How NGL can inform my role as teacher

Looking at Librarians in the teaching space requires a different frame of mind. We are not necessarily Teacher Librarians, but we are educators of digital literacy, information literacy skills and we stand firmly as the bridge that aims to overcome the digital divide in our communities.

I am proud to call myself a Librarian. Yes, there are those that perceive us to be stereo-typical little ol’ ladies with glasses and cardigans but truth be told, we are that and so much more .. as you can see from this clip below of staff from the National Library of Australia performing Thriller at the 2008 staff Christmas party.

We are not (always) bound by the normal constraints of educational curriculums and thus can be inventive and creative in our approach to teaching. Looking at my own ‘role as teacher’, I will use the R.A.T framework to gauge the impact of NGL on my teaching. The R.A.T framework was developed by Dr. Joan Hughes in 1998 as a tool for self-assessment in utilising technology as a teaching tool.

The R.A.T model .. cannot be bribed with cheese.

NGL is a Librarian’s playground. We connect globally to research emerging technologies, learn new tips and trick from our colleagues abroad and we find ways to incorporate our newly acquired knowledge within our professional teaching spaces, all the while adapting it to our needs.

In researching how Second Life can be utilised to promote digital collections and open repositories, I am also looking at how 3D virtual spaces can be incorporated within ‘real life’ curriculums. Students are used to accessing virtual learning spaces, like Moodle and Blackboard but the 3D virtual learning space is unfamiliar territory in most Australian University libraries.

Pinchot and Paullet (2014) says that visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles benefit from learning through the use of technology and that curriculum developers should aim to include more aids to cater for those areas.

Breaking my thoughts ‘as teacher’ down into the R.A.T model, I propose that 3D virtual learning spaces has a lot to offer those learners more visually inclined. Many virtual learning spaces are already able to handle cross-platform collaboration, and 3D spaces are sure to follow suit.

‘R’ – Replacement: More options for students to collaborate online, and the option for students to incorporate a range of aids within their assignments. As an educator/Librarian, my knowledge of different platforms help students to think of different ways of presenting assessments by incorporating different technological elements.

‘A’ – Amplification: This is where I think 3D learning spaces will excel as the option for immersion into the environment can bring a new dimension of exploring learning material to the curriculum. In Second Life, full libraries have been replicated and ordinary museum exhibitions are amplified as historical characters come to ‘life’. To date I haven’t had the opportunity to prepare materials for a 3D learning space but it is a goal I am working towards.

‘T’ – Transformation: Presenting students with material in a format other than summarised text, give them the opportunity to memorise more facts. I often create visual material for my son’s classes in preparation for exams. The teacher presents me with a word document, and I then restructure the content to fit visual aids, source images through Creative Commons and build the students a multimedia site.

In my role as ‘teacher’, I value the importance of networked and global learning. Not only because I find multiple sources of inspiration but because it offers me connections to knowledge across the globe. NGL offers me the opportunity to research what other libraries are doing abroad. Referring to Second Life again, the collaboration of hundreds of volunteer Librarians, saw the creation of the Community Virtual Library.

Academic libraries in Australia was not so enthusiastic about building digital collections within Second Life. The University of Western Australia however did built exhibitions in Second Life but in 2008, overall the idea of Second Life was considered a virtual failure.

Forwarding ten years, I believe 3D learning spaces are about to be embraced by higher education providers, and I for one wants to be part of the educational revolution. In my opinion, learning about Second Life is a good place for me to start in understanding where the idea of transmedia collaborations in education can take us.

References:

Hughes, J., Thomas, R., & Scharber, C. (2006). Assessing Technology Integration: The RAT – Replacement, Amplification, and Transformation – Framework. In C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber, & D. A. Willis (Eds.), Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2006 (pp. 1616–1620). Orlando, Florida: AACE. Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/22293/

Pinchot, J., & Paullet, K. (2014). Different Keystrokes for Different Folks: Addressing Learning Styles in Online Education. Information Systems Education Journal, 12(2), 29-37. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1140787.pdf

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