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Commons

Here, the term commons
means shared, not ordinary.

 
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The Learning Commons exemplifies changes in education and educational environments.

Schools across the U.S. are seeking options for transforming their open spaces (e.g., libraries, foyers, computer labs). They are making the transition into inviting, casual learning environments that draw students by offering a comfortable place for interaction, collaboration and study. More and more have adopted the Learning Commons concept as a way to optimize the space for future use.

A successful Learning Commons is a subtly energizing environment where students can engage in a diverse array of learning activities. It’s a place where kids migrate to between class and after school – it’s a place where kids want to be. Individual study and research and group research and exchanges of ideas and information – all of these diverse actions can take place simultaneously in the Learning Commons.

Commons Environments

Schools across the U.S. are seeking options for transforming their open spaces.  They are making the transition into inviting, casual learning environments.

 

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Browse Environments

Makerspaces in school
Flexible seating sit stand student desk

 

“21st Hybrids Take Hold: Defining Learning Commons and Library Commons”

Is there any educational space that screams “outdated! louder than a boring boxy, boring lunchroom, library, or foyer that’s living in it’s past-century purpose?

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What design considerations can help assure an effective learning commons environment?

How can a single space allow different groups students to engage in all of those things without distracting or hampering each other? Planning learning zones within the learning commons can help isolate noisier activities away from quieter activities. Also having flexibility in furniture configuration can also allow students to work more productively in differing situations.

Learning Commons Furniture.

To visualize a model for a Learning Commons environment, think about the last time you were in a coffee shop or computer/technology store – the kind place where kids feel relaxed and receptive. You probably observed kids playing with devices, enjoying beverages and snacks, discussing, learning, hanging out and being themselves. It’s this type of environment educators seek to recreate in order to foster similar types of camaraderie and collaboration.

What layout considerations can help assure an effective Learning Commons environment?

How can a single space allow different groups students to engage in all of those things without distracting or hampering each other? Planning learning zones within the Learning Commons can help isolate noisier activities away from quieter activities. Also having flexibility in furniture configuration can also allow students to work more productively in differing situations. Keep in mind, “Shhhhhh” isn’t usually heard in the Learning Commons – we’re not building a library from 30 years ago – conversing and collaboration are essential.

To learn more download our PDF Guide:
The Learning Commons:
“Creating Learning Zones and Furnishing Them”

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