INF506 Evaluative report – how deep was the learning?

INF506 Evaluative Statement:

Evidence of meeting the learning objectives…

How effectively we build and maintain relationships determines the success we experience in our roles as Information Professionals. Without those relationships – there is no work. Social networking provides a virtual world in which we can deepen those connections, work on those relationships, be more available as information professionals. The learning modules of INF506 are designed to develop an understanding of social networking technologies, policy and procedures, and how to critically assess their usage to connect, communicate, collaborate and create.

To demonstrate my deepening understanding of social networking technologies and examine their features and functionality, I have immersed myself in a range of those technologies and used my online learning journal (OLJ) to explore the issues surrounding facebook for schools, promoting ethical behaviour online through edmodo, and using twitter analytics to understand networks.

In my OLJ post titled Edmodo, school libraries and promoting ethical online behaviour (Hogg, 2016a), I used the American Association of School Librarians’ “Standards for the 21st-Century Learner” to explore the learning opportunities of Edmodo newusing the social networking platform, edmodo. School libraries have an opportunity to address these standards by incorporating appropriate social networking platforms in their library teaching programs (Agosto and Abbas, 2011) and I have subsequently established edmodo groups for a range of purposes within my school library.

Edmodo is a safe online platform to provide students with the opportunity to explore the social networking practices of posting and liking within group and subgroup membership. With supervision provided by the owner of group, a teacher or teacher librarian, can nurture the skill set of writing and responding to online conversation threads. Edmodo also has many integrated features and embedded applications that give students the opportunity to develop their information and communication technology skill set.

To understand the theory and practice of Library 2.0 and participatory library service I have researched and analysed the work of State Library NSW and State Library Victoria and written about these libraries in my OLJ post Social media and Web 2.0 Libraries (Hogg, 2016c).

Both of these libraries have a strong presence across a range of social media platforms and are great examples of how the use of social media can enhance their core business.

  1. Both libraries have strong brand connections that are maintained on these platforms.
  2. They promote the library’s resources, services and events and provide key information direct to clients.
  3. The social media accounts are well maintained and provide another point of contact for users.
  4. They engage volunteers to participate in projects related to library collections.
  5. They engage users by facilitating discussion groups and offer collaborative work opportunities.
  6. Create the impression of modern, progressive, responsive Library 2.0.

To evaluate social networking technologies and software to support informational and collaborative needs of workgroups and communities, I completed a project utilising a range of social networking technologies to build a teacher learning community. This provided me with an opportunity to become familiar with social media policy, theory related to developing Communities of Practice (CoP), leadership issues in establishing a CoP. This project also provided the vehicle to demonstrate an understanding of the social, cultural, educational, ethical, and technical management issues that exist in a socially networked world, and how information policy is developed and implemented to support such issues.

This project and the course content on Library 2.0 led to my further exploration of the use of social media by school and public libraries. This research found the authors Agosto and Abbas, and my OLJ post Teens, libraries and social networking (Hogg, 2016d). Teens use social media to develop and connect within their social networks (Agosto & Abbas, 2009). Much of this is bidirectional information sharing and social interaction. Attempting to tap into this social networking for young adults is a new challenge for library services.

As schools strive to continuously improve and evolve as learning organisations, it makes sense to implement mechanisms to improve relationships and communication structures within these teacher communities (Barth, 1991; Ferriter, 2010). Improving schools involves change (Boyd-Dimock, 1992). The use of social networking has a range of benefits that support these endeavours and enhance the 21st century skills of teaching staff (Arendt, 2009; Baird & Fisher, 2005; Bradley, 2015; Kivunja, 2014). INF506 has been a vehicle for me to experience deeper learning in using social networking tools for more than just social participation, to develop stronger connections with an expanding professional learning network and to explore the significant challenges of building school-based teacher learning communities (McLaughlin & Talbert, 2006).

