Blog post for Colloquium 3

What does ‘flat’ learning look like?

Flat connected learning incorporates aspects of Collaboration, Project based learning, Blended learning, Flipped learning, and Inquiry-based learning established within a framework based on a combination of Web 2.0, leadership, pedagogy and learning design (Lindsay, n.d.). In many ways, this sums up the reality of teaching and learning in an era of rapid technological development and pedagogical change.


It also encapsulates the five stage taxonomy of online, global learning:

  1. Online interactions
  2. Real encounters
  3. Online learning
  4. Community of practice
  5. Learning collaboratives (Lindsay J., 2015)


According to Julie the norms of global collaboration begin with being prepared; depend on having a purpose; require the ability to paraphrase, perceive, and participate; entail a positive mindset and productive nature; and are based on the ability to detect the potential in situations (Lindsay J. , 2015).

Pedagogical change evolves from being able to approach learning design with a flexible attitude, engaging with professional learning in a progressive manner, and adopting the essential elements of conceptual change (Lindsay J., 2015).

In this scenario the teacher is viewed as an activator and the student as an active participant in the process, while the school provides the conduit, and the community is seen as a partner in learning (Lindsay J., 2015).

Once the technological requirements are in place, and teachers have knowledge of new ways of meaningful engagement through TPACK and SAMR, and the belief that such pedagogy is important, flat connections and global learning become realistic options for developing knowledge and wisdom (Lindsay J., 2015). Such an approach leads to cosmogogy: the study of learning through connection to the world through the digital technologies available today. In such a scenario the context lies in learning with, not about, and geo-location is irrelevant (Lindsay J., 2015).

This presentation was a great introduction to the peer presentations relating to selected chapters of Wang’s extensive tome (Wang, 2014). These expositions demonstrated a potential for school adaptation where senior secondary students could lighten the load for each other in collaboratively summarising text. It certainly was of benefit to our cohort in this subject.

Three colloquiums, three very different ways of doing business – and all of them useful and thought provoking.


Lindsay, J. [. (2015, August 6). Colloquium 3: Flat Classrooms.

Lindsay, J. (n.d.). Flat Learning. Retrieved August 11, 2015, from Flat Collections: http://www.flatconnections.com/flat-learning.html

Wang, V. (. (2014). Handbook of research on education and technology in a changing society. London: IGI Global.






Learning Analytics: A Traveller’s Guide

Anyone participating in the learning journey that is INF537 would have been intrigued by the title of Colloquium #2 (Welsh, 2015). The content, while very different in delivery from Colloquium #1 (Astbury, 2015), was equally thought provoking. Despite the title, data was not the only aspect covered, and the final comments indicated the incredible potential of learning analytics.

Simon’s opening comments related to his chosen title, as he pointed out that a traveller digs deeper than a tourist. He then commented that the interpretation and mining of data is an aspect of teaching and learning that is still sorting itself out.

For those who share an antipathy to using test scores to predict educational outcomes, Simon’s comments opened a door to improved educational futures. He explained that academic analytics are those used by institutions to aid with student management while learning analytics are interrogated to support learning and teaching for improved outcomes.

Investigating these concepts further indicates that data mining does not occur in a vacuum; it links to power and relationships; the capturing and sharing of data is in itself a development of knowledge capital (Weller, 2011, p. 43). Another aspect of such data is how it is managed and preserved (Weller, 2011, p. 43). Those generating the most data in a digital world are already privileged, and the rapidly expanding body of work is increasing the division between the haves and have-nots.

Simon referred to the example of the ATAR system and its use by schools to target areas that teachers need to improve, compared to its use by the MySchool website, where visitors choose a very different interpretation. This illustrated the importance of context and intent in such data collection and its subsequent use (Welsh, 2015).

There are three aspects of simplistic data use that cause concern:

  1. What does it mean for a student to be monitored in this way – is it profiling or determinism, as Hyacinth posted in the accompanying chat?
  2. The ethics of such use – who actually owns the data?
  3. The fact that teachers are being asked to interpret such data without training in data literacy (Liz Eckert).

It is also important to know how reporting systems are being used and where the data is coming from in order to give appropriate advice based on the conclusions that are being drawn. Much of the data comes from the vendors of Learning Management Systems, who have set up metrics based on ease of use. Algorithms based on the number of clicks or the amount of time spent on any given task are not really a measure of learning and need to be carefully interpreted. There is a big difference between measuring quantities of clicks and measuring the quality of engagement (Welsh, 2015).

The example of using Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) to capture and mine data was very interesting. VLEs are vendor focussed and often simplistic in terms of the data they gather. Once an institution has invested in providing a VLE it can be stuck with that specific product, as migrating to another platform is expensive and time consuming (a point noted and discussed by several classmates). Weller considers that introducing VLEs has led to the educational institution losing control of data to the manufacturer, and cites the example of Blackboard trying to patent many core e-learning concepts (Weller, Digital Resilience, 2011, pp. 170-171). Andrew questioned consideration of other products as a replacement, notably Moodle, which is open source.

An example Simon explored in some detail was the use of subject forums, such as those used within the Charles Sturt Blackboard internet, and, in the case of my workplace SIMON (School Information Management on the Net). If students have to participate in online forums within their VLEs then a tool to measure this must be able to “read” the type of material being entered. In this way, within an hour of the posted comment a scaffold into deeper learning could be generated, problems within comments across the group can be alerted to the educator, and extra reading could be suggested to those requiring additional explanation, or extension.

This type of monitoring could lead to an easy citation mechanism for resources utilised, which, as Greg commented, would be “referencing heaven”. It is in these potentially positive contributions to learning that most teachers can see the real value of data mining, rather than the click counting and number of visits which are so commonly applied. Resulting real time adaptation of learning programs to personalise student learning experience, development of meta-cognitive skills for learners, fast response to learning design and quick adaptation of technical equipment and systems would all be welcomed by educators (Welsh, 2015).

Weller warns of potential risk from using data to analyse and improve results by stating that it could lead to Google replacing human librarians, and user generated “playlists” of information may make teachers irrelevant (Weller, Digital Resilience, 2011, p. 171). This is a very broad allegation which has been somewhat allayed by Simon’s Colloquium session.

As Rochelle commented: the link between educational data mining, decision support systems and expert systems is inextricable; Deborah’s response that the skill lies in using the power for good sums up the feeling of most educators whose primary focus is the overall well-being of people in their classes.

