I just wanted to say thank you for putting this on, I’ve really enjoyed participating in the forum and the webinar on Sunday was really helpful. A lightbulb moment for me, was when Darryl said that FOSIL is a different approach to learning. We’ve got a long way to go on our journey, but I am OK with that. For now, we’re building really important foundations, that will enable this different approach to learning to happen. One important step will be our migration to a new library management system over the holidays, which will make a massive difference. We’re also continuing a weeding project in one of the libraries, so that we can ensure that we’ve got the right resources for pupils and staff. I am so thankful that I’ve got some library friends to talk about this with as you need that and the collaboration that goes on, is one of the reasons why I like being a librarian.
I’ve read with interest what you have all said on the CRAAP test and it will certainly be helpful as I plan for an upcoming teaching session with year 7 boys, which will be on the evaluation of sources. I particularly like the idea of a ‘light touch CRAAP test’ as the year 7 groups I’ve taught previously, have struggled with the CRAAP exercise I’ve done with them in the past. I’ll think through how I might do this differently.
I think what Barbara had to say on p.56 on the need for students to be taught have to evaluate the different formats information is available in is really interesting. I don’t know the answer here, but it’s certainly a really interesting thing to think about. When I was thinking about this, my recent experience in self-testing for Covid-19 came to mind. When I read through the instruction booklet, I was slightly overwhelmed as there’s a lot of information in it and it’s a bit overwhelming. I was chatting about it with my library colleague and she recommended that I watch the video. So I did and the video really helped me to understand what I needed to do. What’s interesting and having reflecting on the process, now that I’ve done it a few times, is that neither format of information was sufficient on it’s own. For example, the video doesn’t demonstrate exactly where the tonsils are, you also need the picture in the booklet.. Applying this learning to my own teaching, I would want to say to students, that they should use a variety of formats in their research. A video certainly does make something more accessible, but you also need information in other formats to really get a full understanding.
Thank you so much for writing such interesting responses, I’ve enjoyed reading them and I look forward to the conversation we’ll have on Sunday afternoon. I sometimes feel like I should be doing more as a school librarian, but I was so encouraged when I received these words from my line manager this week; “Well done, too, on the way you have continued to raise the profile of the Library with staff and pupils, by highlighting how it can contribute to the education we offer in so many ways. I appreciate that it is a challenging time for librarians, but you are setting an excellent example for what can be done despite the restrictions we continue to face.” These words apply to all of us, we are doing a good job 🙂
Thank you all for what you have said, it’s both providing reassurance and helping me to develop my understanding in this area.
To answer one of Darryl’s points about the shift to a predominately digital environment.
I know from my own experiences that reading on a screen isn’t as easy as in print form (I printed off the article we’re discussing as I can’t read something like that on a screen). We know about using things such as post-it notes, highlighters, pen and pencil when we’re reading a printed text, but I think we do need to give some thought to how this might work in a digital environment. It’s a real challenge as people can be working on a device ranging from a phone to a large PC or laptop and whilst there are virtual post-it notes, they are often fiddly to use. Saying that there are advantages to the digital environment; such as the ability to enlarge text, change the colour of the background or even have the text read to you. I think it’s important that at the very least we acknowledge the difficulties of reading on screen as then the pupil knows that it is not just them who struggles.
I just wanted to say thank you for putting this on. I am Head of Library Services at Merchant Taylors’ School in Crosby and have been in post since November 2019.
I am trying to get my head around FOSIL, but it’s not an easy thing. I previously worked as a solo librarian in a small theological college and working as a school librarian is pretty different, especially as I only got to experience about 6 months of ‘normal’. I like what Jenny said about ‘working to become inquiry specialists’ as it made me feel a little less intimidated. Right now, I am at the beginning of the journey, but I am laying important foundations in doing thing such as being involved in this discussion. We’re also moving to a new LMS, which will also aid in supporting inquiry learning.
As I read the chapter, I was thinking about whether or not the current educational system supports or hinders inquiry learning (especially at GCSE and A-Level). Even when I was at school, there was so much focus on exam technique and the specific way you needed to follow, in order to get the grade you wanted. With the move away from coursework in favour of exams in many subjects, I can’t imagine that has changed. What is encouraging is the provision of the HPQ and EPQ, which would do offer the perfect opportunity for inquiry learning. Do we need a paradigm shift in our educational system to facilitate inquiry learning? How can school librarians work within the existing system? I am not sure of the answer to this.
I am one of those librarians who doesn’t come from a teaching background and I’ll certainly need support in order to make the transition. I am very grateful for CPD opportunities such as this, which support me on my way.
I’m Helen and I became Head of Library Services at Merchant Taylors’ in November 2019. I had spent the previous 6 years as a solo librarian in a theological college. My role involved teaching study skills to our undergraduate and postgraduate students and was also involved in an international project to implement a library management system at other theological colleges around the world. I was introduced to FOSIL by a colleague who previously worked at Oakham School and I am slowly trying to get to grips with it all. I am currently preparing a three session information literacy course for our year 7 boys and I plan to incorporate FOSIL into those sessions.
I look forward to sharing experiences and resources with you all.