The essential elements of digital literacies: Doug Belshaw at TEDxWarwick

Bost, Danielle


*[Tedx Talks]. (2012, March 22). The essential elements of digital literacies: Doug Belshaw at TEDxWarwick [Video file]. Retrieved from

Video describes 8 essential elements of literacy.

I found this highly useful as a newcomer to the teaching field.

A School-wide Gamification Project Created by the Teacher Librarian

Gabrielle Thormann
Squires, T. (2016).  Student engagement through library-led gamification.  Library as Classroom.  Retrieved from:
This entry is an audio recording available only through the Blackboard Collaborate system.  
This middle school teacher librarian had the support and opportunity of her administration and staff to create a school-wide gamification project.  She created teams of 7th graders against 8th graders, used digital technology, specifically Edmodo to create groups for communication between students.  Stories were built in the morning with the cooperation of staff, missions and goals were set, strategy cards to assist missions, and points allotted and listed in spreadsheets.   Students were also required to turn in a paper report of their work in the games, as well as other simple assignments and activities during the game.  Squires created a video about the game, and submitted to ‘Follett Challenge’ and won a substantial amount of funds. 
I’m always interested in hearing/reading about how teachers apply theory and create projects, and so found this audio recording interesting and supportive.
Note:  Here is the link to other talks also available through Blackboard Collaborate:

Digital Libraries Postive or Negative

Shibrie Wilson

CA- Who Decides
IL- Analysis and Synthesis
IL-Media Literacy
IL- Other Literacies
IL- Integrated or Separate

The Good News and the Bad News. (2015, May 24). Retrieved from

Summary: There is a constant debate among librarians regarding going digital. Many traditional librarians are opposed to materials being accessible to patrons digitally. The issue that some librarians prefer that patrons access library physically and not accessing just on website. Since libraries are constantly competing and defending its relevance we must continue to offer innovative content and materials for patrons. Individuals are seeking after materials in which they can access online without coming to a physical library. This article focuses on different arguments from across the board from those who fully support a digitized library. Some librarians are ready to change the stereotype associated with library of it being boring and just for purpose of “reading books.” Libraries will continue to remain relevant due to preferences of different persons, according to article. 

Reflection: I resonated with this article because it is frustrating to think about different aspects of library and where it will leave professionals. There are different aspect because as professionals we must continue to provide innovative ideas in order to compete with technology. Yet, downside to such is that it can possibly eliminate our jobs. 

Media Literacy and 21st Century School Library

Shibrie Wilson

CO- School Organization
IL- Other IL Models
IL-Media Literacy

 Lam, A. (2012, April 30). Media Literacy and Learning Commons in the Digital Age: Toward a Knowledge Model for Successful Integration into the 21st Century School Library. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from
Summary: Due to budget cuts and technological advancements, school libraries are constantly finding ways to reinvent themselves. The innovative projects of library have contributed to precise concept of a learning commons. This trajectory of a learning commons has embedded into concept of collaboration with educators, facilities, learning techniques, and many more to name a few. Media literacy is a growing field and entails various aspects that are essential to learning communities,that includes the following: “critical thinking ability to access, evaluate, analyze, and produce information” (Lam, A. 2012). Increase of media has contributed to collaborative learning environments in which students are able gain knowledge of digital culture, interdependent learning skills, and different modes of communication. School libraries must continue to adopt this new age of digital learning in order to continue to flourish and assist teacher with media literacy. Different testimonials provided in which school libraries have had a great deal of success with transformation. 

Reflection: School libraries are adaptive to change are doing an excellent job to reinvent themselves. Of course, such success stories only exist when everyone in district in on board with essence of library and reinvention with changing times. Model in this blog is beneficial for providing a visual as to how exactly media literacy adopts concept of learning commons. 

