The John H Lee Memorial Award is presented to an individual or a school team in recognition of innovation in learning and teaching practice in a school or schools through learning technologies. The 2021 recipient of the School Library Association of New South Wales John H Lee Memorial Award is Karen Bale. Karen is a Teacher Librarian at St Joseph’s Regional College, Port Macquarie.
In 2020-2021, Karen harnessed the power of technologies to effectively shift programs and services online to meet the continuing learning and teaching needs throughout the pandemic, and quickly pivoting #LitFest2444 to be run as an online festival, requiring much thought and skill in drawing upon a suite of technologies to meet the diverse presentation needs of presenters while redesigning the festival format to ensure participant access to and engagement with festival sessions. This allowed the festival to cater for students from Stage 3 to Stage 6, from around the globe, rather than being primarily for local students in her region.
The establishment of a media lab in St Joseph’s Regional College Library, known as The Imagination Station, also demonstrates Karen’s vision for, and leadership in, integrating learning technologies into teaching and learning at SJRC. She has been very hands-on with the integration of podcasting technologies into the curriculum, supporting both teachers and students in realising the potential of podcasting as a communication and presentation tool. Recorded podcasts are published with a companion website and transcript aiming to provide access for all.
Karen was connected from inception to the Student Investment in Learning project at SJRC to empower independent student learning, based on foundational resources across a range of media. Through Karen’s leadership, and in collaboration with teachers across several discipline areas, the SJRC community is being given the opportunity to use of range of technologies to enhance student engagement and learning outcomes.
Karen Bale has employed a range of learning technologies to provide innovative solutions to support a range of learning and teaching needs in her school, as well as across school communities within her region, and clearly meets the criteria for the John H Lee Memorial Award. Members of the School Library Association of NSW congratulate Karen on receipt of this award.
This award will be presented at Representation Matters: Embracing diversity and inclusion Professional Learning Summit on March 19th, 2022.Download PDF