how they learn.

By 2006, Michael Stephens was urging libraries to adopt best practices in Web
2.0 to in order to put libraries 'out there' delivering services via the evolving web
opportunities. In Information Literacy meets Library 2.0 (2008), all facets of library
services were examined with a critical eye for the future, including School Library
2.0: new skills and knowledge for the future (O'Connell, 2008). Better still, David
Loertscher (2008) encourages us to completely flip our thinking about school
libraries in the digitally driven knowledge era. More than ever he urges us to be
at the very centre of teaching and learning, being a collaborative hub - a learning
commons - a place that everyone owns and contributes to - one giant

conversation that's both a social and a learning network. Teachers and teacher
librarians will then actively work alongside students, sometimes leading,
sometimes following, crafting an environment where our students can always
know what, know where, know how to be the best learners they can possibly be.

Where to from now?
To ensure that this can happen, Teacher Librarians need to lead by example –
adopt new media Web 2.0 tools and a 21st century mindset, and embrace a Web
2.0 way of working every single day.

Don’t believe that it can be done? Here is my week – 2nd week of the academic
year in 2009 ….and I can assure you this is more or less typical!!

New media professional activities each day … part of my daily work routine.


• Read my RSS feeds in Feedly – and share
the best reads on Twitter
• Establish Glogster accounts for all Year
7 students, and get my class going!
• Finish working on the K12 Horizon
Project assessment and ranking of
emerging technologies
• Trial nine.Hub free Moodle site for single
• Test Leap Fish Search engine
• Check gMail, Facebook, Twitter, and


• Jump onto MeBeam video chat and CoveritLite as arranged by Karl Fisch for students

studying Daniel Pink’s book “A Whole New Mind”.
• Order Accelerated Reader Online for Year 7 and 8 – and work some more
on updating our book selections.
• Catch up on Delicious links, including new bookmarks from My Network
• Do some work planning for Simply Books website, wiki and blogs
• Update links on our intranet and review wikis from 2008 which provided
some of our collaborative teaching units e.g.
• Google Talk with librarian in WA
• Check gMail, Facebook, Twitter, and Heyjude

• Celebrate winning the blog o’ the month, and go into the ‘hall of fame’ in
the Blog Hut on ISTE Island (International Society of Technology
Educators) – box of chocolates to share with library staff
• Do Docent duty at ISTE Headquarters and on ISTE island
• Respond to requests for information received on Facebook from UK, and
• Attend our Powerful Learning Practice international cohort meeting online
in Elluminate, then spend time catching up on the PLP ning.
• Test Year 7 class space on Haiku Learning Management system.
• Attend the Skoolaborate meeting for Teen Second Life
• Google Talk with TL in suburb in Western Sydney
• Check gMail, Facebook, Twitter, and Heyjude

• Liaise with IT about establishing subdomain to our website so that we can
launch Edublogs Campus – prize for winning Edublog award
• Work with team to decide how we will utilize Ning platform to roll out Year 7 whole form Digital Citizenship
programme in a few weeks.
• Attend Flashmeeting international schools
participating in Teen Second Life project
• Reorganize navigation on Sharepoint intranet for the Resources Centre,
and test security for staff spaces

• Skype about PD session in Tasmania later in the year
• Check gMail, Facebook, Twitter, and Heyjude

• Help connect English teacher’s iPhone
• to Microsoft Exchange so he can receive and
sync his school email
• Read RSS feeds in Feedly
• Show science teacher how to use Evernote on
her computer/s and iPhone
• Find out about USB wireless sticks for internet
connections when travelling on school
• Google chat with Science Teacher – him on
boarding duty, me at home, while we test out
Global Classroom
• Investigate Magazines category that has now
been added to Google Reader
• Test World Cat on the iPhone
• Write a couple of blog posts to round off the week
• Check gMail, Facebook, Twitter, and Heyjude

Now it’s your turn to be a Web 2.0 Teacher Librarian!!


David Loertscher, (2008) Flip this Library: School libraries need a revolution not an evolution
School Library Journal, Reed Business Information, Elsevier

Michael Stephens, (2006) Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software", Library
Technology Reports:Expert Guides to Library Systems and Services. ALA Techsource Chicago

O'Connell, Judy (2008) 'School Library 2.0: new skills and knowledge for the future' in Peter
Godwin and Jo Parker, editors, Information Literacy Meets Library 2.0, Facet, UK


Judy O’Connell BA, DipEd, MAppSc, MEd

Judy is Head of Library and Information Services at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill in Sydney.
She takes a leading role in working with emerging technologies, innovation and Web 2.0 and their
application for learning and teaching her school and in her library. Her educational experience
spans primary, secondary and tertiary education and includes leadership positions in technology,
curriculum and professional development. Judy writes, speaks and consults on school technology
and library issues, and encourages reflection, learning and social networking through her blog
Heyjude at