Principled Creators and Consumers of Online Content

A few weeks ago I attending the, “School Libraries in a Global Context” workshop facilitated by Dianne McKenzie in Seoul. It was a great opportunity to learn, connect with people in different contexts and share ideas. I had been thinking about how to introduce and reinforce the idea of academic honesty to primary aged students in a more engaging way and this workshop provided me with a variety of ideas that I thought I could utilize.

Authentically developing the ATL skills associated with academic honesty is challenging. In the past, I have found that the children understand the concept of academic honesty; but, are not necessarily motivated to modify their practices to acknowledge sources. An idea that Dianne suggested involved the children creating something then another child receiving the accolades for the creation. I thought I could modify this idea to my context. The Grade 5 children were recently introduced to the Morning Calm Medal, which is an annual book award created by teacher librarians at international schools in Korea. Upon entering the library I provided the students with this challenge:

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They were provided with the appropriate resources and given a very short time frame to complete the task. The students were excited and completely engaged in the design process. After the allotted time they were required to write their name on the completed badge and I selected the four best as winners.

I photographed the winning badges after crossing out the creators name and replacing it with mine. I then posted this tweet:

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And shared the post with the children. The reaction to the post included:

  • Lots of giggles.
  • Annoyance.
  • “You made a mistake.”
  • “You stole my work!”
  • “That is not fair!”
  • “Why did you change the name?”

I responded by telling the children that because I had taken the photos of the work and it was me that had created the tweet it was okay to say that the work belonged to me. This provoked a great discussion about ownership and sharing permission. I linked this conversation to their individual blogs and posed this question: How is what I did different to the way you share images and photographs on your blogs?

As a group we then explored our roles as creators and consumers of digital content:


The initial provocation enabled the students to connect with the idea of acknowledging their sources and the importance of this in terms of being a principled creator of digital content. They are returning to their individual blogs to identify the source of their images. The next will require them to reflect on and acknowledge where they find information.







A Garden of Poetry

Grade Two have been exploring poetry. In class, they have identified and experimented with the visual language of poetry. Inspired by the Lawrence Public Library’s PoeTree Installation the classroom teachers and library embarked on a collaborative project to create a poetry garden.

Lucy Calkin and Stephanie Parson’s book, “Poetry: Powerful Thoughts in Tiny Packages” was used to guide the development of learning experiences.  We shared photographs of the PoeTree Installation with the students and identified how we could relate it back to our context (e.g. choosing a subject from our environment, identifying how the installation would look in our space). Initially they examined a variety of natural and man made objects from the perspectives of a scientist and of a poet. They identified and discussed the way descriptive language could change when you look at the same object from different perspectives.

Individually the students choose an object from the environment around the library to examine with poets’ eyes. The photographs below were taken by the students of the object they selected to write about.

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While making careful observations with poets’ eyes, the students documented their ideas to use for their final poem.  Together with the classroom teacher they created, edited and reviewed their poems before sharing them in the library.


The “Poetry Garden” installation is almost complete. It is already getting a lot of attention from teachers, students and parents. Hopefully it will provoke our community to read, write and share poetry.