While Simon’s presentation assuaged some fears, it raised other issues of potential concern for teachers and students. Needless to say, we are living in revolutionary times, and, while a revolution may be bloodless, it is rarely painless (Weller, Digital Resilience, 2011, p. 168). The critical thing for scholars and teachers is that they stay involved, because they need to be in a position to determine what goes, what stays and what comes; passitivity is not an option (Weller, Digital Resilience, 2011, p. 184).


Astbury, A. [Host]. (2015, July 21). ABC Splash Online Colloquium 1. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Weller, M. (2011). Digital Resilience. In M. Weller, The Digital Scholar: How Technology is Transforming Scholarly Practice (pp. 168-184). London: Bloomsbury Collections. doi:10.5040/978184966275.ch-014

Weller, M. (2011). The Nature of Scholarship. In M. Weller, The Digital Scholar, How Technology is Transforming Scholarly Practice (pp. 41-51). London: Bllomsbury Collections. doi:10.5040/978184966275.ch-014

Welsh, S. [Host]. (2015, July 28). Learning Analytics: A Traveller’s Guide; Online Colloquium 2. Albury, Victoria, Australia.


Fellow travellers’ comments from the Colloquium chat box are acknowledged in blue.


Blog post 1

Learning Through Exploration and Play

The first colloquium in this subject was hosted by Annabel Astbury,  a past History teacher, educational leader for the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria, and currently working to deliver the curriculum through ABC Splash. The manner in which this session was delivered was slick and personable, with the chat comments being consistently monitored.  Responses to comments were addressed to the individual attendant who posted the comment or question. This is a skill that so many online presenters have not developed.

The Splash motto: “explore, play, learn” succinctly encapsulates the website’s offerings to education. Opportunities for classes and individuals to engage with the material are provided in the formats of film, games and text.  All resources address Australian Curriculum   standards, and many of the activities are aimed at students from Years 5 to 8.

Annabel outlined the various decisions that had been made in the design of the product, which was predicated on the premise that “the world did not need another product for lesson creation” (Astbury, 2015). The significance of this statement is felt in classrooms all over the world, where there are no systems in place for sorting through the increasing wealth of educational materials (Calhoun, 2015).

Teachers everywhere are overworked, and increasingly overwhelmed by a “dazzling forest of finely-tuned” products, and there is little time to assess their value, master and adopt them within teaching programs to achieve meaningful outcomes (Calhoun, 2015). A repository of products designed by and for Australians (with an online educational base of only 3.2 million users) is critically important to learning in the digital age (Astbury, 2015).

ABC Splash offers a curated and appropriate collection, and furthermore, links to Scootle, an online, Australian Curriculum specific store of material accessible to all practicing teachers, including casual relief teachers.  This would seem to be an enticing proposition enabling easy integration into classrooms across the nation while leading to the potential for a “flow experience” for students (Lemke, 2010, p. 247).

Appropriate innovative practise through the infusion of technology, and the resources this allows, should contribute to classrooms full of fully engaged students who are intrinsically motivated and “110% invested” in learning (Lemke, 2010, pp. 246 – 247). Incorporating technological solutions and permitting students to work differently on mastering learning relies on the critical adoption of skills for the current century. This requires deep thinking in relation to the implications of the new teaching and learning resources, in order to develop a more empowering model of authentic learning (November, 2010, p. 278).

Lemke believes that vesting students with power will increase efficacy in their learning skills, and, if the task is complex, result in more creativity and innovation, and lead to improved adaptive proficiency (Lemke, 2010, p. 247). Such outcomes will only occur if educators can move beyond seeing multimodal incorporation as more than something predominantly technical that simply requires the alignment of minds with machines (Selwyn, 2010, p. 67).

ABC Splash offers educators in Australia the ability to offer a range of learning materials that relate to the context in which Australian students live (Astbury, 2015). In an era where individuals have devices in their hands in most classrooms, the incorporation of such material can be woven seamlessly into lesson design, particularly in settings where students own the culture of learning, and collaborate with each other in creative and multimodal ways (November, 2010, p. 282).

The use of digital technology is pitted against long-standing traditions, and entrenched concerns, often at a micro level, of the everyday educational experiences, pre and post the digital age (Selwyn, 2014, p. 164). This is the dichotomy of the times in which we educate.

Providing teachers access to resources is of little value of they do not utilise them in some way. Constant reminders of what access has been provided, and what it will allow in classrooms is becoming a crucial aspect of the teacher-librarian’s  work.  “But, the way we are approaching the integration of technology into our school systems is raising red flags. If we don’t figure out exactly what these early warning signals mean and incorporate their lessons into our design and our educational philosophy, we risk generating backlash and squandering valuable momentum. We also risk producing a generation of graduates who are unprepared for the future ahead of us” (Calhoun, 2015). This is the critical aspect of the work that we do in our school library roles.


Astbury, A. [Host). (2015, July 21). ABC Splash Online Colloquium. Retrieved July 21, 2015

Calhoun, N. (2015, July 21). How Technology Is Crash Landing in Our Public Schools. Retrieved from Singularity Hub: http://singularityhub.com/2015/07/21/how-technology-is-crash-landing-in-our-public-schools/

Kay, K. (2015, July 21). Do You Have 21/21 Vision? Retrieved from Edutopia Blog: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/do-you-have-2121-vision-ken-kay

Lemke, C. (2010). Innovation Through Technology. In C21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn (pp. 243-274). Bloomington: Solution Tree.

November, A. (2010). Technology Rich, Information Poor. In 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn (pp. 275-283). Bloomington: Solution Tree.

Selwyn, N. (2010). Looking beyond learning: notes towards the critical study of educational technology. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning(26 (1)), 65 – 73. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2009.00338.x.

Selwyn, N. (2014). Education and ‘the digital’. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 35:1, 155-164. doi:10.1080/01425692.2013.856668



Evaluative report

Evaluative statement (a):

From the commencement of Knowledge Networking for Educators, there was an expectation of relevant learning, encountering new skills and continuing involvement in a networked community of practice. The learning modules delivered valuable and relevant material, providing challenging and practical experiences for exploration, as well as demonstration. This is best exemplified by referring to Assignment One, which required the development of a digital artefact (a new skill) (Simkin, Digital Artefact and References, 2015). The end product was a short film, but the processes of topic and platform selection (Simkin, Survey Results, 2015), and subsequent artefact creation, were where the challenging practical experience was most evident (Simkin, Artefact Design, 2015). Given the assessment mark allocation gave more credit to the exegesis, the time taken to develop the artefact was excessive, but incredibly fulfilling, despite the compromises that had to be made (Simkin, Exegesis, 2015). Significant learning resulted from mistakes, investigating exciting platforms, conquering fears (for example, peers found hearing their own voice confronting), and technical frustration. Conquering the digital product was a wonderful achievement, celebrated on Twitter by most of the cohort through sharing links. Assessing the work of colleagues for this task also provided a significant, networked learning opportunity (Simkin, Collegial Artefact Critiques, 2015). A valuable addition to this process would have arisen from sharing the exegeses, which described the context, intention and restraints behind the artefact, enabling a deeper level of analysis.

