How Learning Commons can assist with Blended/Hybrid Learning and other forms of 21st Century Learning.
if the focus is on technology instead of applying knowledge of the discipline to determine which principles students need to know and how to best teach those principles to them, the possibilities of creating the most effective and engaging hybrid course design are limited to the technology chosen. (Caulfield, 2011, p. 7)
Hayes-Jacobs (2010) emphasizes that blended learning allows for radical change in education by reducing to obliterating the need for the rigid, lock-step school structures of “tradition” (remembering, of course, that this “tradition” is not much more than a century old), such as grouping by age, and replacement with more flexible structures that recognize the needs of individual students. An effectively designed learning commons, as the rightful centre of a school (both physically and virtually), can facilitate these new school forms and structures, such as the:
Hayes-Jacobs (2010) also recommends this website on educational building design for ideas for the whole school physical space.
Finally, Hayes-Jacobs (2010) calls for a 21st century pledge with what many might perceive as a radical curriculum commitment from teachers. T-Ls and other educational technology specialists can provide guidance and support to teachers wishing, or being required to make such a commitment. The pledge points out that 21st century tools improve learning by providing visual, organizational, and thinking tools that increase engagement, allowing for transfer to other areas of curriculum, reducing intrusive routines, increasing the chance academic work will be done outside of the classroom: it also asks that teachers ensure that the tools are used to enhance content and are evident in student work (Fig. 2.1, p. 22). Furthermore, Hayes-Jacobs (2010) requests that teachers (with administrators being required to take on a similar commitment):
This is a tall and intimidating order with a steep learning curve for many educators with a myriad of responsibilities. Seek out the help of T-Ls and the school learning commons for guidance and support. T-Ls can also help you to expand your personal learning networks and other professional development opportunities.