Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Virtual Learning Commons

One of the latest developments in The Marlborough Learning Commons is the introduction of the Virtual Learning Commons, or as we are calling it, 'Marlborough 5th Corner' -

Marlborough 5th Corner - Screen shot
Screenshot of the "Marlborough 5th Corner" Virtual Learning Commons Homepage

The name fifth corner was 'borrowed' from another learning commons that inspired us to begin the journey, the Monterey Park Learning Commons. It refers to the Learning Commons being an extension of the classroom, or another part of the classroom. This also applies to the Virtual Learning Commons. This online space is simply the online hub of our learning commons space. It will be a place that students go to when they begin a journey of learning in the online environment.

Our hope, in launching our VLC is that we will make our Learning Commons come alive at all times of the day, whether it be during school hours or after school. When students want to access certain documents, information, or work on collaborative projects, they will come to the VLC and then be spring-boarded in a certain direction depending on where they need to go. Throughout this year we hope to launch new areas of the VLC to make a truly collaborative work space.

Our Virtual Learning commons design is modelled off a template that was offered to CBE school by the 'gods' of the Learning Commons concept, David Loertscher and Carol Koechlin. The template they offered can be found here. More information about the Virtual Learning Commons can be also be found on the Library to Learning Commons Page they created for the Calgary Board of Education.

At this point, we have five pages within our VLC. They are as follows:

Home Page - Welcome and News

This is where we will upload the news of the learning commons. Anything new that we want students to see as soon as they open their web browser.

Love of Reading - Literacy Centre

As a part of our school development plan we are focusing in on improving reading skills. We also hope to encourage our students to love reading. One way we hope to do this is through promoting books and web sites that we (and others) think are worthy of reading and. We also will ask our students to add their favourite books.

We are planning to start a blog (using for students to respond to books they read and then share their thoughts with their peers. Through the use of QR codes and possibly Aurasma (Augmented reality) we will share blogs posts that students write.

We have also started a book of the week which could be chosen by teachers, or by students, and then promoted online and in the library.

Book of the Week/Month for November - In true Remembrance Day spirit.
Our First 'Book of the Week' QR code

LC Links - Links to Internet Resources

The links page is a collection of tools and reference tools that can found from a variety of places. We have collected these over time and are continually weeding and reevaluating them. 

How We learn - Ideas for Learning

This is a page that I, as the learning commons teacher want to begin developing. Here will will have different ideas of showing what we know. It is a place to get ideas for projects, share ideas for projects and showcase and celebrate the diverse ways we learn in our school.

Marlborough Life - Culture Page

We place a fair bit of energy in our school to help develop the culture and community of the school This page will share some of the activities that are going on throughout the year. We will begin adding to this page very soon.


We welcome comments and questions about our virtual learning commons. We want to make this website a live and would love all the feedback we can.


  1. I love that you made it interactive... When kids can contribute in some way there is so much more buy-in! I'd like to find more ways to include student voice in our virtual space... Thanks for sharing!

    Well done Steve!

  2. integration of qr code reader with spring framework