The New Library

BYOD? SAMR? TPACK? What's it all about?

I spent part of my summer in the perfect library. Where do you think it is? Click on the photos above to look for clues. For me, this place embraced what TLs have been calling a "learning commons". It is apropos that the park is adjacent to the building which houses one of the remaining Gutenberg Bibles. The space demonstrates the evolution of modern literacy: It connects learning to the outside world instead of limiting it to the four walls of a building.

The park commons offers a variety of facilities, such as an outdoor reading room, free WiFi, a chess area, and a putting green; it also shows movies and gives its patrons the chance to learn new skills, like Italian or juggling! Most of all, it demonstrates how a community is built by the engagement of its citizens.

It had often been said that the library is the hub of the school. As we move towards the learning commons model, where the whole school is a connected and collaborative space, partner with the library to

  • explore how to best utilize our new wireless, BYOD environment
  • engage the critical thinking abilities of students
  • redefine your assignments according to the SAMR model.

As we get ready to start a new school year, I'd like to share with you a sample of some of the ideas I've been playing around with, just in case you want to try something wild and crazy. All ideas are cross-curricular and take into consideration the 21st century learner.

BTW, this Smore as an example of three-dimensional reading. Click on the links and enjoy!

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Literacy & Research 2.0

With the advent of the internet and the development of technology, how has literacy changed? Literacy 2.0 is a quick - but informative- read that describes the new reality in which our students are learning, communicating and collaborating. See my review below for book highlights. Talk to us about developing these new skills with your students. In the review, I've included links to great free resources. Please take a look.


Use our eResources link to

  • create course materials
  • accesss databases using advanced search to refine your results
  • find thousands of free eBooks online

Presentation Skills

Suffer from Death by PowerPoint? We've got solutions! Also, check out some of these video resources:

The Age of the Image

With the advances in technology, images are becoming an increasingly more powerful tool. How are you employing visuals in your lessons? Are your students visually literate?

Examples of using images in inquiry-based teaching:

Content Curation

A hot new topic.

Tired of students mindlessly googling and accessing the first links that come up after one search? Get them to curate the resources they find, evaluate them, and share the best links with the class. Construct an assignment where students need to collaborate and cross-pollinate the information they find.

I think of curation as a digital annotated bibliography; the difference is that technology not only lets users share and comment on peer work, it also gives them instant access to the best resources.

Here's an example of one curation tool below. If Pearltrees doesn't work for you, there are many more. This Smore is another example of curation.

Gamification: Creating incentive in learning

Another educational buzzword.

Gamification is not about playing games; it is about using game elements in non-game environments. Think about how it feels to have someone "like" your post, or to accumulate badges or to master a new skill that takes you to the next level. Businesses and social media are using gamification. Can educators employ it, too?

Now if only we could implement distance learning...

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Image Credits

Art. . Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 17 Jul 2013.

Cottage (camp) At Clearwater Bay. Photo.Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 17 Jul 2013.

Digital Earth. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 17 Jul 2013.

Gregory, Alex. Anybody following me on Twitter already knows what I did this past summer. 2011. Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice. Web. 17 July 2013. <>.

KushiPL, . Glasses on book. 2009. Deviant Art. Web. 19 June 2013.