Blog Archives

Digital Citizenship – Definition

DEFINITION: It seems like ‘Digital Citizenship’ is as hard to define as ‘Information Literacy’ and when discussed, people have very differing ideas about what it is.
From the reading I have done so far and my personal experiences I would define it as ‘using technology, no matter what form in a responsible manner’.  This would incorporate behaviours that are considered legal, ethical, safe and courteous.  As Greenhow (2010) points out, responsible behaviours can differ between different cultures, countries and even individuals within the one society.

Greenhow, C. (2010). New concept of citizenship for the digital age.  Learning & Leading with Technology, 37 (6), 24-25.

MY STANCE/OUR SCHOOL: Working at a boys’ high school, it is interesting to see the boys’ behaviour when it comes to social media.  Our school blocks sites such as Facebook, Youtube etc. whilst on our premises.  I have also had personal experience of students posting inappropriate comments and threats towards teachers.  Some have even taken on fraudulent identities of teachers.  Often these instances are hard to track and consequences are often blurred due to the nature of the offence.  Cyberbullying is a relatively new area in schools and many school policies are still developing in this area.  Even when the police were informed they were quite powerless to do anything.  Contacting Facebook to have sites deactivated (never deleted) is also very difficult as it is all done online.

Despite all of this, I feel we are doing a disservice to our boys by blocking social media sites.  They will need to take responsibilty for their online behaviours in the future, so I believe schools have a responsibility to educate them in digital citizenship whilst at school.

AN IDEAL DIGITAL CITIZEN:  Enlightened Digital Citizenship

I like Davis and Lindsay’s (2012) representation of a digital citizen.  It seems to encompass all facets of digital citizenship with clarity.

How do we ensure that all students in schools become digital citizens?  Some teachers are not digitally in touch themselves, often it is not a priority within the school; parents, school leaders and students can have differing views on what is ethical, safe and responsible.

In terms of equitable access to technology, how can this be achieved when often access to education is not occurring equally within society, across the world?

Many courses that encompass technologies often do not explicitly teach the skills required to be digitally responsible.  It is too often assumed that students already have these skills and will have the maturity to display them in the school setting.

If schools develop programs and policies around digital citizenship for their students, what happens when the boundary between school and home becomes blurred?  Do schools have the right to enforce discipline if students do not act responsibly away from the school grounds?  Are parents on the same page as the school?



Leave a comment

March 15, 2014 · 3:48 am

Part B Critical Reflection

Leadership for Learning 

I believe that teacher and student learning are intertwined.  Teachers need to be continually learning so that a positive learning environment is created for students.  I am experiencing this as I participate in this course.  It is also important to be reflective.   If there is collaboration there will be gains in confidence, motivation and morale.  This leads to quality learning and successful leadership. (O’Donoghue & Clarke, 2010). 

The Teacher Librarian as leader would promote a collaborative learning environment that is not confined to the classroom.  Often the library is seen as separate to faculty departments. 

As a result, there is not a lot of collaboration occurring at my school at present.  Teachers tend to lecture students, the focus is on delivering content and everyone is ‘time-poor’.  The concept of learning as a process, must be a shared vision, from the top down (including the students) and be explicitly written into programs. 

The Inquiry Learning concept is an excellent example of instructional leadership for learning and the Teacher Librarian needs to be proactive to achieve success.  Inquiry Learning has not been a priority for our Curriculum Coordinator due the enormity of the task if introduced across the whole school.  Also, our school has been slow with integrating technology into its educational pedagogy. 

With the introduction of the Australian Curriculum, it is an opportune time to commence Inquiry Learning.  Next year, our Primary will be embarking on this type of learning.  A working party from the Secondary school will start work on how best to continue this type of learning into Year 7 and beyond.  I will definitely be a part of this group, as well the Primary initiative. 


As a leader in a collaborative school environment, it is important to communicate collaboratively.  Being open to the ideas of others and knowing how best to deliver information is vital to maintaining positive relationships.  (Sampson, n.d.) refers to habits of a collaborative individual as ‘knowing when to talk interactively’.  At my school, emails are constant.  Relationships are breaking down as messages are misconstrued, ignored or trivialized.  Effective communication occurs when there is accurate information, complete understanding and people feel that they have had an opportunity to contribute to decisions and therefore want to be part of a process.  Communication can be informal or formal, but must be delivered appropriately, empathetically and be open to clarification if required. 

