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21st-Century Libraries: The Learning Commons

21st-Century Libraries: The Learning Commons
Libraries have existed since approximately 2600 BCE as an archive of recorded knowledge. From tablets and scrolls to bound books, they have cataloged resources and served as a locus of knowledge. Today, with the digitization of content and the ubiquity of the internet, information is no longer confined to printed materials accessible only in a single, physical location. Libraries are reinventing themselves as content becomes more accessible online and their role becomes less about housing tomes and more about connecting learners and constructing knowledge. From Library to Learning Commons Printed books still play a critical role in supporting learners, but digital technologies offer additional pathways to learning and content acquisition. The design and implementation of the new library at Chicago's Francis W. Rather than focusing on the role that their library had played in the past, Francis W. Photo credit: Francis W. Transparent Learning Hubs Extending the Physical with Digital Related:  School Libraries make a differenceISS Learning Commons21st Century Learning

School Libraries and Makerspaces: Can They Coexist? More and more schools are coming to value maker education and exploring ways to create makerspaces in their schools. Many schools are discussing how they might utilize their library to facilitate this. As my school has increased our commitment to constructionist learning and maker education over the last few years, we have done so in close collaboration with our school library. Similar Yet Distinct Makerspaces and libraries are sites of informal learning. In the constructivist sense, libraries facilitate constructing knowledge through access to information, while makerspaces facilitate constructing knowledge through the manipulation and creation of material objects (based on a theory associated with constructivism, known as constructionism). Libraries and makerspaces are inherently interdisciplinary spaces. The library has space and material for learning about all academic disciplines. Libraries and makerspaces provide equitable access to materials and resources. Finding the Balance

How Can Your Librarian Help Bolster Brain-Based Teaching Practices? Flickr/Kevin Harber Inquiry-based learning has been around in education circles for a long time, but many teachers and schools gradually moved away from it during the heyday of No Child Left Behind. The pendulum is beginning to swing back towards an inquiry-based approach to instruction thanks to standards such as Common Core State Standards for math and English Language Arts, the Next Generation Science Standards and the College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards. “This is so new for teachers, whereas librarians have been doing this for ten years,” said Paige Jaeger, a school librarian turned administrator and co-author of Think Tank Library: Brain-Based Learning Plans for New Standards. As grade level and content-specific teachers begin to incorporate inquiry-based approaches into their classrooms, they should look to collaborate on lesson planning with their librarian, Jaeger said. “We have a limited capacity for short term recall,” Ratzen said.

Twitter is a Teacher Superpower! “We all know that education budgets are getting cut more and more, and that meaningful professional development opportunities have unfortunately become a bit of an oxymoron in education. Not only can being a “connected educator” help change that, but it can also provide you with ongoing inspiration and support. I’d even go as far to argue that being connected will be the most impactful thing you can do in your career.” I will even go far enough to say that becoming a connected educator is a Teacher Superpower! While I can come up with pretty new and innovative ideas while planning inside my classroom, I can gain so much more from sharing my ideas, collecting ideas on Twitter (known jokingly as #ideabandits), and connecting with other educators to collaborate about even more inspiring ideas. Here is how: Get yourself logged onto Twitter and sign up for an account using your computer, iPad, or smartphone. Next step is to add an image of yourself. Last, add a bio. One last thing.

Helping Students Become Better Online Researchers Your students are probably Internet authorities. When it comes to Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, they might know far more than you. All of that time spent tweeting and chatting doesn’t necessarily translate to deep learning though. As students progress through school, online research skills become more important — for good reason. Both college professors and employers will expect young people to know their way around the academic side of the Internet; a skill that for many students, needs to be taught. In a Pew survey, a majority of teachers said that their students lacked patience and determination when doing difficult research. Image via Flickr by Brad Flickinger For many students, doing research means typing a word or two into a Google search and using information from the first link that pops up. Common Sense Media You will find lesson plans to teach strategic searches to middle school and high school students. Google Do you have a complicated relationship with Wikipedia?