A Push for Literacy is a Push for Human Rights

Maricar Laudato

IL-Other Literacies

Fasick, A. M. (2011). From Boardbook to Facebook: Children’s services in an interactive age. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Chapter 5 in this book, titled, “Changing Literacies for the 21st Century,” deals with the various types of Information Literacies that have arisen due to the changes in technology. At the opening of this chapter, it uses the 2004 United Nations definition of literacy as the starting point to begin discussion on the various types of literacies. The United Nations defines literacy as “the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts…and involves a continuum of learning enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential and to participate fully in their community and wider society (Fasick, 58).” Throughout the chapter the author discusses 5 different literacies: print literacy, information literacy, visual literacy, media literacy, and multicultural literacy. Fasick outlines how illiteracy is tied to economic and gender inequality. She points out how poverty is one of the greatest predictors of illiteracy and that, generally, literacy rates for women around the world are lower than men. In her discussion on Multicultural literacy, Fasick points out how publishers are starting to reach out to authors and illustrators from diverse backgrounds and how libraries have a responsibility to build a more multicultural library collection.


Even though an overview of literacies was covered in one chapter, Fasick was effective in underlining one main point: that literacy is not only a basic human right, but that by pursuing universal literacy through libraries, we are pushing for other human rights. I thought that this argument of hers was powerful, and thus, made reading this chapter engaging. I liked how she stresses that, because of America’s diversity, there is no “typical” American child and how we have a responsibility to serve all types of patrons. 

Deep Reading: Using Technology to Engage, Connect, and Share

Monteiro, Sarah
Kimmel, S. C. (2012). DEEP READING: USING TECHNOLOGY TO ENGAGE, CONNECT, AND SHARE. Library Media Connection, 30(5), 10-12.

Sue Kimmel’s article is connecting books, periodicals, and newspapers we had in the past to technology, as we know it now. She takes a deeper look at how the digital world can enhance our reading experiences and that is just isn’t as bad as people make it out to be.
Technology and reading have always been intertwined. From the beginning we used light sources and highlighters while reading our books, but now all of the e-readers provide those elements plus much more. Yes, you are relying on a source of electricity, but the e-readers are built with batteries that last longer than the average cell phone. Most kids have their own cell phones, so this makes getting books into their hands even easier. Many phones already have book apps and classics come loaded for free. Using an e-reader opens doors that might not have been open before. Many books come with suggested reads easily downloaded after you finished one book. With the click of a button, you are on to the next book. Audio books give emerging readings a way to read along whenever they want rather than waiting for an adult. E-books can create an interactive experience like Pop-out Peter Rabbit. Adding hyperlinks, maps, and images that can be easily accessed as an entirely new element to reading.
Technology allows us to socialize over books at a grander scale. We can now recommend books on sites and see which line was highlighted the most in a book. We can look for meaning in books the same way we always have, but now we can share that meaning and read others opinions. Writers can now interact with their readers and readers can connect with other readers. Kimmel ends by saying “we can look at new technologies as competition for the time and attention of young people or we can look for ways to harness these technologies to put more “books” of the hands of more readers.” Technology is here whether we want it to be or not, and we must learn to make the best of it. When used correctly, technology has the power to take our deeper understanding of books to another level.

 I feel that Sue Kimmel really “hit the nail on the head.” I find myself feeling conflicted when I hear people say, “children don’t appreciate a good book physically in their hands, it’s all about the screen.” I do believe that we shouldn’t have our children watching screens all day when they are playing games and watching videos, but I truly feel that if we can get a student engaged on an e-reader, we should celebrate. I have seen students read through e-books at a much higher rate than they have with physical books, mostly due to accessibility. How nice it is to finish a book and at the click of a button the next one is there waiting for you!
To fight technology is a loosing battle. Our kids will be completely surrounded by technology their entire lives and there is nothing, short of a worldwide blackout, that is going to change that. We need to focus on showing our students how we can use technology and reading in a positive way rather than making them feel like it is not worthy. As librarians, it is our responsibility to encourage, demonstrate, and be positive about these changes in the world of reading.

IL-Other Literacies

New Technologies and 21st Century Skills

Boyer, Allison
New technologies and21st century skills. (2016). Retreived from
Summary: This website is part of an ongoing project by the Laboratory for Innovative Technology in Education.  This site provides an explanation of what it means to be literate in the 21st Century, what skills are considered 21st Century, as well as an ongoing lists of resources to help teachers understand 21st Century skills and ways to incorporate these skills in the classroom for student development.

