Thursday, January 17, 2013

Blogpost from LiterateOwl (Al Smith, TL, KSS, Kelowna, BC), with thanks for the conversation-starter:

Are you a Learning Commons or converting? LC as sandbox

In his post (January 16, 2013), Al speculates that John Oliver's Administrator Bondi and TL Ekdahl were planning changes the minute the facility was transformed.  Here is my reply:

Things to change at JO Learning Commons? Unquestionably. 

At a recent meeting of our Collaborative Inquiry into Elementary Learning Commons here in Vancouver, there was agreement with the secondary LC Inquiry group that a Learning Commons is always in beta.  It is something I am observing here in Vancouver — LCs are places of on-going change; there is no sense of complacency, no notion that one or two changes are going to finish the project. The success is measurable in their impact on the learning culture of the school. 

We at JO are incredibly lucky to have undergone the physical transformation with support from @gmbondi but there is so much more to do. Would love to have your staffing and spirit here. Love this post and am sharing liberally with VSB TLs and others. 

You are so right! We [in school libraries] have been evolving for many years, using the inquiry-based approach to reading and learning, supporting technology integration with teaching and learning, and providing access (intellectual, social, equitable, democratic, socio-economic, and physical) to a range of resources and tools suited to the needs of the assignment and the abilities and interests of students for years: the new tech-based excitement — and concurrent pedagogical attention to terms like personalization and differentiation, concepts like the joy of reading, etc. — has been foundational to our programs. I fear the new tech-fascination is far too shallow and frantic to adequately prepare our young people to participate in the adult work, learning, and recreational environments. 

We do not teach technology; we use it to teach students how to critically evaluate, select and use information effectively and ethically, transforming it into meaningful learning. For my obit: I agreed with Al Smith and am thankful he’s one of us! 


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