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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Join the ORC and the Alberta School Library Council (ASLC) South Regional for two evenings of ORC resource training. These evenings will provide information about new resources, and new resource features that are ideal for students in K-6 and 7-12. In addition, ways in which ORC resources can support information literacy skills while teaching curriculum will be discussed.
Why not bring a friend this year? It is always a great idea to attend a professional development event with a colleague. This allows for continued discussion, idea generation and support with implementation following the PD experience. It may also mean that there are two experts available to support your school staff.
Can't join us for the entire evening? No problem! Feel free to join in when you are able or leave early if needed. The sessions for both evenings will be organized so that they chunk resources by the curricular area they support. For a timeline of each evening please see the event RSVP webpage on the ORC Support Site.
Chinook Learning Services - Viscount Bennett Centre
2519 Richmond Road SW
Calgary, Alberta T3E 4M2
Time: 4:30 - 7:00 pm
January 14, 2015
Resources that Support Learning in K-6
January 15, 2015
Resources to Support the Grade 7-12 Curriculum
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.