As Teacher Librarian, I see communication as not only informing people of what is happening, but also a way of promoting the library service as an integral part of the school community.  I currently deliver information in the following ways: e-newsletters to staff, emails, weekly newsletters to parents, annual Yearbook article, conduct professional learning groups, blogs, student notices and digital display messages. 

This unit highlights the importance of effective communication as a leader and emphasizes less effective styles of communication, many of which I have experienced. 

My personal conflict management style, according to the Thomas & Kilmann, 1974 questionnaire is ‘accommodating’ and needs more assertiveness.  In my defense I feel that a Teacher Librarian needs to be accommodating.  My ‘pet-hate’ is to hear about librarians that have a sense of ownership and control over their libraries and everyone must fit in or they’re not welcome.  I go out of my way to satisfy clients.  At times I do need to balance the ‘accommodating’ with other priorities and be more assertive if the requests are unreasonable.  My library vision states; “the library ….promotes a welcoming atmosphere which is student and staff focused….” 

Strategic Planning

‘Instructional leaders exhibit a clear sense of direction for their schools and prioritize and focus attention on the things that really matter in terms of the work of students’(e-Lead, n.d.). They have the ability to predict what changes are required to improve services and anticipate and overcome obstacles as they arise. 

Teacher Librarians need to demonstrate that they are visionary, but often they are too busy dealing with the ‘here and now’ and find it hard to plan for the future.  It is in our best interest to be strategic, as it will ‘help maintain current levels of library service’ and ‘secure support from library stakeholders’.(Wong, 2012) Collecting evidence-based data can be difficult in the library situation, but is not impossible and is essential to support strategic planning.

The library also needs to be seen as integral to the whole school. Incorporating the library vision into the school’s policy on learning is crucial.  This way, the library vision is achieved as the whole school works together to make the vision a reality.


Instructional leadership [e Lead]. (n.d.). Retrieved from

O’Donoghue, T.A. & Clarke, S. (2010). Teachers learning and teachers leading.  In
            T.A. O’Donoghue & S. Clarke. Leading learning: process, themes and issues in
            international contexts
(pp.87-99). Retrieved from EBook Library. 

Sampson, M. (n.d.). The Practice of Collaboration – Resource Center.  In Michael
             Sampson on Making Collaboration Work:  Culture, Governance,
Retrieved from 

Thomas, K.W. & Kilmann, R.H. (1974). The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode
             Instrument. Retrieved from 

Wong, T. (2012). Strategic long-range planning. (for school library media centers). Library Media Connection, 31(2), 22-24.

Leave a comment

September 30, 2013 · 9:03 am

Teacher Librarian as Leader



(Todd, R.J., Kuhlthau, C.C. & OELMA. (2004). Student Learning through Ohio School Libraries research study.  Retrieved from http:/ p.21)

Teacher Librarian as Leader 

Ideally a Teacher Librarian should be part of the school management team and keep up to date with curriculum developments.

The Teacher Librarian needs to keep abreast of information issues and provide staff/students with opportunities to develop their information literacy skills, including skills in technology.

In terms of leadership, the Teacher Librarian’s main focus should be on relationships.

 Relationships (ideally within teams) should involve collaboration, co-operation, appreciation, trust, empathy, a good moral code and purpose and above all a strong work ethic (be passionate about what you’re doing).

The Teacher Librarian should be motivated with a clear vision and goals and the TL should support others to achieve these goals within the team.  The goals of the school library should reflect the overall school’s vision.

The Teacher Librarian demonstrates good leadership daily through positive interactions with administrators, teachers, students, parent volunteers, book sellers etc.  This is done by promoting new technologies, reading programs and inquiry-based learning focusing on ‘life-long learning’ for all.  Indirectly, this will lead to increased student achievement.

Leave a comment

August 18, 2013 · 2:50 am

Searching Terms…

Searching Terms:

‘satisficing’ (first piece of information is good enough)

‘snaffling’ (click on the first link in the results list)

Digital natives or digital refugees? Why we have failed Gen Y?
Barbara Combes
Edith Cowan University

Leave a comment

September 10, 2012 · 10:48 am