INF506 Reflective Statement:social-network-background-with-icons_23-2147497535

Developing as an information professional…

To achieve deeper learning (as defined by William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 2013) involves

  • the mastering of core academic content,
  • to think critically and solve complex problems,
  • communicate effectively,
  • work collaboratively,
  • learn how to learn,
  • develop academic mindsets

The core academic content of INF506 has helped me to understand that being a Librarian 2.0 is about mindset, transferable skills and interpersonal strengths (Adams, 2007; Partridge, 2011; Partridge, Lee & Munro, 2010). Brabazon (2014) suggests that the role of librarians is to ‘reintermediate the information landscape with regard to quality and relevance’. The important characteristics here are flexibility – to adapt to a changing information landscape; openness – to change in technologies, learning theories and pedagogies; willingness – to connect and collaborate and support the learning of users; inquisitiveness – to explore new models of utilising information and library spaces. Social networking technologies are a means to enable information professionals to lead lifelong learning as a participant and role model, rather than languishing in library models of a century that is past. INF506 has provided an opportunity to explore these potentials and expand by professional learning network.

The learning modules of INF506 have confirmed that the knowledge and skills needed to be a Librarian 2.0 are not achieved in a vacuum but require the development of underlying dispositions and behavioural capacities to connect and collaborate in order to embody lifelong learning. Librarian 2.0 needs self regulation, adaptability and tenacity (Hallam, 2014) to gain the skills needed to support users of a variety of technologies and help them navigate the information tsunami that the internet has afforded. In fact, Partridge (2011) posits that Librarian 2.0 is more about attitude and thinking than it is about books and cataloguing. It’s about branding and profile. INF506 gave me the opportunity to farm my digital footprint and reflect on my participation on a range of social networking platforms for a leaner professional profile.

For INF506, the opportunity to think critically and solve complex problems was provided by the Social Networking Report assignment. This assignment required the design and implementation of a unique social networking project to support the information, learning, social and organisational needs of a group of people. It was a practical task that required the implementation of a real project. My assignment involved collaborating on a project to explore the use of social networking technologies to develop a Community of Practice (CoP) within my college. Analysing participation and engagement amongst my staff provided many opportunities to connect and collaborate in both the real and virtual worlds.

Using a Facebook group for INF506, alongside exploring the many social networking technologies that are the subject of facebook-logoinquiry in the course content, provided a range of opportunities to make new connections and to communicate effectively and work collaboratively with other students in the course, as well as my colleagues and students. I am now using these technologies more efficiently and with a clearer agenda and skill set. The methodology of this subject has also widened my knowledge of “learning how to learn”.

In addition to all these areas of learning, INF506 provided the chance to develop a deeper academic mindset regarding the underlying theory of online social networks. The assignment project led to research Bandura’s Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 2011) and began an ongoing project to learn more about the challenges of developing teacher Communities of Practice (Wenger-Trayner, 2015) and the challenges of Open Leadership (Hogg, 2016b). Learning communities build knowledge by providing a “social life” for information, and this gives teachers an opportunity to turn data into new information through discussion and reflection (Brown & Duguid, 2000). It would seem obvious that school teaching staff should be members of a learning community within their schools, yet the very nature of teaching is that it is an isolated activity, so if we are to promote change in teaching practice, and professionally develop teachers who are already on busy schedules (Cochrane, 2013), and shift thinking to a CoP, then the opportunities afforded by the use of social networking tools can provide both asynchronous and synchronous opportunities to access busy teachers and empower them to build social capital (Bourdieu, 2011) through supporting their efforts to participate in professional development delivered via these tools. Participating in professional conversation, accessing professional reading, being provided with opportunities to participate in professional learning – can all be established through social networking channels (Goodyear et al, 2014; Hay, 2010).


Abram, S. (2005). Web 2.0, huh?! Library 2.0, librarian 2.0. Information Outlook, Vol. 9(12), pp. 44–46.

Agosto, D.E. & Abbas, J. (ed) (2011) Teens, libraries and social networking : what Librarians need to know. Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO.

