The School Library and the Virtual Learning Environment


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Marianne Bradnock, The School Library and the Virtual Learning Environment, SLA Weekend Course 2007 "The Future is Now"

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  • WELCOME. Many Librarians with more extensive experience of VLEs. Apologies for covering what you already know – hope that everyone will come away from session with at least one useful idea! VLEs have potential to bring about fundamental changes – on a practical level - in how teachers teach and children learn, with, some might think, far-reaching implications for the role of the library. Important for librarians to be well informed Play an active part in the selection and implementation of a VLE Ensure that the library is at its heart as it is developed. Structure: Hands on not practical – time, different VLEs/requirements 1 – examine exactly what we mean by a VLE: what it aims to achieve in educational terms, and the tools it provides to achieve this 2 – discuss how we think a VLE impacts on the school library & how we might get involved in its administration 3 – practical ideas how to promote services, engage readers, support learning
  • The School Library and the Virtual Learning Environment

    1. 1. The School Library & the Virtual Learning Environment Marianne Bradnock, Dulwich College
    2. 2. What is a VLE? <ul><li>“ a standardised, computer-based environment that supports the delivery of web-based learning and facilitates on-line interaction between students and teachers”. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Becta, 2003 </li></ul>
    3. 3. How is it different from a school’s intranet? <ul><li>Intranet </li></ul><ul><li>Content Management System </li></ul><ul><li>Portal </li></ul><ul><li>VLE: virtual learning environment </li></ul><ul><li>MLE: managed learning environment </li></ul>
    4. 5. The main features of a VLE <ul><li>Individual working space </li></ul><ul><li>Anytime, anywhere access </li></ul><ul><li>Content Management </li></ul><ul><li>Communication tools </li></ul><ul><li>Management tools </li></ul>
    5. 6. Some VLE products <ul><li>10 Becta approved products </li></ul><ul><li>Open source solutions </li></ul><ul><li>VLEs from MIS suppliers </li></ul><ul><li>The rest… </li></ul>
    6. 7. With a VLE… <ul><li>Students Can: </li></ul><ul><li>Access online learning 'Anywhere - Anytime' </li></ul><ul><li>Carry out assignments and tasks online and in many cases marked automatically with instant feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Access course materials developed and packaged by the school specifically to meet school / student needs </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor their own progress through courses and assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Work with teachers through exactly the same mechanisms as well as submitting assignments. </li></ul><ul><li>Receive automatic warnings when assignments and task are due to be submitted </li></ul><ul><li>Work with other students through email, discussion groups and chat Teachers Can: </li></ul><ul><li>Plan and develop courses simply and quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Use existing course resources prepared in Word, PowerPoint, HTML and other common formats </li></ul><ul><li>Use any digital resources they have purchased for whole school use </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor the progress of individual students and classes automatically </li></ul><ul><li>Set assignments and tasks, many of them to be automatically marked </li></ul><ul><li>Purchase an ever increasing range of Curriculum Online (COL) compliant courses from a range of suppliers with eLearning Credits </li></ul><ul><li> Learning Platform </li></ul>
    7. 8. What are the benefits? <ul><li>Motivates & engages students </li></ul><ul><li>Breaks down barriers to learning </li></ul><ul><li>Supports self-directed learning </li></ul><ul><li>Allows students to learn at their own pace </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes collaborative learning </li></ul><ul><li>Caters for different styles of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Helps students organise better </li></ul><ul><li>Aids revision </li></ul><ul><li>Provides one-to-one support for students </li></ul><ul><li>Embeds the use of ICT in subject teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Provides unlimited access to information </li></ul>
    8. 9. Implementing a VLE <ul><li>“… staff do not always understand VLEs or their potential benefits to students. Although all staff were given a demonstration of how [the VLE] worked, only 56% of them were given an introduction to VLEs.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ A teacher, subject expert or paid and trained individual is needed to add content and ensure an organised infrastructure of folders” </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Mullen, Susan. Implementing VLEs in Secondary Schools. Update , April 2007: 38-39 </li></ul>
