I chose webinars this time that will enhance the learning that takes place in the Learning Commons. I want to work on improving our Innovations Lab. My students have been offering small group sessions with other students on the materials available to them for projects. I would like to build on this as we go through the year. I am working on how that will look. I continue to work with our Chief Innovations Officer and My Building's Instructional Coach to make improvements that would be beneficial to the building. My ultimate goal is to enhance the learning of the students through the Learning Commons.
A goal of the Learning Commons is to encourage reading. This is done through many ways. The first way is offering book fairs where students can purchase books for pleasure reading. We usually have two fairs but this year we are offering a third fair. I have asked for help from the parent group and they responded. They will be the ones to actually run the fair so that the Learning Commons does not have to be shut down and students can come check out books and use the space for learning. This was something the teachers thought would be beneficial. I attended workshops put on by the book fair company to try to get more books into the hands of the students. Another way I encourage reading is by researching books to order. Our students have the option to read a hard copy of eCopy of our books. This is a time consuming process of which I find valuable. In conjunction with Mid Continent Public Library, we offer a book club to students once a month. our avid readers take advantage of that. ELA teachers reserve time for their students to come check out books a couple times a month. The webinars are ways to learn how to improve this reading goal.
Another goal of the LC, is to make the space user friendly and a comfortable learning environment. Every year in March, I start the process of preparing for the next year. I start this process by collaborating with patrons, the Chief Innovations Office, other LMS in our district, my building's IC, and more. I want input from as many people as possible so the impact of the changes are greater. I ask the patrons using surveys to find out what works and what does not. I want the changes to meaningful, so I try to let the people who use the space speak out. Sometimes this is painful as what I thought was working is not or what I think was a failure to others is successful. The best advice I can give is take the time to do it right by asking the important questions to the right people.
I am part of the Innovative Learning Spaces cohort. The webinars I attended have helped me as a lead learner. I want to always know what new materials and ideas are out there not only for the LC, but for classroom learning as well. Webinars are good because you can pick and choose the ideas you want to try to implement. Not all ideas are going to work for you and your space, but even if I only get one idea from the webinar, I feel like that is a success. I encourage all to search for ideas to make your learning environment more fun!
One of the webinars I attended was about how to market your space. I am trying to put out there on a daily basis what we are doing and why we are doing it. Is this easy? No! I have Techsperts who help with this process as well. We want to show that we are proud of our space and what we are doing in it. Every day is a new adventure and we want to keep it that way. Learning is and needs to be the priority of the space and I need to continue to facilitate that priority!