During the course of the semester, this subject presented a range of concepts and required the exploration of a range of knowledge networking tools. Starting with the obligatory introduction (Simkin, Knowledge Networking for Educators, 2015), and progressing to the final module (Simkin, The Future, 2015), the Digitalli blog posts of 2015 document a growth in knowledge mastery, leading to increased wisdom, thereby setting the scene for ongoing growth as a connected educator as defined by Gregor Kennedy (Kennedy, 2014).

The course began by investigating information in the digital age, evaluating the different sources of knowledge, identifying innovative platforms, and challenging participants to re-define terminology and apply it to contemporary learning scenarios (Coutas, 2010). Early in the subject, students encountered a range of digital tools, some new to them, and others well used (Simkin, Digital tools, 2015). This suite of new media tools, covered all aspects of knowledge management from content creation, to content curation, and included collaborative work, and connecting with and developing social networks leading to communities of practice (Simkin, Curation, 2015).

Building on knowledge networking to strengthen school-based classroom engagement and learning was a highly valuable aspect of the course, even for those with prior active involvement in a range of digital platforms (Simkin, 1.1 Connected students, 2015). It enabled both consolidation and revisitation of virtual learning spaces, revived forgotten skills while mastering new ones, and increased overall personal understanding of the philosophies of information management (Simkin, K. C in a C. A, 2015). The crucial need to consider pedagogy, andragogy and learning design when designing tasks was incredibly beneficial. The latter was aptly defined by Tolisano, in scaffolding what learning occurs when a class is involved in an activity such as Skype (Tolisano, 2103).

While the verdict on skills and knowledge gained from this course is overwhelmingly positive, there are some aspects which cannot be evaluated with such a high level of affirmation.  The documenting of networked learning experiences through blogging enables reflection, and ideally, feedback.  The processes required by the learning modules and assessment tasks for INF532, in combination with a very small cohort, meant that the capacity to engage in dialogue through blogging (and the discussion forum) was limited. There was a strong connection between the assessment tasks and blogging, but limited direction to blog within the learning modules. Unlike INF530 and INF536, for example, there was no requirement that peers comment on each other’s blog posts, an attribute that was missed. The digital artefacts were peer assessed, but some people were fairly slow to complete this or did not advise their peers where to find their evaluation (Simkin, Collegial Artefact Critiques, 2015). This was an innovative digital process which did not meet its potential standard for peer learning or the networking expectations held by most participants.

Using a blog to reflect on learning enabled powerful personal reflection, meaningful consideration, and publication of ideas. Sharing links through Twitter resulted in some feedback from followers, but no comments on the posts themselves (Simkin, Tweeting, 2015). This scarcity of feedback was disappointing.

Another aspect of knowledge networking that has been the basis of subjects within this Master of Education course has been the use of the discussion forums. This year information was distributed through the new Interact2 interface, based on the Blackboard learning management system (Simkin, New LMS, 2015). This added a new format for students and staff to conquer. Students found the new discussion format less user-friendly, and feedback was inconsistent. Fewer comments were posted on the forum, and retracing items proved tricky. The email alert within the system did not work as well as last year’s.

Despite these issues, overall the value of this subject is acknowledged. Throughout the semester topics ranged from the playful to the very serious and academic (Simkin, Play & Learning, 2015). Participants developed physical classroom and library spaces, and digital venues such as YouTube channels (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaJmkTMf7-74nzRUDW4e9pg ). Concepts such as the flipped classroom, blended classrooms and flexible learning, which are sometimes just contemporary buzz-words, were productively investigated and compared with personal practice, leading to improvement in learning design (Simkin, Types of Learning, 2015).

Reflective statement (b):

In retracing the course of Knowledge Networks for Educators, there are several components from the learning modules that really resonated. The contents of the first module raised some key issues relevant to personal concern and frustration in attempting to teach twenty-first century skills in a school that remains largely “analogue” in focus despite being well-equipped technologically (Simkin, 1.2 New Culture, 2015).   From dialogue with other students of this course, this is, sadly, too common.

Contemplating the development of digital lives, personally, professionally and for the students encountered in participants’ work, it is hard to imagine that a sound philosophy of communities of practice is not a basic guiding principle in this day and age. Yet for many teachers and administrators, the main focus with technology in classrooms is fear of cyber bullying, rather than the crucial need to model the use of technology and development of C21st skills which include protective behaviours (Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S), 2014). The dichotomy between issues of authenticity and authority in the digital age compared to the past is extreme when considering Floridi’s comment: that humanity has experienced information ages since writing began (Floridi, 2009, p. 153). Modern students need to become the Gutenberg or Turing of these times, by seeking wide-ranging input to create new information (Floridi, 2009, p. 154). Teachers should celebrate the fact that information is socially situated, and socially constructed, and, therefore, instruction needs to be designed to empower people, as opposed to overwhelming them (Lindsey, 2014). Infowhelm is a serious issue with many different names (Bawden & Robinson, 2009). Students should be guided to locate and evaluate information, rather than be restricted to the text-book or teacher notes that many educators insist on mandating as the sole source of information (Simkin, 1.1 Connected students, 2015).

All educators have a unique and critical role to play in assisting their students to develop skills that enable them to cope with the flood of information that is now accessible (Brown & Duguid, 2000, p. 14).  The rapidity of information sharing is well demonstrated by the mesmerising animated gif that introduces the Too Big To Know blog post (Simkin, Too Big To Know, 2015). Infoenthusiasts are excited by the amazing amount of knowledge that may result from this, however, students need to be educated to understand, select, and curate, then network and collaborate in order to problem solve within a learning community, something to which is so well suited to digital information sources and sharing (Floridi, 2009, p. 154).

Thomas and Brown define this as a new culture of learning, invisible, non-traditional in structure and operating within a defined environment (Thomas & Brown, 2011, pp. 17-18).  They acknowledge that playing in such a culture leads to the development of passions and ideas, which, in turn, encourages freedom to research (Thomas & Brown, 2011, pp. 17-18).  The necessity for managed freedom is supported in Douch’s recent blog post, where he postulates that the balustrade at the edge of The Pinnacle (in the Grampians) doesn’t restrict people; instead it is liberating them to go further (Douch, 2015)!

