This assignment due: April 1, 2009.
You will be put into groups of elementary, middle, and high school groups.
Step One: Each group is to build a sample virtual learning commons.
You only have 30 days to complete the construction.
Previous class virtual learning commons are at:
- Elementary school virtual learning commons at: http://elementaryschoollearningcommons.pbwiki.com/FrontPage
- Middle School Learning Commons: http://middleschoollearningcommons.pbwiki.com
- High school learning commons: http://libr233hsliterature.blogspot.com
You may harvest the best you find from other sites and be creative on your own. Your site is judged, not on the quantity of information but on whether it achieves the idea of being a collaborative and a conversation. It is judged by the quality of the resources. It is judged as a place where you can harvest materials and ideas for your own real virtual learning commons at your school.
Some Suggested Guidelines
Create the main web page/title screen
Teacher Tools: What would teachers like to have as a place for tools, helps, resources, research, and teacher tips all as a part of a faculty conversation and help center? The section for teachers is an important part of your virtual learning commons. Here are a few suggestions:
- READING - Include the very best ideas that your faculty could use to stimulate reading in their classrooms and with you in the LMC; include descriptions of programs or events you will be using in your school to stimulate reading; include ideas for SSR, reading aloud, building rotating classroom collections, sources of funding for books, great bibliographies of things to read aloud, suggestions to your students, read as a professional teacher about the topic of reading, etc. Be sure to organize the materials in such a way that a teacher would be attracted to use it. Just a bunch of stuff is not likely to be used. Be sure to use the resources on http://knowville.org, contribute to those resources, and if at all possible, participate with your school or group in this initiative.
- ENHANCEMENT OF LEARNING THROUGH TECHNOLOGY - This section should spotlight the very best ideas for the use of technology to enhance learning in basic tool skills/literacy/content areas. It should spotlight the best ideas from the professional literature; spotlight the best ideas from your own faculty; provide good sources for personal professional development in the use of technology; and any other source of help that a teacher might need. Think of this section as a professional development tool box. It might also contain announcements of opportunities in the district, state, or nation. Remember, less is often more.
Student Section: Try to think of all the wonderful tools, information, conversations, student projects and helps that students would not only use but contribute to as part of the virtual learning commons strategy of collaboration.
Ideas for the student part of the page:
- Tools - Links to tools that help a student be successful in their classes and in school. For example, web 2.0 tools, word processors, graphics packages, tutorials on how to write a term paper, tips on using the digital camera to link pictures into a web page. In other words, link learners to the actual tools and/or helps for using them to succeed. Even information literacy tip sheets might be here.
- Resources for personal space, collaborative space or outer space - This is the section linking learners to online databases and various search engines - the place where they will search for information they want. The section may link them to specific databases such as the Electric Library, InfoTrac or SIRS; links to encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. Hopefully meta-search engines to search multiple databases might be included. This section also contains the link to the school library catalog and other library catalogs. It also links to various search engines such as Yahoo, Google, and Dogpile among others. There might also be links to a section listing the 15,000 best websites for middle schoolers. A good meta search engine to look at is http://google.scholar.com. This specialized Internet search tool is designed to help teachers and students efficiently locate Internet content that can be used for educational purposes.
- Activities of the school such as virtual book clubs, school folksonomies being constructed, global projects, fundraisers, etc.
- Push technology section - This is the area where administrators, teachers, library media teachers, and parents are trying to get to the learner with announcements, links to classroom web pages/assignments, advertisements (such as good books to read), etc. There might be a "web site or book of the day" or connections to the living yearbook of the school (the latest pictures of the football game or other school event) . This section would be a place each student could add resources for their personal space so they keep up to date on what they need to be doing.
Another area of push technology is the listing of student assignments and collaborative units currently being done in the learning commons. These are the collaborative units you are doing with teachers including any of the following features: At least one button that links students in a particular class to useful resources for that class including carefully selected Internet sites and any clicks to electronic resources in the school library collection; A section of general helps for kids in school such as school term paper guides, helps in citing materials; links to online dictionaries and encyclopedias, useful tutorials, etc.; A section that leads kids to Internet sites or school databases that help them personally such as information about sexual harassment, where to go for various kinds of help, what to do in case of emergency, local organizations that can be helpful. The page might contain lists of good books to read (perhaps recommended by the students themselves) and certainly a few you recommend, movie reviews (done by the kids), links to sports, etc. This part of the website is required of every student in the class. You will receive a major grade reduction without this section.
The objective here is not quantity, but quality.
Step Two: Create Your own or Improve Your School's Virtual Learning Commons
If you already have a school library web site, transform it into more of a virtual learning commons and refine it, add to it, develop it further - note for the instructor where you started and what developments and refinements you have made. (A very short essay/log will suffice.)
A good start is to look at web pages constructed by school librarians around the country. Try Peter Milbury's site for linking school library web pages at http://www.school-libraries.net
If you don't have a school learning commons, you could assist someone else in the class building theirs, contribute extra time in contributing to the group learning commons, or something else you clear with the instructor to do.
Try this site: http://www.bighouselibrary.com
Sample Digital Libraries:
Reading, Viewing and Listening for Month Two
Read articles, book chapters, websites, blogs, Teacher Tube, etc. and log this reading. This will help you prepare for month three's creation of your vision project. You should read a minimum of ten items of which you should:
- Add at least three new items to the LIBR 233 Pathfinder wiki at: http://libr233pathfinder.pbwiki.com
- Add at least three substantive summaries of articles, book chapters, websites, etc. to the LIBR233 Synthesis Wiki at: http://libr233synthesisfall2007.pbwiki.com
- Upload a copy of your contributions to the instructor on Angel.
libr233 pathfinder wiki
libr233 synthesis wiki