What is a learning commons?
Learning Commons are becoming more and more popular; and yet, it can sometimes to be difficult to describe what a learning commons is! The easiest way to think about a learning commons is to think about a space that is virtual and physical, where Kwantlen students and teachers can work, think, learn, participate and collaborate. To achieve these activities, the learning commons provides new furniture layouts, new technology, and new services from the librarians. A learning commons is like a library, a computer lab, a lounge, a study hall, and a tutoring session all in one place.
How is a learning commons different from a library?
Although they are similar, a learning commons is different from a library. We think of traditional libraries as place where students worked silently, individually, and mostly with physical books. Kwantlen library has always worked to provide a great space for student to work, hang out, and the library has always embraced new technologies and online resources; however, now it’s an official policy! The learning commons will still provide printed books and quiet study spaces, but it will also encourage students and teachers to work in a relaxed atmosphere new technology and resources. Students can relax and complete their work in a more experimental and integrative space.
How is Kwantlen library transforming itself into a learning commons?
We have been working hard over the past months to transform the library into a learning commons. To make the library a more relaxed and collaborative space, the library has purchased 12 new comfy leathers chairs, and some new coffee tables. We will soon be making some changes to the book stacks and the front desk is going to get a major makeover. Our 30 iPads have been getting a lot of use: students have been using them to do research, to create group and individual projects, and to present to their classmates. We also have a huge new TV used for class presentations and movies. We hope to soon create an in-house “green room” for creating videos for class projects. The learning commons will continue to provide the most recent physical books and online databases; furthermore, Ms. Cassells, the librarian, will be present to help student with research, to navigate resources, and to support students using the learning commons’ new devices. Stay tuned…we have a ton of new ideas for this space!