by Kelly Reierson and Lissa Davies
As we work to build twenty-first learning skills...collaboration, creation and communication we need to look at how we can support this by creating an environment that meets that need. The Learning Commons concept takes libraries that one step further to support digital students and learning.
What is a Learning Commons?
“Keechlin, Rosenfeld and Loerttscher define it as “a learning “space” that is both physical and virtual – a place to experiment, practice, celebrate, learn, work and play. Gino Bondi, in his blog post Our Learning Commons: One “How To” for 21st Century Learning says that “It is a transformation that calls for physical, virtual and, pedagogical changes as well as a shift in mindset for all players.”
How is it different from the traditional school library?
Traditional school libraries are seen as quiet places full of printed books, people reading and librarians ‘shushing’. A Learning Commons takes school libraries into the 21st century. Yes, we still have printed text, and there are still people reading, and there is still a librarian, however the Learning Commons has so much more! There is a hum of activity with students talking, learning, searching for information on a variety of devices, focusing on content creation and synthesizing of information. The Learning Commons becomes the hub and the heart of the school; a place for teachers and teacher-librarians to collaborate to build inquiry learning and critical thinking skills in students; a place for technology integration and experimentation; a place that is ‘owned’ by students and staff alike.
Watch this Slideshare to see how one high-school librarian moved her library into a Learning Commons space:
Lissa and I hope that you will join us in a discussion on the learning commons. Tell us what you think!
Is it necessary to change the physical space to create a Learning Commons?
How does the role of the Teacher Librarian change in the Learning Commons model? Where does one start when making the transition?
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The Online Reference Centre (ORC) grant-in-aid for 2014/2015 has been approved! This means that the ORC will remain available to all Alberta K-12 students, parents, staff and pre-service teachers.
The ORC is currently in the process of firming up its 2014/2015 collection. Although the ORC is working with the same budget this year, US exchange rates have changed, and this has an impact, since many of the ORC contracts are paid to US publishers in US funds. The ORC Coordinator is working with the current publishers to see what can be done about maintaining the current collection despite changing financial circumstances.
The first annual EdTechTeam Calgary Summit, featuring Google for Education, will be held at Rundle College Jr Sr High in Calgary, Alberta on August 18 & 19, 2014.This high intensity two day event focuses on deploying, integrating and using Google Apps for Education to promote student learning in K-12 and higher education. The program features Google Certified Teachers, Google Apps for Education Certified Trainers, practicing administrators, solution providers, Google engineers, and representatives from the Google Apps for Education team. Registration has just opened at http://ab.gafesummit.com/calgary/ Register soon, to avoid missing out!