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  • Hello – My name is Valerie Diggs and I am here to tell you a story. My story is one of transformation, the transformation of the Chelmsford High School Library to the Chelmsford High School Learning Commons.First, let me tell you something about my background. I am a former classroom teacher who has been in the field of school librarianship since 1991. I have served at all levels, and am currently the Director of School Libraries for the District of Chelmsford, as well as the Department Head of Libraries for all grade levels. I have an almost impossible job. I began my work at Chelmsford High School in 2001. At the time, I inherited a tired library facility and even more tired library program. I had my work cut out for me. With a student population of 1850 students, and approximately 140 staff members, it took me awhile to build relationships based on trust, respect, and professional expertise. Which brings me to the question of library vs. learning commons. What is the difference and how do you get from library to learning commons??
  • We must create programs and spaces that support not only our professional goals, but those of the institutions that house us. This can only be accomplished by creating a “service” oriented environment that adapts and adopts new pedagogies, educational trends, and supports the larger goals of our organizations.Keep abreast of new technologies, be the first to present them to your teachers and administrators, and fight for the use of networked media. Become an online presence and expand your knowledge of information finding beyond the traditional databases to include Twitter, blogs, wikis, nings, etc. Be connected and have an online presence.Funding and budgets are tight – adapt, adopt, and survive. Evolve and grow, and you will not become obsolete. we need to move beyond what Joyce Valenza calls the grocery store model – where our students and staff come to us to just get “stuff”. We must be the place where students use the “stuff” they find to create meaning and new knowledge, to ask questions that are theirs and theirs alone. In the minds of many staff members, any computer lab can be used for research and for finding “stuff” – we need to be the places where creativity sparks new ideas and new creations.
  • The descriptors Learning Commons, Information Commons, Knowledge Commons, have been used in institutions of higher education for approximately ten to twelve years as these institutions began to think of new ways to attract students to work in what they formerly called libraries. Why the change? Students were being lost to the computers they brought to campus, to online resources, and to the comfort and casualness of their dorm rooms and lounge areas. Why go to the library, where they were asked to be quiet, where cell phones were prohibited, where computing was tied to desktops, and mobile devices that accessed the Internet were banned. When they were thirsty and hungry, they had to head for the cafeteria or local fast food joint.Changes needed to be made in the vision, mission, and programmatic direction of these spaces. Slowly, many schools of higher education became enamored with the idea that by creating spaces that were appealing to students, giving them a place where they felt comfortable working, could exchange ideas freely, use mobile technology, work collaboratively, and have a snack or drink when they wanted, they could attract and keep many more students.These ideas and philosophical parameters for the use of libraries has slowly trickled down to schools educating our students in grades K-12. From David Loerstcher to Ross Todd and others, the idea of a “commons” area in schools has begun to build momentum.
  • During this session, I will be talking about the learning commons model as defined by: Program, facility, and community (both the school community and the community in which the school resides, whether it is town, city, or another form of community). It is essential to discuss the concept of a learning commons in the context of all three:as a solid program, a facility design that works, and the support of the community are the cornerstones of a successful learning commons model.The definition of “Learning Commons” can be complex, as the terminology can mean many different things in different spaces and schools.
  • Program comes first. A Learning Commons is not defined solely by facility design, but largely by the programs that the space and the staff in that space provide for their users. You might ask, “If I renovate my school library, or build a new school library, can’t I call it a Learning Commons? You can. However, stop and ask yourself what really makes a school library a Learning Commons.The answer is program and function. What happens in that space, who controls what happens, and who in the community is involved provide the foundation for a true Learning Commons. Is your space the center of teaching and learning? Do students come to not only find “stuff” but collaborate, network, and produce products based on the transformation of information and data into knowledge? Is your space one that can be described as the center of community in your school? Do you contribute to school culture? Is learning happening not only with students, but for staff through professional development? Is your signage friendly and thought-provoking, or do you have rules posted for students as they enter??

From Library To Learning Commons.Ny.Slideshare From Library To Learning Commons.Ny.Slideshare Presentation Transcript

  • fromlibraryto learning commons
    Valerie Diggs
    Chelmsford High School
    Chelmsford Massachusetts
  • questions and challenges for today
    defining the future of school libraries
    in the times of:
    educational change
    technological change
    funding reductions
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. - Eric Hoffer
  • why learning commons and not library?
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • learning commons as defined by
    program
    facility
    school community
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • a learning commons…
    is a place of
    teaching and learning
    group work
    collaboration
    professional development
    creativity
    change
    inquiry
    communication
    community
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • and is not…
    a place designed primarily for
    finding information
    a place where students only come to
    use the copy machine
    a place where the “librarian” is in charge
    a place where students are greeted with
    rules as they enter
    a place where bookshelves with outdated material fill open space
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • build your program
    first
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • teaching and learning
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • events
    Listening Lunches
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Java Room
    Poetry Slam
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • just hanging out
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Participatory culture shifts the focus of literacy from one of individual expression to community involvement. The new literacies almost all involve social skills developed through collaboration and networking.
    Jenkins, Henry. Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. 2006.
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • facility designdriven by program
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • biblioTECH Consulting
    library renovation committee
    in-house expertise
    plan …. plan …. plan
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • 10/21/2009
    Valerie Diggs
  • 10/21/2009
    Valerie Diggs
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • books everywhere
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • putting it back together
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • from the old to the new
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • from “keep-out”
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
    to welcome…
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • our programs continue
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Common Grounds Café
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
    Listening
    Lunches
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • inauguration january 2009
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • poetry slam
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • wellness fair
  • professional development
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • the
    learning commons
    beyond
    space
  • Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • with Senator Fargo
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Library Legislation Day at the State House in Boston
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • changes in technology
    After
    Before
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • and in communication
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • learning commonsandcommunity
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • faculty and student buy-in
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • letting go . . .
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • from library to learning commons
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Tomorrow’s library will not be literally a library without walls and, for the foreseeable future, it will certainly not be a library without books.
    —John Rayoa
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009
  • Thank you
    Valerie Diggs
    10/21/2009