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Reinvent Your School Library and Computer Lab into a Learning Commons

Session 2
David Loertscher, Joyce Valenza — Joyce Valenza, Teacher Librarian, Springfield Township High School, Philadelphia PA and David Loertscher, Professor of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University

Obsolete? Outmoded? Unaffordable? These are just a few of the questions we hear about libraries and computer labs in the age of the ubiquitous Internet. We invite you to do some 180 degree thinking, planning, idea sharing, and leadership to move traditional ideas into exciting physical and virtual foundational elements of knowledge building.

What is the central role of information and technology in a world of digital natives? Are teachers and students so sophisticated in their tech and info use that they require little to no partnerships with teacher librarians and teacher technologists? If inquiry is so central to learning, do kids and teens automatically excel the moment we flip on the Internet switch? Is the library and computer lab just an organizational solution for teacher planning periods?

During our time together, we will confront major reasons and possibilities and tours of what really happens when a Learning Commons rises like a Phoenix as a new physical and virtual world.

Asking every participant to brainstorm, we will, together probe ideas, examine actual school transformations, and lay down together major principles that will propel schools of inquiry toward excellence.

Meeting in an actual library, we will redesign an actual space and a companion virtual space for almost no money, for some money, and for a complete architectural redesign (architects and administrators needed)

Each participant will go home with the collaborative intelligence we build together plus a plethora of information sources, and actual transformations of schools around North America who have created Leaning Commons.

Conversational Practice

We will create our own web site known as a Knowledge Building Center where everyone in the audience will participate using Web 2.0 tools to brainstorm, analyze, synthesize, see examples, share resources and develop collaborative intelligence in a virtual space that we would expect teacher librarians and teacher technologists to be co-teaching alongside classroom teachers.

Conversation Links

Presenter Profiles

Joyce Valenza
Joyce Valenza
School Library Journal


Jerry Cybrary Man Blumengarten

The library in every school (please do not cut them) is the information center in every school. They should be open 24/7 as they should have an online presence too so they can be accessed anywhere as learning takes place everywhere. My Library pages: http://cybraryman.com/librarylinks.htm

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