Review: I found this website to be quite helpful in understanding 21st Century skills.  Not only does it provide an in-depth explanation of these skills, especially in relation to the education field, but the list of resources is extensive and ever-growing. It’s this aspect that I found most interesting.  This website is part of a project organized and maintained by LITE, and the list of resources will only continue to grow.  Resource include links to outside website, videos, Google Docs, etc.  This website is definitely one to remember.  

Critical thinking and cognitive transfer: Implications for the development of online information literacy tutorials

Jones, Erik


Reece, G. J. (2005). Critical thinking and cognitive transfer: Implications for the development of online information literacy tutorials. Science Direct, 20(4), pp. 482-493. doi:10.1016/j.resstr.2006.12.018


Specifically focusing on how critical thinking skills and abilities will allow people to better process and use the information that they are given during class instruction or from an information provider, the core focus of this article describes how critical thinking skills can be used to better process and understand information. Knowing how to verify and authenticate information, how to vet sources of information, how to provide information are all necessary critical thinking abilities that information provides like librarians need to take into account before providing information to patrons. The same is true from the perspective of the patron or learner, knowing how to verify the information given to them will help prevent faulty or unreliable information from spreading.


As information literacy is the goal many librarians strive for when assisting patrons, it is essential that patrons have the critical literacy skills necessary to comprehend and make use of the information being provided to them. What point is there to giving information to someone who neither understand it or makes use of it? I enjoyed reading this article as critical literacy skills (critical thinking skills) are something I feel people should pay more attention to and invest more time in using throughout their daily lives. It would make things so much easier to accomplish and deal with for everyone.

Trust: A "Radical" New Way to Create Better Students

Johnson, Meghan


Schwartz, K. (2014). Why trust is a crucial ingredient in shaping independent learners. KQED. Retrieved from

Summary: This article by Katrina Schwartz discusses the need for trust in schools. Despite the fact that students are supposedly being prepared for the “real world” in high school, they have many restrictions placed on them ranging from the types of materials they can view to the tools they are allowed to use to approach problems. There needs to be trust between students, teachers, administrators, districts, and parents as well. While this is a scary prospect, Schwartz believes that this is ultimately the best way to create fully functioning and accountable students.

Evaluation: I found this article to be absolutely fascinating. I could see myself in the anti-trust kind of teacher described by Schwartz. It is indeed a terrifying prospect to look at entire student body and grant them a larger portion of responsibility for the success of their education. I believe Schwartz is correct, though, when she states that the likely benefits outweigh the potential negatives. She provided great details from a school called New Caanan High School where a system of trust in regards to cell phones and new technologies exists. These students seem to realize the benefits of maintaining this system of trust and honor it, which astounded me! As an academic librarian, though, I can see how this type of system is necessary. I constantly complain to my coworkers about how new undergraduates have no idea how to use certain tools (such as an online catalog) and don’t have any respect for the higher educational institution they get to study at. These are the students most systems are creating, though. Students who have it drilled into them that they cannot be trusted to know what they want to study and to determine which tools they need to use. I think Schwartz is right. Trust-based educational systems are the only way to create students that will succeed in higher education and in society.

T is for Transmedia

Sannwald, Suzanne
Herr-Stephenson, B., Alper, M., Reilly, E., & Jenkins, H. (2013). T is for transmedia: Learning through transmedia play. Los Angeles and New York: USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Retrieved from

Summary: The linked paper provides a comprehensive review of transmedia “play” and how this connects with learning. Particularly with libraries transforming into Learning Commons, and their increasing support of constructivist and discovery learning, this study provides helpful background information and research that supports the learning benefits of transmedia play. Educators may be familiar with research regarding functional literacy and increasingly about information and media literacy, but they may not be aware of transmedia literacy and the way that these extensions may legitimately support learning goals. While transmedia may be at times accused of being evidence of gross commercialization, this paper looks at how it serves as an entry point for children to not only learn with high self-motivation and interest, but also encourages them to participate as content creators themselves.

Evaluation: I recently learned about transmedia in INFO 237, and I think that there is nice synergy between this topic and the investigation that we have been doing in INFO 250 regarding discovery learning. In particular, I think that it is important that Teacher Librarians become well versed in supporting students as creators, and that we are able to articulate the relevance of this constructivist learning to their overall educational experience.