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Tuesday
Oct252011

See where we've been and where we're going ...

This presentation links to places we've been and places we're going with the learning commons.

Go to the Prezi Presentation

Follow the forward and back buttons (and/or zoom in and out) to follow our path.

Check out our vision of the future for the Learning Commons on YouTube:

ERS Learning Commons on YouTube

Monday
Nov292010

The Trumpet of the Swan ... a beginning.

Recently a grade three class at Elizabeth Rummel School explored the possibilities of illustrating the novel The Trumpet of the Swan in the style of Barbara Reid. The more we thought about, the more we realized that what we were doing embodied the work of the Learning Commons. By focusing on the elements of the Learning Commons, our learning experience was enriched because teachers were encouraged to think more broadly – to include all aspects of the Learning Commons in the project.

The Learning Commons . . .

Is Student Centred

We have choice in the way we learn.

Eg. What did I learn from The Trumpet of the Swan project?
Has Flexible Spaces

We find the right place to do our best work.

Eg. In classrooms, the learning commons, the hallway, the internet . . .

Facilitates Connectivity

We connected this project to learners around the world.

Eg. Learning from Barbara Reid, plasticine artist
barbarareid.ca


Promotes Higher Order Thinking    

We ask deep questions.We are creative. We think critically by asking questions such as “Is this reasonable? Does it sound right? Does it make sense? How can I use what I’ve learned?”

Eg. What’s the important message in The Trumpet of the Swan?


Encourages Participatory Learning

When we work together, we help each other find our own ways of learning.

Eg. How do we get better at plasticine art?

Enables Collaboration

We all learn from different people, young and old.

Eg. student-student, Mrs. Matheson-Mrs. Becker, Mrs. Matheson-Mrs. Becker-Simon Orrell, students-Mrs. Matheson, students-Barbara Reid


Showcases Learning

We share what we can do with the world.

Eg. ERS Parent Council Website, ERS Front Display Case, published book

Furthers Engagement

We work to answer real life questions.

Eg.  How do we as illustrators capture the essence of a book? The Trumpet of the Swan


Monday
Nov292010

What is a Learning Commons?

What is a Learning Commons?

A Learning Commons is a learning “space” that is both physical and virtual. As you might guess, a Learning Commons is about common physical and virtual places to experiment, practice, celebrate, learn, work, and play . . . .

The Open Commons is the physical and the virtual spaces where learners meet to read, conduct research, test out ideas with others, and work to creatively share their new understandings.

The Experimental Learning Centre is the centre of school improvement; the physical space and the virtual spaces where administrators and faculty conduct action research and refine new teaching approaches. As well, it is here, in the Experimental Learning Centre, that learners try out new technologies and digital tools before they are introduced in the rest of the school.

As the centre of the Learning Commons, the school library becomes more than the hub of the school where students and teachers gravitate to work on projects and find materials they need. The school library joins forces with the school computer lab and is transformed into a vital catalyst for school improvement for staff as well as students . . . ”

Desired Elements in the Learning Commons:

Is Student Centred
Has Flexible Spaces
Facilitates Connectivity
Promotes Higher Order Thinking
Encourages Participatory Thinking
Enables Collaboration
Showcases Learning
Furthers Engagement


From Building a Learning Commons by Carol Koechlin, Esther Rosenfeld, David V. Loertscher, Hi Willow Research & Publishing, 2010.

“A Learning Commons is a flexible and responsive approach to helping schools focus on learning collaboratively . . . .  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.”

Ontario Library Association, 2010