Block Eight - The Screen Writer

The information world changes constantly, yet many teaching activities involving information remain static. "Choose a topic you are interested in...write a three-page paper on...using three sources of information..." (Loertscher and Todd). The structure of the activity encourage cut-and-paste rather than the construction of knowledge. These low-level activities are refered to by Loertscher, Koechlin, and Zwaan as "Bird Units". Rather than an adversion to feathered vertebrates, the authors seek to ban "fill-in-the-blank worksheets" and "report/term papers" that invite plagerism and replace them with exciting learning experiences that link the library and technology into achievement.


The learner will use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
  • identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
  • plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  • collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  • use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

Achievment Indicators

Each learner will
  • Redesign or plan an activity so learners must THINK ABOUT and anaylze the information they collect in the library media centre, thus increasing learning and achievment
  • Upload activity to blog.
  • Post a response to other's contributions on their blog.

Learning Activities

The twenty-first teacher-librarian focuses on the process of learning rather than the dissemination of knowledge (Loertscher and Wolls). Teacher-librarians must re-examine their ability to serve and teach students in order to prepare them for the future. Reflect on your current practices - are you disposable (The Disposable Librarian) or an integral part of the educational process?

The video, produced by Ken Rodoff, is a humourous look at the life of a Web 2.0 coach. Although Rodoff is a Classroom of The Future Coach, his role echoes with the duties of Web 2.0 teacher-librarians.

Is your library a place where students locate just print materials or is it the information and knowledge centre of the school?
Consider the following questions before responding:
  • How has the concept of information literacy changed your teaching practices?
  • What are the key skills our students will need to be successful in an ever changing work environment?
  • How do teacher-librarians educate students for jobs that currently do not exist?
  • How does the concept of evidence-based practice align with a Web 2.0 world?
  • How can teacher-librarians demonstrate the successful integration of new communication and creation tools to other teachers, administrators, and other educational stakeholders?
  • What is the effect of learning research (Revised Bloom's Taxonomy and Brain-Based Research) upon our teaching practices?

Information Literacy for the 21st Century

Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. Teacher-librarians must enables learners to master context and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning.

Necessary Skills For The New Media Culture

According to a recent survey by the National School Boards Association (NSBA),, the majority of students ages 9 to 17 who have Internet access, use social-networking technology to connect with their peers. Are educators, particularly teacher-librarians, providing student access to the skills and experiences needed to become a full participant in the new media culture?

Educational instutions must devote more attention to fostering the new literacies (cultural competencies and social skills) that twenty-first learners need in the new media landscape.New research, such as Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century (Please note - the pdf is an optional read), identifies the skills as:
  • Play — the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving
  • Performance — the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisationand discovery
  • Simulation — the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-worldprocesses
  • Appropriation — the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
  • Multitasking— the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details
  • Distributed Cognition — the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expandmental capacities
  • Collective Intelligence— the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal
  • Judgment — the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources
  • Transmedia Navigation — the ability to follow the flow of stories and informationacross multiple modalities
  • Networking — the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information
  • Negotiation — the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.

Embracing The Twenty-First Learner

In the first block of Meet The Stars, ways to reflect upon, critically examine, and promote the literature through professional dialogue and emerging technologies were explored. Keene and Zimmerman state that the creation of avid, thoughtful readers involves time to read and time to talk. Reading involves crafting a personal and unique meaning from text. Social negotiation of that meaning extends and adapts reader's comprehension. Literacy, therefore, for the twenty-first learners has shifted from an individual expression to one of community involvement.

Twenty-first century learners embrace of social media tools are shaping libraries of the future. They are enthusiastic authors and readers of blogs and use Web 2.0 tools to combine the best of solitary reflection and social interaction (Eide Neurolearning Blog, 2005). However, the possibiliities of the read/wirte Web often intimidate rather than encourage educators. Shift happens! We must embrace it!

Donna DesRoches, in her Teacher-Librarian 2.0 presentation at the 2007 Saskatchewan School Library Conference, asked attendees to rethink the role of teacher-librarian using the lens of manager, leader, and instructional leader.

The final block of Meet The Stars synthesizes our learning from the previous seven blocks:
  • Part One - In The Spotlight: Using a list of potential book award winners, participants explore ways to reflect upon, critically examine, and promote the literature through professional dialogue and emerging technologies.
  • Part Two - The Backlot: Illustrating the information literacy cycle, participants develop their repertoire of search tools, pathfinders, and online organizational tools.

Now how can we put our learning into practice? How will your next contact with students engender a passion for reading and exploit the potential of a range of emerging technologies?

Your task is to create a product that synthesizes your learning in Meet The Stars - the benefits of participatory culture, including opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, a changed attitude toward intellectual property, the diversification of cultural expression, the development of skills valued by the twenty-first century learner, and a more empowered conception of citizenship.

Consider the book(s) you choose to read for Meet The Stars and the mind map you created in Block 5, perhaps a revisioned booktalk could be your project. Maybe your project will be a revamped literature circle, author study, or a book club. Regardless of your choice, your project must focus on reading activities that foster active student engagement, discussion, and creative outputs:
  • Affliations - memberships, formal and informal, in online communities centred around various forms of media (such as Friendster, Facebook, message boards, metagaming, game clans, or MySpace).
  • Expressions - producing new creative forms (such as digital sampling, skinning and modding, fan videomaking, fan fiction writing, zines, eBook creation, or mash-ups)
  • Collaborative Problem-solving - working together in teams, formal and informal, to complete tasks and develop new knowledge (such as Wikipedia, alternative reality gaming, spoiling, social bookmarks, or online interviews, research reports, or literature circles)
  • Circulations - Shaping the flow of media (such as blogging or podcasting)

Post your project on your blog.

Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-based practice is one of the key components of Saskatchewan Learning's revisioned and renewed policy guidelines for provincial school library programs. EBP centres on understanding the transformative role of professional practice founded on a strong evidence base - research, experiences, insights, and systematic meaures. As Ross Todd explains, "evidence-based practice is knowing and showing how the school library program helps students learn. It embraces evidence FOR prctice, evidence IN practice, and evidence OF practice".

The Ontario School Library Association (OSLA) identifies four areas of library that should be measured: literacy, information literacy, information and communication technologies, and collaboration. The first part of Meet The Stars concentrated on literacy (resource selection and promotion), while this part of the workshop focuses on ICT (online resources and media literacy). This final block is designed to wield the two areas of literacy and ICT together.

Complete the form Professional Development.
Using the form as a guide, engage in a dialogue with your adminstrator. Celebrate your achievments in Meet The Stars!
Detail insights from the conversation in your blog.

Reflecting On The Journey

Meet The Stars presented an unique way to access professional learning, to engage participants in current teaching and learning practices, and to link teachers-librarians together when face-to-face learning was inaccessible.

Please complete the survey. Your feedback is invaluable to Donna and Carlene, the creator of Meet The Stars, in determining their provision of a rich learning experience.

Learning Resources

Revised Blooms Taxonomy (PowerPoint, posters, planning framework available from Kurwongbah State School in Australia)
ISTE NETS set national standards for educational uses of technology that facilitate school improvement
Map of Future Forces affecting Education ( KnowledgeWorks Foundation & The Institute For The Future)
A Steep "Unlearning Curve" (Will Richardson)
Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century
96 Percent of Teens Use Social-Networking Tools


Participants are expected to complete this block, The Screenwriter, by November 18th.

Block Five: Behind the Scenes| Block Six: The Talent Agent| Block Seven: Digital Citizenship| Block Eight: The Screen Writer|