All posts by Tania Sheko

My name is Tania Sheko, and I am a teacher librarian at Melbourne High School, a selective secondary boys’ school 9-12 in Melbourne, Australia. ‘Teacher librarian’ usually requires a bit of an explanation. I think it’s a ‘School Librarian’ or ‘Library Media Specialist’ in the US and Canada. Often people are not sure what my role is, and it’s not easy to define. I like to think of it as the focus on ‘skills’ and ‘passion’ which exists in the spaces between the teaching of curriculum which is the domain of subject teachers. Some of my areas of focus include all sorts of literacies (information, digital, critical, network, etc.), collaboration with teachers as a kind of third hand (curating resources, differentiating learning, experimenting with blogs), and connecting people to ideas and an understanding of self and others through reading, discussion and debate. Most of our students go on to university, and we are always thinking about how we can best prepare them for the world of university and work. I’m interested in the educational environment, behaviours and directions of tertiary institutions, particularly as they move from traditional to innovative practices with connective courses. Connected learning makes sense to me, and I’m concerned that schools are often still envisioning learning as a passive consumption of content delivered by individual classroom teachers. With so much research-based evidence about student-centred, interest-driven and collaborative learning, and with the findings from the NMC Horizon Project, identifying and describing emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education, I really think it’s time we woke up to ourselves about the anachronistic nature of our educational practices and took action. I learn from my colleagues, but also from my online network, reading their blogs, interacting with them on Twitter, exploring the wealth of their shared expertise online. This is what excites me about learning – connecting with people globally for a shared purpose.

Collaboration and company

One of the most inspiring and enjoyable aspects of being a teacher librarian, something I discovered when I joined the online student cohort during my M.Ed. with Charles Sturt University, is the collaborative culture. Sharing ideas, experiences, difficulties, resources – it’s wonderful. That’s why I’m looking forward to the Web 2.0 (collaborative) learning journey – because there are so many possibilities for students and teachers, so many more connections.

Sharing Some Honey Water - Day 71/365

Brave new world

The title of Huxley’s Brave new world derives from Shakespeare’s The tempest.

I’m starting off esoteric to create an initial aura of mystique, but I suspect I’ll tire of this and drop the charade.

I’m using the ‘brave new world’ theme loosely – since I am not implying that our cohort is a hedonistic society, deriving pleasure from promiscuous sex and drug use (Huxley), nor that we are exploring the theme of art and illusion (Shakespeare) – but in the sense of blogging and Web 2.0 applications being new, and in the sense of me (us?) being brave by embarking on the journey.