    9. 10. Let’s discuss… <ul><li>What practical issues can you see for the library if/when your school introduces a VLE? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the school librarian play a part in its selection, implementation and management? </li></ul><ul><li>How could you, as librarian, make use of a VLE to engage readers, support learning and promote services? </li></ul>
    10. 11. 1. Library vs VLE <ul><li>Can they exist side by side? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a risk that the library will become peripheral to the learning and research process? </li></ul><ul><li>Will the organisation of information and resources become an IT responsibility, rather than the librarian’s? </li></ul>
    11. 12. 2. Librarians getting involved <ul><li>Adapting </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborating </li></ul><ul><li>Organising information </li></ul><ul><li>Providing resources </li></ul><ul><li>Managing knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Being ‘champions’ </li></ul>
    12. 13. 3. Libraries and VLEs together <ul><li>Engaging readers </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting learning </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting services </li></ul><ul><li>Information - Interaction - Collaboration – Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>The next 3 slides include some of the ideas which emerged during workshop discussion </li></ul>
    13. 14. Engaging Readers <ul><li>Shadowing regional book awards </li></ul><ul><li>Online discussion about books </li></ul><ul><li>Targeting specific age groups/subjects with reading lists </li></ul><ul><li>Timed release of resources for annual promotions (eg Black History Month) </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual guests: videoconferencing with authors? </li></ul>
    14. 15. Supporting Learning <ul><li>Interactive information skills tutorials eg </li></ul><ul><li>Quizzes to test understanding of plagiarism issues </li></ul><ul><li>Integrating resources with subject areas of VLE </li></ul><ul><li>Timed/themed reading lists for particular topics, linked to OPAC </li></ul><ul><li>e-resources linked to curricular areas </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic versions of past exam papers (copyright?) </li></ul>
    15. 16. Promoting services <ul><li>Library documents and policies </li></ul><ul><li>Library news and announcements on bulletin board </li></ul><ul><li>Using forums to discuss library services </li></ul><ul><li>Surveying students online about library use </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual tour of the library </li></ul><ul><li>Training materials about using e-resources </li></ul>
    16. 17. With thanks to… <ul><li>Sue Blood, Hurstpierpoint College </li></ul><ul><li>Helen Farrar, Cockermouth School </li></ul><ul><li>Susan Mullen, John Cleveland College </li></ul><ul><li>Elspeth Scott, Menzieshill High School </li></ul><ul><li>Laura Taylor, City of London Academy </li></ul><ul><li>and many other school librarians </li></ul>
    17. 18. VLE Reading List <ul><li>Becta. Schools: Learning Platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Becta (2003) Virtual and Managed Learning Environments. </li></ul><ul><li>Becta (2006) Learning Platform Functional Requirements </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Becta (2002?) A review of the research literature o the use of managed learning environments and virtual learning environments in education, and a consideration of the implication for schools in the United Kingdom. </li></ul><ul><li>Becta (2006). Learning Platform Technical Specifications. </li></ul>
    18. 19. <ul><li>Becta (2004). What the research says about Virtual Learning Environments in Teaching and Learing. 2 nd ed. </li></ul><ul><li>Chin, Paul. Virtual Learnng Environments. Learning and Teaching Support Network, ISBN 1903815061. </li></ul><ul><li>JISC Infonet. Creating a managed learning environment. </li></ul><ul><li>McColl, J (2001). Virtuous learning environments: the library and the VLE. Program, 35(3):P pp 227-239 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Melling, Maxine (editor) (2005). Supporting e-learning: a guide for library and information managers. London: Facet Publishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Mullen, Susan. Implementing VLEs in secondary schools. Update, April 2007: 38-39 </li></ul><ul><li>Secker, Jane (2004). Electronic resources in the Virtual Learning Environment.: a guide for librarians. Oxford: Chandos Publishing. </li></ul>