To be a “real” learning commons, we have to do more than add the latest devices and loosen the no talk, no food rules of the traditional school library. The spirit of a commons – is a commonwealth of resources shared by a community. You can call us a School Library or a Media Resource Centre or a Learning Commons, a Learning Community, a Personal Learning Network, but what is the difference?
A commons is open and generous, collaborative, cooperative, transparent and democratic. Public libraries and schools are good example of commons; treasured institutions that are the foundations of our democratic society, open to anyone who wants to learn.
The opposite of common is enclosed: privatized, traded in the market. The process of converting our educational commons into market resources can described, as enclosure because, like the movement to enclose common lands in eighteenth-century England, it involves the private appropriation of collectively owned resources.
Is this commons talk just hype?; while we are being increasingly privatized and barriers to sharing built in the name of privacy?
Well run school libraries have always been the heart of the school; way more program that place. What is different now is our virtual potential to grow organically beyond our individual school plants. It is not about the technological medium; it is about the commons.
The challenge is to build authentic academic collaborations while opening our minds to sharing resources and decisions. The goal is to create these same opportunities for our students and teachers.
Our OPEN SCHOOL LEARNING COMMONS is our way of reaching out.