Learning within this new culture cultivates global, digital citizenship, generates feedback leading to improvement for students, and establishes the use of rich and highly textured examples of cross-referencing and communication to form a community of practice made up of the teachers and students within the group (Thomas & Brown, 2011, pp. 22-25). There is a serious problem if teachers are not also learners.

Ruminating on digital artefacts led to an investigation of the best-known creator of such learning objects: Salman Khan (Simkin, Khan Academy, 2015).  Interestingly, while Khan has designed artefacts to teach entire subjects, he does not advocate a world without teachers, rather, he proposes a change to teacher deployment. He proposes that teaching become a team sport where numerous students in a large space collaborate with a number of teachers (Khan, 2012, pp. 197-198). The fluencies of C21st learning are well suited to Khan’s model (Crockett, Jukes, & Churches, 2011).

A thought provoking concept is that of filter bubbles (Pariser, 2013). People must be educated in the manner that algorithms work, and what is typically collected and presented to each one of us separately. The speed at which information is being added to the web in combination with these mining algorithms is a critical C21st skill, that should be included in overall education programs (Simkin, Filter Bubbles, 2015). In fact, Australian teachers are mandated through learning standard 4.5 (Simkin, AITSL, 2015) to use ICT (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2014).

Actor Network Theorists postulate that competence is an effect is passed through organisations as a result of minute translations at mundane levels of everyday knowledge flow patterns (Fenwick, 2010, pp. 27-28). They also state that knowledge must be considered as a rhetoric of contentions (Fenwick, 2010, p. 35). The investigations and analyses of educational processes are more important than the logical meaning of concepts and processes typically applied to analyse education (Fenwick, 2010, p. 44). It is vital that educators think about the accessibility and equity of information (Simkin, ANT, 2015).

Stange’s strange video, filmed through Google Glass, utilises a method of recording that is disconcerting and distracting in the extreme (Stange, 2013). It detracts from the valid points Shirky presents on the premise that knowledge networking is based on having a common interest and working with like-minded people (Simkin, Shirky, 2015). Of necessity, the incorporation of finding like-minded people, connecting with them and following their interests, forms part of this process (Simkin, Shirky, 2015).

New vocabulary has been acquired: glocalisation (Simkin, Fis(c)hbowls etc.!, 2015); “filter bubbles” (Simkin, Filter Bubbles, 2015) and fliperentiated, in relation to excellent design for flipped classrooms(Hirsch, 2014). The latter was shared through the Diigo Knowledge Networks group – a wonderful source of co-created information for members.

In contemplating the growth accruing from the study of Knowledge Networks for Educators, the improvement in and consolidation of personal skills and development of a more focused information philosophy is measurable. It has brought all the learning in this course together to strengthen both educational practice and personal learning connections; a pleasing outcome for those involved.


Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. (2014). Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Retrieved from Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership: http://www.aitsl.edu.au/australian-professional-standards-for-teachers/standards/list

Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S). (2014). Retrieved March 4, 2015, from Microsoft Education: http://www.microsoft.com/education/en-au/leadership/Pages/assessment.aspx

Bawden, D., & Robinson, L. (2009). The Dark Side of Information Overload, Anxiety and Other Paraxes and Pathologies. Journal of Information Science, 35(2), 180-191.

Brown, J., & Duguid, P. (2000). Limits to Information. In J. Brown, & P. Duguid, Social Life of Information (pp. 11-33). Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Coutas, P. (2010, October 8). New Sources of Information. Retrieved from Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/pcoutas/new-sources-of-information

Crockett, L., Jukes, I., & Churches, A. (2011). Literacy is Not Enough, 21st-Century Fluencies for the Digital Age. Corwin.

Douch, A. (2015, May 28). Why Your School Needs Clearly Defined Social Media Policies. Retrieved from Douchy’s Blog onICT and Education: https://andrewdouch.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/why-your-school-needs-clearly-defined-social-media-policies/

Fenwick, T. &. (2010). Actor-network Theory in Education. . Knowledge, Innovation and Knowing in Practice , 24-39.

Floridi, L. (2009). The Information Society and Its Philosophy: An Introduction to the Special issue on “The Philosophy of Information, Its Nature, and Future Developments. The Information Society: An International Journal, 25, 153-158. doi:10.1080/01972240902848583

Hirsch, J. (2014, October 21). “Fliperentiated” Instruction: How to Create the Customizable Classroom. Retrieved from Edutopia: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/fliperentiated-instruction-create-customizable-classroom-joe-hirsch

Kennedy, G. (2014, January 30). Official Ascilite Video: 2013 Conference – Understanding our Present. Retrieved from You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnilKymnPmo&feature=youtu.be

Khan, S. (2012). The One World School House: Education Reimagined. London: Hodder and Staughton.

Lindsey, J. (2014). 1.1 Information environments. Retrieved March 4, 2015, from INF532 Knowledge Networking for Educators: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-289790-dt-content-rid-490057_1/courses/S-INF532_201530_W_D/S-INF532_201530_W_D_ImportedContent_20150211062159/module1/1_2_Discover_philosophy_info_digital_environ.html

Pariser, E. (2013, March 22). Beware Online “Filter Bubbles”. Retrieved from YouTube: http://youtu.be/4w48Ip-KPRs

Simkin, M. (2015, March 07). 1.1 Connected students. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/03/07/module-1-1-being-a-student-in-the-connected-world/

Simkin, M. (2015, March 8). 1.2 New Culture. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/03/08/1-2-a-new-culture-of-learning/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 30). AITSL. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/30/aitsl/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 20). ANT. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/20/ant

Simkin, M. (2015, April 28). Artefact Design. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/04/28/artefact-design/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 19). Collegial Artefact Critiques. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/19/collegial-artefact-critiques/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 20). Curation. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/20/curation/

Simkin, M. (2015, April 25). Digital Artefact and References. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/04/25/digital-artefact/

Simkin, M. (2015, March 10). Digital tools. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/03/10/the-digital-tools-used-in-inf532/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 27). Exegesis. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/27/exegesis/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 19). Filter Bubbles. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/19/module-4/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 24). Fis(c)hbowls etc.! Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/24/fischbowls-etc/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 20). K. C in a C. A. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/20/knowledge-construction-in-a-connected-age/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 17). Khan Academy. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/17/khan-academy-digital-artefacts-and-the-one-world-schoolhouse/

Simkin, M. (2015, February 16). Knowledge Networking for Educators. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/02/16/knowledge-networking-for-educators /

Simkin, M. (2015, May 26). New LMS. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/26/new-lms/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 20). PKM. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/20/398/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 22). Play & Learning. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/22/play-learning/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 20). Shirky. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/20/shirky

Simkin, M. (2015, April 29). Survey Results. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/04/29/survey-results/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 24). The Future. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/24/the-future/

Simkin, M. (2015, April 1). Too Big To Know. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/04/01/too-big-to-know/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 25). Tweeting. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/25/tweeting/

Simkin, M. (2015, May 24). Types of Learning. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2015/05/24/types-of-learning/

Stange, M. (2013, July 9). Blackboard World 2013 Opening Keynote #throughglass. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNyksYKniJY

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. (2011). Arc-of-Life-Learning. A new culture of learning, 17-33.

