The following brief presentation is intended to provide an overview of the concept of a Learning Commons
Learning Commons are the new “Library”. Around the world, the image of a traditional library is being replaced by that of a Learning Commons. The Ontario Library Association, produced a document called “Together for Learning – School Libraries and the Emergence of the Learning Commons” In this document they outline the need for current libraries to transition to a new model to reflect the changes in technology and changes to reflect 21 st Century Learning Skills such as collaboration and creativity.
So what does a Learning Commons look and sound like? Well, one key difference is that a Learning commons is not a quiet study space where there is only independent studying taking place There still exists a small space for independent study, but the new space is about people interacting, not about storage of books or computers
The perceptions of the library will vary by location and by patron, but the traditional library is often characterized by the descriptors on the left. Some of the key features of a learning commons are listed on the right hand side of this page.
Our school libraries are already moving towards a learning commons model We are trying to make them more inviting and comfortable for students and staff. The reality is that many people don’t want to invest the time searching for materials in the library when they can quickly search the Internet for what they are looking for. We will be investing some funds into making our Library more inviting with some flexible furniture and more spaces for social learning We will be investing in some new technologies that students can use in the library, thanks to our wireless environment We will be installing a wall mounted LCD projector and a SmartBoard for student use in the library and for Skype sessions and other video presentations We will be making room for the new flexible design by moving many of the current resources into the classroom and recycling out dated materials Beginning next year we will have access to a much larger collection of digital resources including Learn 360, and Discovery Education, along with the ministry of education OERB (Ontario Education Resource Bank) If needed, we will ask plant and facilities to install some more central power for those students that need to plug in while working in the Learning Commons A school team that includes, staff, students, parents, and administration will work on the plan for a revitalized learning commons for our school
The external environment has changed with advances in technology, and our school will be taking advantages of these changes as we transition from a library to a learning commons
Library to learning commons ocsb
Library to Learning CommonsTransitioning for 21st Century Learning T. D’Amico
What is a Learning Commons “A Learning Commons is a flexible and responsive approach to helping schools focus on learning collaboratively. It expands the learning experience, taking students and educators into virtual spaces beyond the walls of a school. A Learning Commons is a vibrant, whole-school approach, presenting exciting opportunities for collaboration among teachers, teacher- librarians and students. Within a Learning Commons, new relationships are formed between learners, new technologies are realized and utilized, and both students and educators prepare for the future as they learn new ways to learn. And best of all, as a space traditionally and naturally designed to facilitate people working together, a school’s library provides the natural dynamics for developing a Learning Commons.” (pg. 3)Together for Learning - School Libraries and the Emergence of the Learning CommonsA V I S I O N F O R T H E 2 1 S T C E N T U R Y (Ontario Library Association, 2010)
Library to Learning CommonsAs one enters the Learning Commons, the first impressiondiffers greatly from that of a traditional library or computer lab. Immediately we notice flexible learning space where neither computers nor books get in the way… …the buzz in the air is both purposeful and casual and it is a mix of learners both adult and student engaged in a wide variety of activities. Loertscher, David V., Carol Koechlin, and Sandi Zwaan.The new learning commons where learners win!: reinventing school libraries and computer labs. Salt Lake City, UT: Hi Willow Research & Publishing ;, 2008. Print.
Changing Environments Library Perceptions Learning Commons• A quiet place for independent study • A place for “doing” and learning• A place with lots of “rules” • An active place for social gathering• A place to store books • A place to find and access technology• A place with outdated reference books • A place to read current materials• A place with resources locked up • A place to explore and collaborate• A place “owned” by the library staff • A physical and a virtual 24/7 place• A place where books and computers • A place that is the “hub” of the school get in the way • A place that is owned by all staff/students • A place with flexible and comfortable furniture • A place with access to current digital resources in addition to books You won’t find this approach in our schools
We’re Changing Wireless environment Some quiet/study areas Shelving and books out of the way Power outlets throughout 24/7 Digital resources Remove outdated resources SmartBoard for student use Current technology Collaboration spacesInviting and comfortable