Because every Julian Curtiss student has access to a global library on his/her own device, the role of our library has become even more important, not just a place to house resources, but one in which to create meaning from them. The Learning Commons provides a welcoming common space that encourages exploration, creation, and collaboration between students, teachers, and the broader community. It brings together the best of the physical and digital to create learning hubs. Evolving from a combination library and computer lab into a full-service learning, research and project space our 21st century Learning Commons will inspire students to construct new knowledge and meaning from the world around them.
The Julian Curtiss School library is now referred to as the Library Learning Commons, or Learning Commons. As students are beginning to get their information in new ways, mostly digital, a transformation of the traditional library has begun. The shift that is taking place is in the Library Learning Commons as well as in the classrooms at large. "Commons" is a shift from top down organizational structure to a flat networked structure where all participants (student, teacher, families, community guests) are in command of knowledge building. The library learning commons is the hub of Julian Curtiss School. It is the center of inquiry, digital citizenship, project-based learning, and advanced literacy as well as a center of creating, collaborating, critical thinking and communicating. Our goal is to be a collaborative physical and virtual environment that invites and ignites participatory learning. If you haven't done so check out the GPS Virtual Research Tools Webpage, which gives students access to high quality vetted information on extensive topics, and is open 24/7. There are many layers to JC's LLC, including a library collection comprised of 14,000 volumes, a computer lab, one iPad for each and every single student in our school, carts of technology such as Chromebooks and additional iPads that can be signed out for group work, and our nascent innovation space.
The innovation space has been a multi-year project that is beginning to display signs of explosive potential. A hearty and deep felt thanks must be given to the JC PTA for their financial support of this project, as well as the Greenwich Alliance. These organizations have helped us transform the space with incredibly generous donations. The donations have afforded new book shelves, furniture, and the purchase of project-based materials, including but not limited to : K'nex, Dash and Dot Robots, Coding materials, Toy-design workshop materials, Osmos, and more. The ideas behind the innovation space at JC is to prepare our students to be able to move beyond the idea of one right answer, memorized for a test, toward active THINKING and PROBLEM SOLVING, thereby ultimately creating designers, inventors, creators, and students who like to have "hard fun". JC students and families are encouraged to lend ideas about the space. If JC families are able to donate additional materials for our innovation space we would be most appreciative as we are looking for continual growth to keep student engagement high.
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