Tolisano, S. R. (2103, January 27). Learning in the Modern Classroom. Retrieved from Langwitches blog: http://langwitches.org/blog/2013/01/27/learning-in-the-modern-classroom/


Final Assessment Part B


Studying Designing Spaces For Learning has been both challenging and invigorating, with the added bonus of allowing immediate practical application of the processes that have been encountered while exploring the eight modules.  Commencing the intellectual journey when attending a professional workshop with Ewan McIntosh (prior to the course) set the scene for the breadth and depth of potential design thinking process and goals, and the power of innovative and creative workplaces, but real understanding has only emerged from the maelstrom of ideas in recent weeks as the final responses have been formed. The timely arrival of Ewan’s book (unfortunately delayed due to a necessary reprint) has enabled the cognitive circle to be completed (McIntosh, How To Come Up With Great Ideas And Actually Make Them Happen, 2014).


Brown’s Change by Design (Brown, 2009) and the work done by Pilloton, both in education and more general design (Pilloton, 2009) stimulated initial cognitive processes that resulted in constant reflection and leading to practical application as described here .


Defining the differing concepts described as design thinking, exploring the discords and similarities, challenging the tensions and attempting to apply them to specific educational settings was summarised by writing the literature critique. Adapting this new knowledge to education required ongoing reference to conceptual overviews of the role of teachers in designing learning experiences (well summarised by Grift & Major, 2013).


From early in the course it was obvious that design did matter but articluating why and deciding which of the different definitions of design was challenging and a fluid situation arose in terms of resolving personal opinion. It is is only through empirical research that the impact of space on pedagogy can be unequivocally  appreciated (Walker, Brooks, & Baepler, 2011).


In terms of testing out the different processes in the real world, some were readily applicable to specific classroom teaching; others were better suited to implementing change in a physical space. Still others may work better for virtual spaces which are constrained by space, time or geography, so have had to wait (McIntosh, 2010, p. 33). Few places are as fortunate as The Works, where a holistic approach was undertaken to create a new virtual and physical educational experience.


Building collaborative relationships for the purpose of improving teaching and learning outcomes has enabled improved implementation. This was achieved through:



Involving members of the school community the rewriting of the “library story” has proven very powerful and has been successful in redesigning the library space for contemporary learning, as documented in this timeline of images.


Commencing the practical application with both written and filmed observations and making changes in stages has proven beneficial, allowing reflection and consideration before the next thing.


Personal pedagogy has improved due to adopting design thinking processes to lessons, creativity in class and in the library has blossomed, and the spread of innovation has moved from lone rooms within the school towards a sea filled with islands approaching excellence, of which the library space is now one (McIntosh, How To Come Up With Great Ideas And Actually Make Them Happen, 2014, pp. 22-23).






Bennett, P. (2007, May 16). Design Is In The Details . Retrieved June 28, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g0O003kufA&feature=youtu.be


Brown, T. (2009). Change by Design How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. New York: Harper Collins.


Grift, G., & Major, C. (2013). Teachers As Architects Of Learning: Twelve Considerations For Constructing A Successful Learning Experience. Moorabbin: Hawker Brownlow Education.


Hunter, B. (2006). The Espaces Study: Designing, Developing and Managing Learning Spaces For Effective Learning. New Review Of Academic Librarianship, Vol 12, No 2, 61-81.


Locke, M. (2007, August 10). Six Spaces Of Social Media. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from TEST: Notes On How To Make Culture In The Age Of Digital Attention: http://test.org.uk/2007/08/10/six-spaces-of-social-media/


McIntosh, E. (2010). Clicks and Bricks: How School Buildings Influence Future Practice And Technology Adoption. Education Facility Planner Vol 45: Issues 1 & 2, 33-38.


McIntosh, E. (2014). How To Come Up With Great Ideas And Actually Make Them Happen. Edinburgh: NoTosh Publishing.


Pilloton, E. (2009). Design Revolution:100 Products That Empower People. New York: Metropolis Books.


Pilloton, E. (2010). Teaching Design For Change. Retrieved July 8, 2014, from http://www.ted.com/talks/emily_pilloton_teaching_design_for_change


Simkin, M. (2014, August 15). Collaborative Ideation. Retrieved August 28, 2014, from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/?p=170


Simkin, M. (2014, August 15). Collaborative Ideation And Design Brief. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/?p=197


Simkin, M. (2014, September 15). Creative Coffee – Inventive Format. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/?p=211


Simkin, M. (2014, August 13). Designing Thinking Tasks. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/?p=158


Simkin, M. (2014, July 30). Further changes To Our school Library. Retrieved August 27, 2014, from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/?p=147


Simkin, M. (2014, August 2014). Inspirational Sites. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/?p=154


Simkin, M. (2014, September 2). Literature Critique. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/?p=197


Simkin, M. (2014, July 28). Module 1.1. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/?p=111


Simkin, M. (2014, July 7). Module 1.2. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/?p=144


Simkin, M. (2014, July 30). Using A Design Process To Implement A Change. Retrieved from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/?p=132


Simkin, M. (2014, August 29). What Is Your School’s Innovation Strategy? Retrieved August 29, 2014, from Digitalli: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/?p=193


The Works At Walker. (n.d.). Dear Architect: A Vision Of Our Future School. Retrieved July 25, 2014, from http://www.ournewschool.org/assets/pdf/Dear_Architect.pdf


Walker, J. D., Brooks, D. C., & Baepler, P. (2011, December 15). Pedagogy and Space: Empirical Research on New Learning Environments. Educause Review Online. Retrieved October 13, 2014, from http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/pedagogy-and-space-empirical-research-new-learning-environments


Creative Coffee – Inventive Format!

Well, I tried!!

