Module 3.1 reflection

  • How would curriculum change if our priority approach was on critical, creative, and collaborative thinking?

Educators would realize the importance of curriculum design consciously based around C21st skills and objectives. Knowing something of Tara Brabazon’s work I was keen to read about the igeneration despite the reference to digital natives in the title, which may otherwise have put me off (Brabazon, Dear, Greene, & Purdy, 2009).  From this I liked these:

1. There are very few – too few – controlled studies of information seeking behaviour that is able to isolate age as a variable.

2. Speculation and ‘mis-information’ has been perpetrated about how young people behave in online environments.

3. All researchers – not only ‘young people’ are skim-reading research, reading abstracts rather than drilling deeper into the paper.

4. Young people are not ‘dumbing down.’ Society is ‘dumbing down.’

5. “The information literacy of young people, has not improved with the widening access to technology: in fact, their apparent facility with computers disguises some worrying problems.”

6. “Young scholars are using tools that require little skill: they appear satisfied with a very simple or basic form of searching.

7. “Digital literacies and information literacies do not go hand in hand” (Brabazon, Dear, Greene, & Purdy, 2009, p. 171).

  • What does the reality of the modern age of information– this age of Google –suggest that we “teach”?

Conole’s chapter excited me so much that I borrowed the book and read it very quickly. It is full of amazing suggestions for links (some of which are, unfortunately no longer active) to websites that guide curriculum design (Conole, 2012,  chapter 8). I am still working through the downloads but the idea of tapping into existing structures such as or – (the email link they sent me on sign up didn’t work though 😦 ) or is very appealing.

When I first started working as a qualified teacher-librarian SLAV had several CD based programs available to assist with cooperative teaching and learning, particularly planning research tasks, and these web based options seem to be similar to the principle but aimed at C21st skill development. I have also been exposed to assessing assignment design against C21st skills in my Microsoft 1:1 peer coaching course. For me, this is starting to bring my thoughts together in answer to “where to from here?” questions that I keep mulling over. I think my digital essay topic will probably be aiming to investigate some options in order to suggest pathways for reducing the digital divide and enabling reluctant educators to “have a go” in ways that may not be too threatening.

  • Can we simply “update” things as we go, or is it time for rethinking of our collective practice?

I do not believe that we can just update bits and pieces of curriculum as we go (although we do all have to start somewhere and that may be the only way). Just like the “backward by design”  principles that so many schools are embedding at present – we need to know the end point before we start “renovating” so that we end up with a workable, learning-centred and sustainable system.


Brabazon, T., Dear, Z., Greene, G., & Purdy, A. (2009). Why the Google Generation Will Not Speak: The Invention of Digital Natives. Nebula, 163-181. Retrieved April 16, 2014, from

Conole, G. (2012). Designing for Learning in an Open World. New York, United States of America: Springer. Retrieved April 2014

Heick, T. (2014). Are You Teaching Content Or Teaching Thought? Retrieved April 16, 2014, from te@chthought:>

Ito, M. (2013). Connected Learning Every One, Every Where, Anytime.  Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from

3 thoughts on “Module 3.1 reflection

  1. brownngaire

    Hi Margaret,
    I have used your blog as a basis for blog task 3. Here is the link to my blog -post
    I have just posted the link rather than the whole response.


  2. Chantal Hochstrasser

    Hi Margaret, I had to say, “I hear you!” when you refer to non-threatening ways of enabling reluctant educators. (The pain of the TL perhaps?)
    You have also nailed many of the issues that lack of knowledge about information technology causes and consequently, many of the areas that TLs need to tackle. My secondary school is negotiating explicit TL lessons around these very issues for 2015, though I am concerned that this will create a new problem of…’oh, the TL teaches them that’.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and links.


  3. msimkin

    Thanks Ngaire, I have replied to your comment on your blog post where you pick up on some of my themes.
    Thanks too Chantal. It is tempting to ask for “Library” lessons as a means of addressing the black holes, but until ICT is embedded across the curriculum I cannot see real involvement and desired changes in student learning outcomes. Maybe your experience next year will prove me wrong!
    The type of world our current students will graduate to work in will depend on strong skill sets based around collaboration, communication and information fluency, and we do them a major disservice if we are not constructing curriculum in this manner. It would also take so much pressure from teaching if the room was filled with engaged learners – including the teacher. Onwards and upwards!


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