Arendt, A. (2009). Social Media Tools and the Policies Associated with Them, Best Practices in Policy Management Conference. Utah Valley University, November. Retrieved from:

Bandura, A. (2011) Social learning theory. [online] Available at:

Baird, D.E. & Fisher, M. (2005) Neomillennial user experience design strategies: utilizing social networking media to support “always on” learning styles. Journal of Educational Technology Systems. Sept.1, 2005.

Barth, R.S. (1991). Restructuring schools: some questions for teachers and principals. Phi Delta Kappan. 73(2), pp. 123-128.

Bourdieu, P. (2011). The forms of capital.(1986). Cultural theory: An anthology, 81-93. Retrieved from:

Boyd-Dimock, V. (1992) Creating a context for change. Issues …about Change. Vol.2, No.2. [online] Available at:

Brabazon, T. (2014). The disintermediated librarian and a reintermediated future. Australian Library Journal. Vol. 63 no.3, pp. 191-205.

Bradley, P. (2015) Social media for creative libraries. London : Facet Publishing.

Brown, J.S., & Duguid, P. (2000). The social life of information. Cambridge, MA : Harvard Business School Press.

Cochrane, T. & Narayan, V. (2013) Redesigning professional development: reconceptualising teaching using social learning technologies. Research in Learning Technology. Vol. 21, 2013.

Ferriter, W. (2010) Using social media to reach your community. Educational Leadership, Dec, 2010, Vol.68(4), p.87-88

Goodyear, V.A.; Casey, A. & Kirk, D. (2014) Tweet me, message me, like me: using social media to facilitate pedagogical change within an emerging community of practice. Sport, Education and Society, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 7, 927-943, DOI:

Hardy, I. (2008) The impact of policy upon practice: an Australian study of teachers’ professional development. Teacher Development. Vol.12, (2) pp.103-113.

Hallam, G. (2014) Victorian public libraries : our future, our skills : research report. Melbourne : State Library of Victoria. Available online at:

Hogg, D. (2016a) Edmodo, school libraries and promoting ethical online behaviour. [online] Available at:

Hogg, D. (2016b) Open leadership : the social media challenge. Available at:

Hogg, D. (2016c) Social media and web 2.0 libraries. [online] Available at:

Hogg, D. (2016d) Teens, libraries and social networking. [online] Available at:

King, D. L. (2007, July 11). Basic competencies of a 2.0 librarian, take 2. Available at:

Kivunja, C. (2014). The use of social media technologies as novel ways to teach and to promote learning. Proceedings of the e Skills for Knowledge Production and Innovation Conference 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, 551-564. Available at:

McLaughlin, M.W. & Talbert, J.E. (2006) Building school-based teacher learning communities: professional strategies to improve student achievement. New York:Teachers College Press.

Partridge, H. (2011) Librarian 2.0 : it’s all in the attitude! In Mueller, Dawn (Ed.) Declaration of Interdependence : the Proceedings of the ACRL 2011 Conference, Association of College and Research Libraries, Philadelphia, PA. [online] Available at:

Partridge, H., Lee, J., & Munro, C. (2010). Becoming librarian 2.0: the skills, knowledge and attributes required by library and information professionals in a web 2.0 world (and beyond). Library trends v59. No. 1-2, pp. 315-335. Available at:

Senge, P., Roberts, C., Ross, R., & Smith, B. (1994) The fifth discipline field book: Strategies and tools for building a learning organisation. New York: Doubleday.

Wenger-Trayner, E. & Wenger-Trayner, B. (2015) Communities of practice: a brief introduction. [online] Available at:

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (2013) What is deeper learning? [online] Available at:

INF506 reflecting on twitter analytics

Working through the social networking tools module of INF506 started me on a journey of evaluation of the opportunities provided by micro-blogging and how these platforms have affected my PLN (personal/professional learning network). It’s been a long while since I thought about just how much I rely on twitter to keep in touch with thought leaders in education, new professionaltwitter profile May 2016 reading, conference events and other opportunities to connect and learn from fellow educators across the world. What that looks like might be just about reading and lurking, researching links and information shared, or it might be participating in twitter chats and following hashtags with a few notifications set up to pull the information to me instead of having to reach out to get it. There is something quite unique about twitter’s role in education in this century.