Here is the Twitter feed attempt:

Creative cooffee twitter Stream begins Creative cooffee twitter Stream 3 Creative cooffee twitter Stream 2

In the end two sessions were held with teachers from elsewhere who could not make the same time and place. I have blogged about this here: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2014/09/14/testdrive-for-creative-coffee/.

The process was altered somewhat for the session held at school. This was an event advertised on the school wide learning management system which has bulletin boards in all areas, and by email and face to face invitations to teaching and administrative staff. Of the adult attendees most are not regular library users, and in one case, a participant had not been into the space for about 8 years.

I began with a reading from Imagine a Place by Sarah L Thomson, paintings by Rob Gonsalves.

Imagine image The text selected reads:

imagine a place….

….where words shelter you,

ideas uphold you, and

thoughts lead you

to the secret

inside the labyrinth (pages 19 – 20)

This gave a broader framework for the conversations and brainstorming that followed than I had allowed for my other participants on the Friday. Conversations were broad and enthusiastic – and quite hard for the online attendees to hear. They used their time for a “chat room” discussion of their own – and from which I saw my space through other eyes! (Thanks so much for the input Deb and Liz) here is a record of their chat:

liz eckert

I’m finding it hard to hear what the students are saying I’m catching phrases here & there but not at lot

12:58 PM


Me too. I did hear one of them mention a fountain!

Lost the sound

12:59 PM

liz eckert

The joys of trying out different tech.

1:00 PM


Lovely to have a view into another school though

1:00 PM

liz eckert


love the flags – full sized hanging in the library

1:00 PM


We have someone taking Zumba outside – Mental Health week

1:01 PM

liz eckert

I asked my Yr 8 students this morning for ideas about what they would change about their classroom  & got some interesting answers –

they want single desks (allows for re-arranging)

1:03 PM


There’s a lot of natural light in your Library Margaret!

1:03 PM

liz eckert

*re-arranging; laptops &other devices; bigger classrooms (we are a loud group when we get going); they want to listen to music; able to go into the breakout spaces in the library more often; more comfortable furniture; make the classroom brighter; different colours on the wall

1:05 PM


The feedback is teachers and students like our library, but think it can be too noisy.

1:07 PM

liz eckert

the bright colours on the wall idea that my students came up with this morning was one that I wanted to see if Margaret’s school would change as well. Thought it was rather an interesting idea

1:08 PM


Margaret – were they drawing ideas or writing them?

Some common themes were largely space related and in terms of practicality not really feasible while others can probably be implemented immediately.

Creative Coffee 1 Creative Coffee 2 Creative Coffee 3 Creative Coffee 4

Not so feasible:

folio sized shelving

pet friendly

large work desks

On the new bucket list:

gold fish

student art/achievements work on display

student made book ends



On the “I wish” list

author/artist in residence

sumptuous furnishings

book lined

Short term wishes – some in train:

new blinds (over the summer?)

fresh paint/light colours

comfortable furniture

coffee machine

bean bags/floor cushions

colourful furniture

Already provided:

lap top lockers/charging

tablet trolley (but could do with more)

plants (relocate?)

book-related posters

Unlikely or further down the track:

new carpet

bigger desks

milkshake machine

A segment of the discussion on vimeo.

Given that the Twitter feed did not result in any other take up, the overall end result was enlightening and a great way to review our situation. The concept of examining a redesign of our library experience is looking good. The Creative Coffee enabled brainstorming by Tim Brown’s rules allowing participants and Library staff the opportunity to tell a new story (Brown, 2009 p138-139)


Brown, T. (2009). Change by Design How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. New York: Harper Collins.

I have visited the following blogs and posted a comment (and will possibly comment on more):

http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/jdtchicago/2014/09/15/creative-coffee-morning/#comment-19 James Thomas
http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/lisa/2014/09/14/creative-coffee-morning/#comment-23 Lisa Plenty
http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/plee4/2014/09/13/creative-drinks-afternoon/ Patricia Lee
http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/jesoods5/2014/09/13/task-5-coffee-chat/ Heather Jesuadian

http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2014/09/16/creative-morning-breakfast-theme-22-colour/#comment-13 Yvette Drager







Collaborative Ideation and Design Brief

Design thinking is best effected as a team activity and building the team is valuable (Eden, Elliott, Matzke, & Wu, p. 3). Sharing immersion notes with two Teacher-Librarian colleagues, and considering the observations recorded to date, has enabled identification of a couple of “rich seams” waiting for further investigation and ultimately improvement. The observations have been translated into insights, then into alterations and services and thence to the following design brief (Brown T. K., 2011, p. 382).Pilloton describes a ready (context) set (toolbox) go (actions) style of design brief  (Pilloton, 2009, pp. 11-12).

the context in which the brief is set
the context in which the brief is set

Ready – Context:

A more user-centric physical environment is required. Things requiring adjustment relate to replacing the old-fashioned layout and styles of seating and work space and addressing a lack of possession storage available to students.


the tool box applied to the context
the tool box applied to the context

Set: the toolbox:

To ascertain a design brief it has been important to experience the physical space through the eyes of the students, teachers and parents who access our building.  Unlike the example of crawling under tables to see a child’s eye view (Bennett, 2007), a range of methods has been applied to the task, commencing with an observation http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2014/08/06/observation-entering-our-library/ . Using discussion, usually with small groups and individuals, as well as ideating with my CSU team members, there has been an attempt to ascertain what needs to occur, as well as tapping into co-creation processes (McIntosh & O’Connell, 2014).

As our Library does not operate in isolation of other services and environments, members of the Library team have spent time walking through the two newest buildings on our campus. Positive notes reflect colour schemes, some of the furnishings, and the degree of natural light in these newer buildings. Comparing our forty plus year-old surroundings has led to a degree of envy, a list of aspirations, and noting short comings that would need to be avoided when our planned renovation and extension is designed.

Within the constraints of budget, staffing and building, the four rules of designing have been considered: human, ambiguity, re-design and tangible (McIntosh & O’Connell, 2014).

“How Might We” (HMW) questions were applied: (Method Card: How Might We Questions).HMW make immediate change to  improve engagement?

HMW raise curiousity?

HMW stay within the financial constraints?

Ways researched for this design brief
Ways researched for this design brief













Conclusions acknowledged that some alterations can be effected now with little cost, and several of these have been implemented already as can be seen at http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2014/08/05/further-changes-to-our-school-library/.  Change must result in improvement of teaching and learning outcomes similar to that described by 360 Steelcase in their white paper on engagement in new classroom settings (360 Degrees, n.d)

Comparing new spaces to old in terms of engagement by stakeholders
Comparing new spaces to old in terms of engagement by stakeholders


Source: (360 Degrees, p. 4)

actionable tactics
actionable tactics

Go – actions:

Steelcase offers a range of furniture solutions allowing for flexibility. Their Node furnishings, as shown in the image below centre, seem to offer much,including somewhere for the problematic possessions bags, which students sometimes need to bring with them (360 Degrees, n.d). The cost of this specific furniture currently prohibitive.

