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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Inspiring the next generation!

Recently I was tapped via Twitter to find my writing, presenting groove again. It's not that I have lost my interest in sharing the love of all things learning commons. It is just that I have a new love, my grandchild, Isabelle Grace.

 At two months old she is cuteness personified, and yes I am in love again just like a new mommy. But it is different. It is a love which is imbued with pride for how my daughter is raising our little munchkin. When I look at the unconditional outpouring of love I am reminded of how much how our Heavenly Father loves us! I am so encouraged by the bond that is developing and so excited to see how the next generation develops.

 So what are the future ideas which this new generation will seek to discover and learn in the 21st century?  With our new learning outcomes changing in the next year in British Columbia, and moving towards inquiry based learning, the learning commons is once again at the forefront of inspiring educational principles. How do we move ahead under the Lord's leadership?

 1. The learning commons continues to draw students towards discipleship, and collaboration with its MakerEd theme meeting all project based needs, and multi-sensory learning in a fun, engaging way. Character and true grit/perseverance, collaboration and curiosity make learning so much more inviting. Virtual book clubs encourage students from Grades K-12 to find their literary voice!  Students mentor younger students on the Ning, and in forums, helping prepare them for future digital leadership.

 2. Our students need to be prepared for a new "techie" society in Canada, that requires not only great multi tasking ability, but also a scientific approach to innovation and change.  Bring back the HYPOTHESIS! Lets make math and science exciting, and use apps, and concrete tools like Lego Mindstorms, Knex,  video, MakeyMakey, LittleBits, 3D printing and Keva Planks! Lets design our own curriculum with the student in mind, so that we can meet many literacies and learning styles.  We are blessed to do this in distance education!

3. The learning commons has always been a place of safety and peace, where students are allowed to find themselves. Free of assessment the teacher librarian may help students find the gifts, passions of their heart.  Too often tests have been the focus in education, and have not served the best interest of our students. Lets get involved in making assessment more creative and innovative by setting new standards which encourage creating, evaluating and analyzing, so facts get remembered for the right reasons.  Really the learning commons has always been a catalyst for Makerspaces.


4. Lets make learning equal in the digital divide. Lets provide open access to our learning commons so that all students will benefit from digital access. But also let us find ways to bring out humanity and the inner beauty of our students, by encouraging the different literacies, enhancing student voice and letting go of the need for speed via digital devices. Use technology when it helps a student overcome the barriers of distance, or serves a greater purpose.  Overdrive E library has been a revolutionary innovation in the learning commons for removing digital inequalities.  As textbooks, movies and audiobooks become streamed we can capture all learners with engaging resources. Subscription databases such as Ebscohost, Discovery Streaming, Learn 360, Reading Eggs, MathSeeds, Dimension U all allow students in remote parts of BC and the world to find information that is accurate, engaging, fun and digitally relevant.

 5. The learning commons gives purpose to students need's, and finds ways of matching up student interest and ability, with the talents of a nurturing and inspiring librarian. Lets find materials that enhance the classics and literacy again, including ways to read Shakespeare, Dickens and Plato! From graphic novels, read aloud days, reading buddies, poetry slams, writing workshops, drama and film making, video games, and scavenger hunts to find that special book, lets make learning FUN!

How can we help prepare your students for the future?  Please comment as I love to glean from you.

Pippa and the learning commons team.