Twitter has completely shattered information access hierarchies… and social hierarchies too. In essence, twitter is accessible to anyone who has access to the internet and that access is global. This simple communication tool with a restriction of 140 characters has played a significant role in a global information revolution. For me it has provided opportunities that have been enabled by members of my PLN which have had a direct, positive effect on the learning outcomes of my students and my colleagues.

Within the INF506 module there was a section on twitter analytics and there are a wide range of tools to choose from to analyse your twitter account and reveal how twitter connections work. So it was time to have a play with these tools and see what the analytics revealed. The perfect opportunity came in the form of a new Australian chapter of the twitter chat #EnviroEd on Wednesday evenings which is hosted by some of the leaders of Environment Centres run by NSW Department of Education in various places across NSW. I have an interest in this topic but it also gave me an opportunity to see how the chat was reflected in my analytics amongst the normal usage of my twitter account.

SociovizThis graphic was created using Socioviz and provides a sociogram of my account within a set time frame – in this example it was set for a week either side of the #enviroED chat. Socioviz can reveal the interconnections between users on the twitter platform and the size of the dots indicate the frequency of contact for those members of the network. In this example, all the yellow dots on the right side of the graphic are people who participated in the #EnviroEd chat in the week of the snapshot.

At one level this is just an interesting diagram for a personal twitter account but these analytics have the potential to be very useful when analysing social media usage for schools and libraries – finding the links in school communities and providing information about library users. Drilling down into data can provide information to inform decisions about content and timing of usage of social media accounts and how best to manage those accounts.

Twitter analytics engagement

Of course twitter has its own analytics features which can provide lots of information about how the account is engaging with followers and the traction being achieved for content that is posted. Knowing your audience and when they interact with your account can help the management team to utilise the account more efficiently and provide the data required to know if it is worth all the effort to maintain these social media accounts.

There are many measures of engagement provided by twitter. Link clicks, retweets, likes and replies can provide information about how followers are engaging with the accounts and when this is happening. It is important to remember that for many businesses that run twitter accounts they are doing so by paying for it using professional social media marketing and management companies. Schools and libraries can tap into this expertise by reading social media marketing blogs and engaging with social media experts online – yes… through their twitter accounts.

It is important to remember that representing an educational institution or teacher professional association, using a twitter account, comes with responsibilities and potential problems. Social media policies are written to protect employers and associations from poor decision making of individuals who are running accounts. Honorary positions can be forfeited by misusing twitter accounts for personal point scoring or poor digital citizenship – misrepresenting your employer’s position or providing incorrect or poorly worded advice when you are representing a professional association, will have consequences in the real world. It is important to think carefully about what you post in any social media platform – but especially when you are representing an agency or association.

Engaging on twitter, building a PLN, and benefitting from the learning and connecting that is available, means that there is much to learn about best practice and how to build relationships online. The benefits are multiple and there are many opportunities to engage with this learning through twitter. There are a wide range of chats held with an education focus and these run at all hours of the day and night as twitter runs 24/7 across all the time zones. A list of just a few of the education based twitter chats is available here.

For me, five people I would recommend to follow on twitter would be @pipcleaves @townesy77 @aliceleung @johnqgoh and the amazing @nickpatsianas

Social media and Web 2.0 Libraries

Maintaining the collection in libraries is core business. Deciding how the library looks and feels is tied to vision statements, collection development policies, budgets and job descriptions. Adding social media to the list must be considered carefully because it is a significant expectation to maintain a presence and requires additional organisational requirements and expectations. It is not just about establishing accounts and maintaining them, but training staff in how to adapt to these new media platforms and the different ways that clients expect those to be conducted.

State Library NSW

The State Library NSW (SLNSW) has a well established presence on a range of social media sites. They utilise these forums to promote library services, advertise events, showcase the collection and provide support to clients. This provides a significant value-adding maintained by Library staff and offers a range of curation and information management services.

SLNSW promotes their links to the history of NSW through provision of educational support packages, in house excursions, outreach events across the state’s schools, conferences and other events. This range of services is enhanced by their social media presence which is well maintained and personable.

