Friday, 21 September 2012

Library to Learning Commons

It is hard to believe that the school year is now three weeks in. The students and teachers are back hard at work and the next stage of evolution is taking place in our library. Our library will always be a place where were can go and get all kids of books. However, there are major changes out there that way that students learn and our school board, the Ottawa Catholic School Board has been implementing some very creative and innovative changes in our schools that effect how students learn and are being taught.

Our library's are be gradually turned into Learning Commons.

So what exactly is a Learning Commons:
  • A Learning Commons is a flexible and responsive approach to helping schools focus on learning collaboratively. It expands the learning experience, taking students and educators into virtual spaces beyond the walls of a school.
  • A Learning Commons is a vibrant, whole-school approach, presenting exciting opportunities for collaboration among teachers, teacher-librarians and students. Within a Learning Commons, new relationships are formed between learners, new technologies are realized and utilized, and both students and educators prepare for the future as they learn new ways to learn.
  • And best of all, as a space traditionally and naturally designed to facilitate people working together, a school’s library provides the natural dynamics for developing a Learning Commons.
Over the past few weeks we have seen a huge change with how people are using this space. We are going to be using the technology there to coincide with rich learning task that will provide new and exciting opportunities for our students.

The school community is very excited to see what how the Learning Commons will improve student learning and change teaching practice.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Flipping Parent Communication

Last week I saw a blog written by Peter DeWitt on a new and creative way to communicate with parents instead of the age old newsletter. I was very interested in the idea and modelled my first one from the one that he posted on his blog.

At our school we are trying to embrace more and more technology in our classrooms. I am a firm believer that if this is going to happen and be successful in a school the leadership in that school has to model and use the technology.

There would seem to be some great perks to this as they are more interactive, they can be paused rewound and repeated. I am hoping to get some feedback from parents and see what I can do to make them better and more interesting.

The program I used was SCREENR found at:


It was incredibly easy to use and they only thing I really want to work on is the sound quality and of course writing better scripts! You also have a time limit of 5 minutes so the announcement would not go on and on and on.

Take a look if you are interested:

Thanks for reading!