What is a Learning Commons?
A learning commons is a common, or shared, learning ‘space’ that is both physical and virtual. It is more a perspective than a “place.” A learning commons perspective supports a student-centred approach that emphasizes active and collaborative engagement and encourages the co-creation of knowledge by all learners.
A learning commons provides individual, small and large group space, either physical and/or virtual, for instruction, social/collaborative learning, and production and presentation. It also promotes global and cultural understanding as students collaborate with their local and broader community to investigate and create solutions to complex problems.
Finally, the virtual aspect of a learning commons (a VLC) promotes more efficient use of technology for creation and sharing of knowledge as well as enabling 24/7 access to resources and shared collaborative space for all students.
Research shows that students who have access to quality school library services, which a learning commons perspective enables, are more likely to exhibit advanced student achievement and literacy development.
Hours and Contact
I am Ms. Barbara and I am here to help you enjoy the Learning Commons! Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Please stop by to say hello!
- There are chairs to curl up in
- New books and old to read & enjoy
As learning environments change, school libraries must evolve from providing information to students to preparing students as engaged critical thinkers, evaluators, ethical users and entrepreneurial creators of information and knowledge. Westminster has embraced this new policy and is looking forward to the positive directions we can go. We appreciate any feedback and ideas that can be offered to create learning commons within our school. Some student generated ideas for the library include: bean bag chairs, reading homes, Ipads for reading online books, play/interactive area, cushions for chairs at learning tables, stuffed animals to hold while listening to stories, etc... Any support you can provide to help these ideas come alive is appreciated!
Learning Commons Policy
To support students in attaining the goals and standards as stated in the Ministerial Order on Student Learning, school authorities must ensure that students have access to a learning commons. A learning commons is an inclusive, flexible, learner-centred, physical and/or virtual space for collaboration, inquiry, imagination and play to expand and deepen learning.
The Learning Commons Policy and Learning Commons Guidelines, approved in 2014 and to be implemented September 2014, replace the previous Policy, Guidelines, Procedures and Standards for School Libraries in Alberta (1984).
The Learning Commons Policy supports the principles and values of Inspiring Education, the Ministerial Order on Student Learning, and Curriculum Redesign and is aligned with the Government of Alberta Collaborative Library Policy (2013). The Learning Commons Policy and Learning Commons Guidelines help bring the goals outlined in Inspiring Education to life in schools.
Online Resources for Students
- Learn Alberta
- Online Reference Centre
- The Atlas of Canada
- Use this resource to access maps that assist in the investigation and study of Canada and its people through historical, economic, environmental and cultural information.
- Amazing Animals of the World
- Use this resource to find factual information on animals by class, essential order and species. Photographs, recordings of animal sounds, and web links are provided.
- Use this resource to access interactive fiction and non-fiction books organized according to the following themes: Animals and Nature, Earth and Sky, People and Places; ABC’s and 1,2, 3’s, Family and Community, Music and Rhyme, Adventure, Celebrations, and Imagination.
- Use this database to locate information on countries of the world, US states and Canadian provinces. Country data tables, maps, and a graphing tool are included alongside photographs, recipes, biographies and other cultural information specific to the countries covered.
- Power Knowlege - Earth and Space Science
- Use this resource to find factual information organized into topics such as earth cycles; ecosystems and biomes; energy and matter; landforms; natural disasters; rocks and minerals; space; water; and weather and climate. Videos, web links, games, listen feature, and a list of science experiments are included.
- Power Knowledge - Life Science
- Use this resource to find factual information organized into topics such as animals; endangered and extinct species; food chains and food webs; habitats and ecosystems; human body; life cycles; and plants. Videos, web links, games, listen feature, and a list of science experiments are included.
- Power Knowlege - Physical Science
- Use this resource to find factual information organized into topics such as atoms and molecules; elements and periodic table; energy and matter; force and motion; and temperature and measurement. Videos, web links, games, listen feature, and a list of science experiments are included
- Use this resource to access videos and interactive non-fiction books organized according to the following categories: Earth Science, Ecosystems, Experiments, Extreme Nature, Human Body, Space, Ancient Civilizations, Continents and Disasters. Related Grolier Online articles, project ideas, quizzes and web links are provided.
- The Atlas of Canada