State Library Vic

The State Library Victoria (SLVic) similarly has a well established presence on a wide range of platforms. Their model is interactive, innovative, modern and focuses of the full breadth of their clientèle. SLVic have a strong youth focus and a reputation for holding events that bring lots of young people through the door. They have held events in virtual worlds as well as to engage social aspects of Melbourne live.

So, is it worth all the effort? Are libraries now expected to maintain this level of social media presence? These two libraries are great examples of how the use of social media can enhance their core business.

  1. Both libraries have strong brand connections that are maintained on these platforms.
  2. They promote the library’s resources, services and events and provide key information direct to clients.
  3. The social media accounts are well maintained and provide another point of contact for users.
  4. They engage volunteers to participate in projects related to library collections.
  5. They engage users by facilitating discussion groups and offer collaborative work opportunities.
  6. Create the impression of modern, progressive, responsive Library 2.0.

For school libraries planning to use social media there are some important considerations to plan for before establishing accounts (Bertland, n.d.; Casey & Savastinuk, 2010; Miller, 2005) .

  • Policy requirements – institutional policies provide a framework for use of social media for both individuals and groups.  A social media strategy is a means to articulate the goals from using social media. The time and energy needed to maintain these sites should result in something more than simply a presence but have an outcome that enhances core services.
  • Copyright – when publishing to social media, school libraries need to be aware of their responsibilities regarding copyright and intellectual property. The ethical use of the creative materials shared on these sites should be attributed appropriately. Modelling good practice for students can enhance the educational outcomes of this process.
  • Staff roles – developing good social media content takes time. Staff roles need to be defined to that time can be allocated in the working day for staff to be trained in using these technologies and have space to engage in these environments on behalf of the library. Decisions about proof reading, nature of content, photographs, written content etc. all need a process so that it is of a high standard and promotes the library in a positive manner.
  • Risk and trust -the audience of social media is well beyond the local school community. Mistakes are visible and can be costly. Establishing protocols to best avoid these mistakes will prove beneficial in the long run and must be monitored in an ongoing fashion. Letting go of the culture of control may be necessary to have a successful use of social media (Farkas, 2008).


Bertland, L. (n.d.) Resources for school librarians. [online] Available at:

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2010). Library 2.0 Service for the next generation library. [online] Library Journal, (May 21, 2010). Available at:

Farkas, M. (2008) The essence of Library 2.0? [online] Available at:

Miller, P. (2005). Web 2.0: Building the new library. [online] Ariadne, (45). Available at:

Teens, libraries and social networking

Book Review:

Agosto, D.E. & Abbas, J. (ed) (2011) Teens, libraries and social networking : what Librarians need to know. Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO.

Teens use social media to develop and connect within their social networks (Agosto & Abbas, 2009). Much of this is bidirectional information sharing and social interaction. Attempting to tap into this social networking for young adults is a new challenge for library services. These tools provide an opportunity for libraries to become portals for greater educational opportunities. Agosto & Abbas, and contributors, explain the reasons why large numbers of teens use social networking tools and make suggestions as to how best to use them to support teens in using library services.Agosto and Abbas

This series of contributions by a range of authors involved in providing services to young adults, explores a wide range of issues involved in the use of social media and social networking in libraries. It includes profiles of public libraries using these tools, the role of media literacy, the challenges of using these tools, and the legal issues involved, including terms and conditions of social media sites. The book also explores uses of virtual worlds, and other tools like podcasts and media channels.

The book also includes an extensive list of websites and examples of libraries utilising these tools.

