I pray that your summer has been filled with tons of good reads, and lots of precious family time:)
It is good to be back in the saddle with all of you, sharing about what has been happening in our library or learning commons corner of the world. This July along with mountain biking, beach walking, and kayaking at Hornby Island with my family, I was blessed to read Building a Learning Commons with our team. During the process I became really excited about how God's message of community could fit the vision for our school, and learning commons.
Some of the key words that were bandied about in the book included Open Learning Commons, Virtual and Physical Learning Commons, Student Experiential Centres, and Teen Geek Squad. In my head I began to draw pictures of what this looked like in a physical and in a virtual capacity. I imagined a living room with soft comfy couches, movable round tables and chairs for collaboration, IPAD's IPOD'S, and other techie tools, while the latest EReaders and books were displayed enticingly on book shelves. Space was open, light, airy, and aesthetically pleasing. Here was the place where our students, teachers and parents could meet, research, refine, and PLAY in their experiential centres. Our teen geek squad would be peer mentors who could coach, and cheer other younger students on to be creative and innovative.
In the background the open learning commons invited subject specialists, technology teachers, administrators, and library staff to form a big think tank and explore different philosophies and educational innovations. The blended learning commons made up of our physical and virtual learning commons could as one body in Christ, emblazon the learning commons with some of the dynamic learning happening in our schools. When the physical commons had story time maybe our virtual commons could have story time too?? Maybe we could combine efforts and truly collaborate, not only with blogs and wikis, but also with global communities like a Flat Stanley program. Relationships and voice could start to happen physically and virtually.
Cover of Flat Stanley (picture book edition)
Maybe we could have a fenced social networking site, like a Ning, that would encourage all of our community to really start collaborating and sharing on a daily basis
However in my limited creativity I could never imagine what our students could conceive and create! So part of lining up our vision for the future learning commons meant encouraging our students to dream too....
We will have a competition in the first part of the year to "Design your own Physical or Virtual Learning Commons" where homeschool and classroom students will be part of God's commission to bring voice to our learning commons. There will be a prize for the most innovative and creative design which will be displayed on our learning commons page:) More to come soon!
We hope to encourage the formation of a Teen Geek Squad who will collaborate on media production, and virtual worlds. Read our Purposeful Play to get excited! More to come soon!
We will also be introducing E books and E book readers as we progress to Overdrive and start a new Christian fiction and non fiction collection of EBooks. This we hope to launch in January!
BOOK CLUB NEWS
We are very excited to announce two new book clubs along with my book club this year. Experienced language arts and techie teachers April McLeod and Kathy Strebchuk will join me this year under the auspices of the learning commons and learning camps. April will run the grade 10 -12 and Kathy the 9-10 book club, while I will be running the grade 7-8 club. We will be working together as a team to provide the very best in reading suggestions, critical thinking skills and encouraging student participation in creative ways. There will be prizes for book reviews and book presentations!
To contact April you can blog her at http://mrsmcsbookclub.wordpress.com/ or firstname.lastname@example.org or view her video
To contact Kathy please email her at email@example.com Her blog is coming soon.
To contact myself please blog me at http://bookclubjuniorhcos.blogspot.com/ or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMUNICATION VIA LIBANSWERS
Please watch for a new link on our learning commons interface called LibAnswers, which will provide archived answers to all library questions posed. So if you have a question for any of our library staff you can simply enter your question, and we will try and respond within 24 hours. As questions are archived the answers will start popping up immediately you start accessing the site. We hope this will be an exciting portal for our blended learning commons. There will be four lovely ladies to respond to your queries, Eirena and Shandra from the physical commons, and Natalie and myself from the virtual commons. Watch for the link soon!
Welcome to the world of blogging Natalie Sing! Our curriculum consultant who is an expert in lapbooking, and note booking has started her blog. Check out more at truenorth
DOWN THE ROAD?
Please pray for our blended learning commons as we make the transition to this new vision, that God's voice and vision would come first, that we would sense His direction in everything we set out to plan for the year. I encourage you to share your vision of how you would like to join us in making our learning commons a vibrant and heart felt space where God's image is glorified!
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16;3
Blessings to you as you start planning your year with His vision.
Pippa and the Learning Commons team!