Teaching Adolescents How to Evaluate the Quality of Online Information An essential part of online research is the ability to critically evaluate information. This includes the ability to assess its level of accuracy, reliability, and bias. In 2012, my colleagues and I assessed 770 seventh graders in two states to study these areas, and the results definitely got our attention. Middle school students are more concerned with content relevance than with credibility They rarely attend to source features such as author, venue, or publication type to evaluate reliability and author perspective When they do refer to source features in their explanations, their judgments are often vague, superficial, and lacking in reasoned justification Other studies highlight similar shortcomings of high school and college students in these areas (see, for example, a 2016 study from Stanford). Start of newsletter promotion. Dig into the science of learning, as our editors unpack the latest research and data from the field. Subscribe now End of newsletter promotion. Prompting

The Secondary Library If our schools are filled with "teaching places" instead of "learning spaces," what are we doing to change that? All of us. What are we doing? Because whether you are in a national government, or you're a school superintendent, or principal, or teacher, you can be changing things, if that's what you want to do. I had to write about this because of what happened with a Tweet from my friend William Chamberlain: "McDonald's has better learning spaces than most schools," Chamberlain wrote, and, of course, he is right. Fixing it... third grade teacher Derk Oosting doesn't wait, he acts "Fixing it" doesn't always require money or getting new things, it often requires more subtraction than addition, getting rid of desks and miserably uncomfortable classroom chairs. We remove the cultural expectations which have nothing to do with how humans learn. Interlude: the eyes of a designer There is a problem here, of course, which lies with the way educators are educated. The why? What do we look for?

It’s Not About Shelving The Books and Keeping Kids Quiet | Nick Earls Some schools no longer have teacher-librarians and, the more I see of teacher-librarians, the less sense that makes to me. What’s next? No teachers? Kids turning up to the classroom each morning and inventing the day ahead? Maybe there’s a note on the door about what the curriculum has in mind, maybe there isn’t … Each time I’m told that a school no longer has a teacher-librarian, I’m told that the school still has a library, as though the building does the job all by itself. Some news for schools thinking of going librarian-free: having some books on shelves in the school’s second-biggest building – along with a chillout zone with half a dozen lunch-stained beanbags – does little for your students lives without a well-trained passionate human or two in there to wake the place up and get the most out of it. Some advice to anyone running school budgets anywhere: CUT THE TEACHER-LIBRARIANS LAST. Promoting reading promotes literacy and prepares students for life. Like this: Like Loading...

Teaching Information/Research Skills in Elementary School | Langwitches Blog This post title is “Teaching Information/Research Skills in Elementary School”, but this post is as much for adults and older students. Many adults are overwhelmed with the quantity and new kind of media that is available and accessible through technology. Older students in High School and College might not feel overwhelmed, but have never been taught how to navigate, evaluate, save and retrieve the information that they are seeking. How and what kind of information skills do we need to start teaching in elementary school, that will grow and expand with our students as their grow older? What do teachers need to know in order to introduce and guide their students in a criticalefficienteffectivelysafeethical way as they navigating through the sea of information available? We need to help students develop these kind of information skills: locating informationevaluating informationlearning from informationusing (remix) information All About Explorers is well thought through. Reactions tend to vary.

Modern Learning Environments – the underlying philosophy to success | Karen Boyes Speaker Modern Learning Environments (MLE) are all the talk in educational circles right now. Schools, around the world, are knocking out walls and creating bright stimulating classrooms with multi purpose furniture and giving students access to technology. On the surface it looks fantastic, however I am concerned that without a big pedagogy shift, students will be simply just learning the same way many teachers have been teaching – just in bigger classrooms with new furniture. MLE’s are so much more than the bright new furniture and the technology. What makes an MLE work, and in fact ANY successful classroom is the relationship between the teacher and student and the underlying ethos of learning to learn. When moving from a structured, and often heavily teacher-dominated classroom, to a less formal student led environment it is paramount students understand their role and responsibilities as the learner and indeed the learning process. Be clear on your underlying philosophy of learning.

Engaging students with emerging technologies Chelsea Wright 'Why would a school library run a Tech and Gaming Club?' The obvious quick response is 'why not?' However, in reality a more comprehensive answer is required, because the question needs to be considered in terms of place (the library institution) and profession (librarianship). There are some people who just don't think the school library is the place for tech clubs or maker spaces. As strange as it is to still be having this conversation, we have not yet convinced every raised eyebrow to relax when it comes to the evolving identity of school libraries. I believe that Tech and Gaming Clubs align perfectly with the ethos of the school library institution. It is my hope that this article will not only offer some useful examples of Tech and Gaming Club activities, but will also provide professional ammunition for those among us who are being confronted with the above question. Starting a Tech and Gaming Club Suggested activities for a Tech and Gaming Club Gaming Instructions