Open Leadership – the social media challenge

Social media in education has brought about some significant changes. It has given teachers new ways to collaborate with each other – share innovation, share creativity, share knowledge, drive change.
In the podcast, “Selling Social Media Strategy to Leadership”, (Schwartzman, 2010), Charlene Li describes three trends in the new culture of sharing:
1. More people online
2. The widespread use of social sites
3. The rise of sharing
Li advocates a change to open leadership in order to foster new relationships, understand and govern these new relationships, and explains that there are new rules required such as:
– Respect that your customers and employees have power
– Share constantly to build trust
– Nurture curiosity and humility
– Hold openness accountable
– Forgive failure
In organisations, like schools, that are used to top/down control, astute leaders know they need to get closer to their employees but don’t want to lose that traditional control. This becomes a leadership issue – how do I understand this new world? How do I work and lead in a new way? This is creating a power shift whether leaders like it or not – leadership needs to be redefined.
Li explains the “10 elements of openness” that provide a framework for leaders to utilise these new ways of leading and build strong foundational relationships. Two areas of sharing emerge – Information Sharing and Decision Making. The decision becomes what to share and when.10 elements of openness
Leadership responsibilities require us to be circumspect in how we make decisions. How open you should be depends on the goals. In the past it was based on the notion of authority, how much the staff needed to be brought in for buy in… but now you can’t expect to produce a bulletin… now people demand information (Li in Schwartzman, 2010).
It’s all about the overall relationship with the people you’re trying to reach and in schools this can be particularly challenging because of the levels of leadership and the participation of school executive, teachers, students and the wider community. Social media is a great tool for building community and gives the audience choices about how to buy into their relationship with the school. This “buy in” depends on the nature of the relationship of the individual with the school. The outward facing aspects of Facebook provide strong connection network opportunities for students and their families.
Meanwhile, teaching staff involvement in social networks and the development of a PLN (Professional Learning Network) can circumvent traditional lines of communication and produce a “catch up” scenario for school executive. New initiatives from institutional hierarchies are commonly now released via social media announcements rather than being communicated through traditional levels of ‘gatekeepers of information’. This can lead to expectations of shortened response times and planning requirements and place additional pressures on school executives to be responsive and well-informed.
Social media and the sharing culture ensures that the modern notion of leadership cannot ignore the impact of formal and informal groups, and the interaction between and among those groups (Paus, 2013). As groups form and begin to communicate, the transmitters and receivers establish paths of influence. Degrees of influence are developed and networks are built. The influences occur gradually changing meanings and behaviors that will affect the whole group and stimulate more connections, increasing sharing or affecting network connections. Once these groups build lines of communication, the group lives an experience which results in the sharing of influence, and provides new opportunities to develop and exhibit leadership.

For school executives this can result in knowledge influencers being established amongst all levels of leadership within the school and can shift expectations. The modern school leader needs to embrace this change and accept that “permission to know” is no longer their exclusive province but may happen organically within groups that reach beyond the school gate. A strong leader will see this as an opportunity rather than a threat.

Paus, V. (2013) New media and leadership: Social media and open organisational communication. [online] In Change and Leadership. Vol.17. Available at:

Schwartzman, E. (2010) Selling social media strategy to leadership with Charlene Li. [online]. Available at:

Facebook challenges for schools…

When people use the “check into a location” feature of Facebook, this can trigger a location page for your school. If your school has not created the Facebook page, but one exists when you search within Facebook, this is most likely the scenario. Unfortunately, there is no way of removing these pages, however you can investigate the process of claiming the pages and turn them into officially pages.
You can request to claim the Page and become its admin, or to merge the Page into a Page you already manage for your business.facebook-logo
To claim or merge an unmanaged Page:
1. Click Is this your business? below the Page’s cover photo
2. Follow the on-screen instructions
Keep in mind that you may be asked to provide information to verify your relationship with the business, such a business phone number, business email or documents.

Many schools, businesses and groups around the world are finding this frustrating as they are not the ones to incorrectly categorise the Page in the first place. In this situation, it’s best to ‘watch this space’, hoping Facebook will fix this issue. Report the unofficial Page and suggest the category be changed to ‘school’.

Keep working on an excellent official Page and drive your current school community to ‘Like’ that Page through calls-to-action in your communications and at events.

Also work towards educating your staff, students and parents that when they ‘Check-In’ at that unofficial Page, they are linking their school to the content that they post. Encourage them to be mindful of appropriateness and to set their personal profiles to ‘Friends’ instead of ‘Public’ so that their content is hidden from the Place Page.