Chair, desk and bag storage all in one!
Chair, desk and bag storage all in one!



This is what needs to be done first


Low cost measures have been implemented involving:

Purchasing “ghost stools” from Aldi.

Repurposing a bench table by adding 300mm to its height to suit the stools. (This releases the foyer for bag racks, which can be built on site).

Moving tables to a combination of clusters, individual and communal spaces.

Swapping a block shelf that was used for reference material with 5 spinners that housed biographies  – freeing up floor space.

While most of the consideration to date has related to physical spaces, there is also a need for the virtual spaces set up by as part of our information services, as this is one way of supporting all stakeholders anywhere and anytime. Prototyping for service solutions, which rely on more complex social interactions, is far more difficult (Brown T. , 2009, p. 98). Iterations have the advantage of zero budget implications (Brown T. , 2009, p. 99).

At times the volumes of necessary changes seem overwhelming but one just needs to stop and consider the potential of our students to become passionate learners through the avenues we create for them as part of their educational journey (Ripp, 2014, p. 118).


360 Degrees.   (n.d.). How classroom Design Affects Student Engagement: Active learning   Post-Occupancy Engagement. White Paper. Retrieved August 12, 2014, from http://www.steelcase.com/en/products/Category/Educational/Documents/Post%20Occupancy%20Whitepaper.FINAL.pdf

Bennett, P.   (2007, May 16). Design is in the Details. Retrieved August 9, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g0O003kufA&feature=youtu.be

Brown, T. (2009).   Change by Design How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires   Innovation. New York: Harper Collins.

Brown, T. K.   (2011). Change by Design. Journal Of Product Innovation Management,(28(3),   ), 381-383. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5885.2011.00806.x

Eden, W.,   Elliott, A., Matzke, J., & Wu, J. (n.d.). School design With design   thinking: Aplha Cindy Avitia High School. Retrieved August 12, 2014, from   http://www.alphapublicschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/ALPHAPublicSchoolsCaseStudy.Final_.pdf

McIntosh, E.,   & O’Connell, J. (2014). Design Thinking Process [module 3.5]. Retrieved   August 9, 2014, from http://digital.csu.edu.au/inf536/module-3-studio-teaching-and-space-design/3-5-design-thinking-process/

Method Card: How   Might We Questions. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2014, from Design School   Stanford: http://dschool.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/HMW-METHODCARD.pdf

Pilloton, E. (2009). Design Revolution:100 Products That Empower People. New York: Metropolis Books.

Ripp, P. (2014). Passionate   Learners: Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Learners . Virginia Beach   Powerful Learning Press.

Vision Statement: A Taxonomy of Innovation . (2014, January). Retrieved from Harvard Business Review: http://hbr.org/2014/01/a-taxonomy-of-innovation/ar/1



Ideation team: Sara Rapp and Helen Stower

Library Team

     Staff: Sue Smith and Erica James

    Teachers: Belinda Nichols and Neil MacLean

     Student: Krystal Parrish

I have left a comment on: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/meghastieinf536/2014/08/18/blog-task-3-reimagining-the-staff-common-room/#comment-7

and: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2014/08/15/assessment-3-design-brief/#comment-11





Observation – entering our Library

A visitor is given no directional signage to reception or anywhere else from the gate on the main driveway. There is no path through the “walk” gate and between the gateway and the edge of the library is slushy at this time of the year. I pass a large glass door before I reach the “main” entrance. It has two doors, and it is not clear which door is the one that opens. Parent visitor arrived during my observations and kept pushing the wrong door (and it’s a pull door).


Observations on the way to work
Observations on the way to work


The entry foyer is in many ways dead space. Junior students, who should enter with their teacher during class time, often wait here out of the weather – which blocks the entry. Sometimes it is a place for finishing lunch as the current policy is no food. Is it welcoming?

Next entry space fronts the visitor with lap top charging lockers, and a book display.

The path to the “Reading” area is obvious, warm and inviting.

The “Reference” area has a less obvious a pathway.

A welcoming face at the circulation desk would be nice addition, but staffing circumstances make that difficult to achieve.

Potential family tour groups are brought through another door, which brings them straight into the “Reading” area;  first impression is warm, welcoming and easy to navigate.

Limited options for collaborative space in reference end; no individual options in reading area.

Information screens generally appropriately sited except for 24 hour news screen.

Where most traffic flow goes
Where most traffic flow goes


Using a Design Process to Effect a Change

The Senior Campus “Reference area” (see left of map below) is not serving the purpose of enhancing learning. It needs to cater for multiple groups ranging from Year 6 (11 year olds) to Year 12 (18 year olds) simultaneously in any school day. It is currently very traditional in layout, partly due to elderly infrastructure.

Floor Plan c.2011

The challenges of design in all its breadth are outlined in the introductory video for this course (MacIntosh, 2014):

The joys of considering future possibilities allows a broad range of potentially transformational divergent thinking (Brown, 2009) in stark contrast to the frustrations of the real-world limitations.

The space highlighted in this post is far too small for current needs, and the building was constructed well before the Internet. Capacity to fulfil current needs falls well short of requirements.

Future needs for such a space at our school have already been considered here: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2014/07/30/2013-submission-to-the-strategic-planning-architect-for-the-next-series-of-capital-planning/ .

An immediate need arises due to recent and impending changes to resource provision. These are summarised in the image below:

The issues surrounding our Reference space.



The issues surrounding our Reference space.

The challenge posed in Design and Destiny is to raise the angle at which the world is viewed, and use the resulting observations to create beauty within reason and invent a new story (Starck, 2007).  Most working in this area acknowledge multidisciplinary teams as providing the best outcomes, both in terms of the ideation process, but also in terms of producing an innovative result that is collectively owned and for which all are responsible (Brown, 2009, p. 28) . Such development also allows for greater divergence in the brainstorming phase (Seidel & Fixson, 2013, p. 21).

The process for changing this space commenced with a consideration of the various needs presented in relation to the physical constraints and in terms of improving teaching and learning outcomes. The brainstorming identified a number of potential solutions and there is the potential for immediate improvement, as well as a more futuristic scenario in the result envisaged.

