Sarah Elliott’s Blog

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Archive for the ‘Learning Journal’ Category

Information Process Models

Posted by sarahelliott on May 25, 2009

OK, maybe I’m turning into a TL geek (!) but I can’t help it, I am really enjoying reading about Kuhlthau’s ISP and the I-Search process! It’s as if I ‘ve developed the itch that Ken Macrorie is often cited as referring to…
From Kuhlthau’s model, I really like the emphasis that is placed on the affective side of the research process. I can identify in myself the feelings that she lists for each stage of the process. Undoubtedly, I have been struck by anxiety, doubt and confusion and those negative feelings have become far more positive as I have made progress and neared closure on my assignments. Of course, they all returned when I was nervously awaiting my first assessment mark! However, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that she stops her information model at search closure/ presentation – I find myself asking what about the rest? What about the guidance for learners on what happens once you’ve collected the information for your focus?…
The I-Search model is one that I can really imagine working for learners of all ages. Its apparently simple nature is one that I believe students would be really comfortable working with. It is prescriptive in terms of getting students to reflect on all elements of the search process. In a way, I can imagine students all blogging away to log their thoughts for their I-Search papers. I-Search represents genuine student-centred learning. Learners are given far more ownership of their work than with more traditional research styles, as they are given real choice.
Inevitably, the learners will become more personally involved in their projects and therefore more engaged. I can’t help but think that perhaps this should have been the style that was used for our second assignment. Information Process Models could have been the overarching topic, we could have read through various general information on that and from there, determined what we found genuinely interesting. Then we could have formed a focus of our own within the main topic.
I am really interested in I-Search – it seems like such an applicable process and one that truly encourages metacognition. I would love to pursue it further, but it is so difficult to find the time to do more than the necessary as we are required to write about 3 information process models. I hate the idea of ‘doing the necessary reading’ – if anything, in all the reading that I have done about information literacy and inquiry and constructivism… this is a notion that we should be seeking to avoid – so why doesn’t the course practice what its preaching on this?…
Tied into this idea of choice and interest and engaging learners, why are we all required to write traditional style research papers? We are individuals with different strengths and weaknesses. We are learning about learning styles, multiple intelligences and student-led learning, yet we are all required to churn out the same kind of final product. What if someone thinks there is a different (more creative) style to present their findings in?
I feel like I’m learning to think more critically, which is fantastic!!! I  am so happy and so taken by this course in so many ways, but at the same time I am beginning to feel a little disappointed that we are all expected to fit one mould. I would love to see more scope for personal interest.

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Posted by sarahelliott on February 25, 2009

Well, wow, what a first day on here! I love the fact that as part of our course we are required to create our own blog. Just by being given that instruction, I have already learned so much. I have never created a blog before, although I did know what they were! 🙂 But, here I am blogging away, adding posts, tagging posts, embedding videos, adding different widgets (a new term for me) …
I would never have imagined that this is what the course involved. I am loving this whole new learning experience although, perhaps getting a little carried away with this aspect… hmm, must get reading soon…
From the teacher-librarian side of things, I think that this exercise has made me realise how easy blogs are to use and I’m beginning to think about the potential that they could and should have in schools. An excellent way to communicate digitally, a fantastic resource for encouraging students to write and even more importantly to think and reflect.

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The beginning of long journey…

Posted by sarahelliott on February 24, 2009

This is me!

This is me!

 So, here I am at the start of what seems like an almost impossible journey… I’m beginning my Master of Education in Teacher Librarianship at Charles Sturt University in Australia. For those of you who know me, you may be thinking “Australia? What?”. Of course, as I’m living in Norway, this is an online distance course. Something that I would never have thought I could have the motivation to complete, but this is one course that I am so genuinely interested in that I am determined to succeed!

It’s going to be a long journey and I don’t expect that it’ll be an easy one, but with the help and support of my wonderful husband, I hope that it will be an enjoyable and enriching experience.

Like any explorer, I am filled with both excitement and trepidation. I have a lot to learn and a long way to go!

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