There is more information at Facebook community information

Edmodo, school libraries and promoting ethical online behaviour

In 2007, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) developed Standards for the 21st-Century Learner that include skills, dispositions, and responsibilities essential for today’s digital citizens (AASL, 2007). The first set of these standards states that teenagers must be given opportunities to learn to access and evaluate the information found on social networks.

  • Standard 1.1.5: Evaluate information found in selected sources on the basis of accuracy, validity, appropriateness for needs, importance, and social and cultural context.
  • Standard 4.1.7: Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information.
  • Standard 4.4.4: Interpret new information based on cultural and social context.
  • Standard 2.3.3: Use valid information and reasoned conclusions to make ethical decisions.

Within these standards, AASL also addressed ethical and legal behaviour on social networks and supports the provision of opportunities for teens to follow legal regulations and demonstrate ethical behaviour that is associated with conducting themselves appropriately on social networks.

  • Standard 1.3.3: Follow ethical and legal guidelines in gathering and using information.
  • Standard 3.1.6: Use information and technology ethically and responsibly.
  • Standard 3.1.2: Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.
  • Standard 3.2.2: Show social responsibility by participating actively with others in learning situations and by contributing questions and ideas during group discussions.
  • Standard 4.3.1: Participate in social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.
  • Standard 4.3.4: Practice safe and ethical behaviours in personal electronic communication and interaction.

School libraries have an opportunity to address these standards by incorporating appropriate social networking platforms in their library teaching programs (Agosto and Abbas, 2011). An example of such a platform is edmodo.

Edmodo new

Edmodo is specifically designed for schools and allows teacher librarians to create groups, upload resources, provide an ongoing connection with the library to promote learning and publicise events, and stimulate community by providing students with an opportunity to develop appropriate skills in a social networking site which is supervised, age appropriate and readily accessible.

Edmodo also has the capability of providing a connection to school families if the parent account provision is utilised.

Students have lots of opportunities to engage in social networking but not a lot of chances to develop their social networking skills in a supervised forum with the aid of a trained professional – their teacher librarian.


Agosto, D. E. & Abbas, J. (eds) (2011) Teens, libraries, and social networking – what librarians need to know. Santa Barbara, Calif : Libraries Unlimited.

American Association of School Librarians (AASL) (2007) Standards for the 21st-century learner. [online] Available at:

Profile of an Instagrammer: Stephtee

According to her carefully groomed Instagram profile, Stephanie Tee(Hiew) is a lawyer living in Sydney. She enjoys food, sunsets and has visited 30 countries. However, dig deeper into this active instagrammer’s activity online and you’ll find a master of social networking and powerful online photographer.

InstagramSteph works in the heart of Sydney and lives on the lower north shore so her instagram profile is filled with a photographer’s view of this beautiful city in all its moods. She must work in office space close to Circular Quay because the vantage points that some of her photos reveal are not the sort that just any member of the public can access. Also, the photographs she posts are not just point and click style captures… Steph has significant photography skills and is a member of the CanonAustralia Insider Circle. Her combination of filters, videos, photographic effects and beautiful cropping skills, provide an ever changing view of her world.

On Instagram, I’ve been following Stephtee for a few years… as have over 15,000 other followers. In this time, her profile online has revealed some of the benefits of acquiring her skill set. Steph has won a number of accolades over the years and also trips overseas on the basis of her influence and photography skills. Tourism businesses are lining up to get Steph to point her lens at their particular corner of the world and promote their product on her account. Steph also loads her Flickr account with an amazing range of photographs that showcase our beautiful Australian landscape… and she has mastered the selfie to extraordinary heights.

Steph is a great example of a positive use of Web 2.0 to share content and manage a professional profile online. Search for her virtual life and the results reveal a smart, manicured online profile that enhances her reputation and reveals a dimension to her skill set that adds significant interest to her real life. Steph provides a great example of how to use the web to create and manage your digital self.

Take a look… be impressed…

Steph’s Instagram account

Steph’s Flickr account