As with any transformation that requires physical relocation of objects, the importance of working through a design process is critical for three reasons:

  1. Allowing for full consideration of the needs and the effects of the possible solutions
  2. Moving heavy furniture or removing fixtures involves other  people’s time
  3. Educational budgets are always limited

When some administrators are questioning the need to have a school library in the future, success is critical.

The changes:

Move most of the Reference books either into general non-fiction or onto different shelving. Move the current Reference shelving to the Reading Area to house Biography.  This will open up the floor space in the reference area and add display space to the reading area, which making Biographies easier to find. Spinners currently housing Biographies to be dotted through the Reference space and contain encyclopedias. Status – in train and awaiting workmen.

Purchase some alternative seating to allow for different groupings. Status – commenced with purchase of 6 “ghost stools” from Aldi.

Move current table layout into a variety of layouts across the wider space. Status – awaiting workmen.

Set up mini maker space near available power point – where the magazines are now sited. Status – as above.


Brown, T. (2009). Change by Design How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. New York: Harper Collins.

MacIntosh, E. (2014, July 2014). Introduction To Designing Spaces For Learning. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf0yI6zPvnA

Seidel, V., & Fixson, S. (2013). Adopting Design Thinking In Novice Multidisciplinary Teams: The Application and Limits of Design Methods and Reflexive Practices. Journal Of Product Innovation Management, 30, 19-33.

Starck, P. (2007, March). Design and Destiny. Philippe Starck Thinks Deep On Design. Retrieved July 5, 2014, from http://www.ted.com/talks/philippe_starck_thinks_deep_on_design

I have added a comment to

  1. Matt’s blog at http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/mattives/2014/07/29/designing-spaces-for-learning/#comment-17
  2. Greg’s blog at http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/leadinglearning/2014/07/29/that-problem-space/#comment-15
  3. Yvette’s blog at http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2014/07/30/assessment-1/#comment-2




Critical reflection

INF530 has presented wide ranging, far-seeing, ideologically challenging and educationally inspiring material. The content modules have provided extensive opportunities for professional growth.

A summary diagram of this course might look like this:

Summary pf my learning
Summary pf my learning


Each segment draws  together my learning from the subject modules.. The interweaving and interaction of the various topics  has combined into a powerful ideology of knowledge networks and digital innovation applicable to my practice. The pedagogy within each module has been delivered in a multimodal manner, where the modality has resulted in an ensemble of connected parts, in comparison to the linear mode of traditional academic discourse  (Kress, 2010, p. 93).

References and key learnings for this diagram:

Rationale for the digital:

  •   Nathaniel Bott   School is boring  (21st century learning: Nathaniel Bott at TEDxLaunceston, 2013)


  •   John Seely Brown: Teachers need to create epiphanies for kids (Brown,    2012)


  •   Preservation is vital (even for Tweets!) (Allen,    2013)


  •   Curation needs teaching (Conole, 2012, p. 48)
Exploration of the innovative:

  •   Virtual worlds:   Student  metaverse experiences versus ours (O’Connell    & Groom, 2010, p. 40)
  •   Digital Blooms:  ties it all together (Iowa State University Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, 2011)


  •   Creativity (Bellanca & Brandt, 2010): referred to by most contributors.
  •   Noodle tools (Abilock,    2014)
  •   C21st education (Crockett,  Jukes, & Churches, 2011)
Necessary Skills:

  •   Curation (Conole, 2012, p. 48)
  •   Coding: “The next Darwin is more likely to be a data wonk” (Weinberger, 2011, p. 195)
  •   Gamification: the ultimate conversion of C21st skills  (O’Connell    & Groom, 2010, p. 48)
  •   Collaboration  ubiquitous recommendation (Bellanca    & Brandt, 2010) (Crockett,    Jukes, & Churches, 2011)

  •   Learning design: Compendium LD etc. from Chapter 9 (Conole, 2012)
  •   Effective use of technology: focuses on the desired outcome

http://blog.williamferriter.com/2013/07/11/technology-is-a-tool-not-a-learning-outcome/  (Ferriter, 2013)

  •   Learning analytics and big data: powerful combination for refining learning experiences and outcomes


The Internet  provides a pivotal platform for innovative teaching, yet too many teachers are not investing in a meaningful manner. Effectively utilising this limitless and powerful resource would solve Nathaniel Bott’s boredom at school (21st century learning: Nathaniel Bott at TEDxLaunceston, 2013) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI9TiuVHc0A&feature=youtu.be and enable the development of C21st skills: collaboration, creativity, digital literacy, solution fluency and information fluency (Crockett, Jukes, & Churches, 2011, p. 16). However, the new should not be confused with the effective: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2014/05/17/confusing-the-new-with-the-effective-brabazon-dear-greene-purdy-2009-p-170-blog-post-4/

This reluctance to implement technological solutions in the classroom is leading to a professional “digital divide” which is of enormous concern as discussed at: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2014/03/22/a-very-big-hurdle/ . Further investigations within the learning modules indicated the range of tools available to teachers to design, plan and deliver meaningful C21st lessons (Abilock, 2014). Ultimately, education needs to develop a philosophy of practice based on the new paradigm: a digital pedagogy.

Choosing a digital essay topic


Choosing a digital essay topic




Digital essay: http://pedagogyfornow.weebly.com/

The practical application our learning has resulted from participatory practice: blogging, forums and collaborative curation. The subject has enabled transfer of developing skills to the range of work places represented by the student body. The power of the INF530 professional learning networks can be demonstrated by these screen shots of our networked practice:

Twitter connections
Twitter connections


Facebook interaction
Facebook interaction
The most powerful of all - the blog roll
Resource sharing Resource sharing with Diigo
The most powerful of all - the blog roll
The most powerful of all – the blog roll

Taking such infinite issues and converting them into one digital essay has been a challenge, and the end product is controlled by the restraints of the chosen medium (Weebly) and the word limit. The same frustrations arise with preparing this critical reflection.

These are the realities we, in turn, impose on our students. The opportunities for immersion in one sphere of inquiry, the need to brush off the skills of referencing and citing, and the need for sustained reading of a range of information has all promoted personal growth, as can be seen in the peer to peer “discussions” and the development of my skill set as evidenced within my thinkspace blog. The challenge now is to apply my newfound knowledge to improve education beyond my  own teaching, because I have been given some wonderful keys to unlock the potential of C21st students.



21st century   learning: Nathaniel Bott at TEDxLaunceston. (2013, December 5).   Retrieved March 10, 2014, from You Tube:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI9TiuVHc0A&feature=youtu.be

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