The world around us is changing at a pace we have never seen before. Every aspect of our society is working hard to keep up, adapt to the changes and take advantage of the host of new technologies now available. Libraries have embraced this change and have responded by re-purposing many of the traditional services we have offered. To reflect our changing world, School District 36 is converting many of its libraries to a Learning Commons model. Here at Kwantlen Park Secondary, we are now in the second year of our journey from Library to Learning Commons! Some changes are huge and some are subtle; here’s where we’re at so far!
It all started last October when after being awarded a Learning Commons Grant, we received an iPad cart and 30 iPads from the district. Along with this package we received 10 digital cameras! This was a game changer for our library and all of this new technology was quickly put to use!
Last October marked the beginning of our virtual presence!! We had the great pleasure of having Christina, a Master’s Student from UBC who helped us out by creating kpcreativecommons.com . What a boon for us! Now students and teachers can access our website and find our catalogue, online resources, book reviews and news about what’s going on in the Learning Commons. Learning doesn’t stop when the students leave the building. Access to information is available 24/7. If you are reading this article, you are using our website right now!
We established a supply centre. If you have forgotten some of the basic supplies, you can borrow them from the Learning Commons! This is very handy when trying to finish up school projects!
We weeded out all of the old and outdated materials! It is so nice to look at a shelf of books and know that they reflect the world in this decade.
We reorganized our Reference materials and moved them in the with regular books so that students will see them and become accustomed to picking them up with the other books that they will be using for their research.
We are creating some comfortable, flexible seating spaces for our patrons. We now have 12 super comfy leather chairs and 3 coffee tables. The students report that they are very comfortable and these spaces have become the most popular places to work in the Learning Commons!
Speaking of furniture, we also have updated the seating for the tables and computers! Rather than the old, blue chairs, which were heavy and difficult to move, we now have modern chairs on castors. These make working in groups much easier and students and teachers alike, report that this is a huge improvement to our Learning Commons!
With respect to the rest of our space here, we are slated for some exciting renovations!! The end goal is to create space for students and staff in which to create, learn, and work! We are thrilled to tell you that our massive circulation desk with be removed and replaced with a much smaller one. Some book stacks in the French side of the library will be moved to the window side of the library as well. This will make so much more space for all of the learning and creative activities that take place everyday at KP Learning Commons!
Wow, so many changes…let’s see what’s happening with learning activities in the Learning Commons! Well, we’re pleased to report that students and teachers are happily embracing all of the new technology we now have. Students are becoming familiar with iPads and the numerous apps they are loaded with. Some of the more popular apps are Book Creator, Evernote, Explain Everything and Doodle Buddy! Students are also using the digital cameras to present short videos in their learning projects.
Here are some links to some teacher and student blog sites that showcase the kind of innovative work that is being done.
Exceptional Student Work
Ms. Dhaliwal’s English Classroom
Mme. Nero’s Students’ Blogs
More recently, the Modern Languages Department has decided that students will now be doing a digital portfolio using the app, Evernote. This has been a bit of a learning curve for everyone, but we think it will be an awesome platform for students to demonstrate and track their learning in their Modern Languages classes from grades 8 – 12.
More and more research is being done online. We are lucky to have a whole suite of digital resources at our fingertips. You can see these when you go to the Resources tab at kpcreativecommons.com . Students can get the passwords from the teacher-librarian and do research from the comfort of their home using world-class databases like World Book Online and Ebsco Canadian Research Centre.
Well, so much is changing, but we would be remiss if we did not talk about the many different ways in which this beautiful space is being used, aside from the classes that come in all day long.
Recently we had a visit from the prolific teen author, Carrie Mac.
We converted the space to host a retirement celebration for our long time colleague, Ms. Addie.
Our Learning Commons is in use before school, at lunch and after school by the entire school community. Students access the computers, work on projects, study together and let’s not forget, just enjoy one of the thousands of amazing books that we have in our collection.
If you haven’t visited us lately, please come by! We are a work in progress and are always happy to greet a new face and help you find what you’re looking for.