Thursday, February 11, 2010

Enabling a Learning Commons

Click graphic for full size

Polytechnic Libraries and Learning Centres have been evolving for many years and now bear little resemblance to the traditional libraries that many might remember from twenty years ago.
This evolution is continuing as we plan to meet the needs of tomorrow's learners, teachers and other clients. The Polytechnic Corporate Plan (2009-2010) outlines a 'learning commons' philosophy that further integrates learning and support services for students and facilitates the flexible-applied-connected-supported learning agenda.

In addition the State Library and UTas Library are changing to meet client needs. The national Re-Imagining Libraries Strategic Plan is indicative of the directions many libraries are taking:

"In collaboration, the National, State and Territory Libraries of Australia and New Zealand will become leaders in empowering people to create, discover, use and transform our collections, content and global information resources."

These directions require more open and connected ICT services than has previously. The Polytechnic Library Online Services Project team has been mapping the ICT functionality needed to meet the above agenda.

The above graphic (click for full size) maps the ICT functionality to enable:

  • Information and resources to come into the organisation including Open Education Resources, Open Courseware, RSS feeds... (LHS of graphic)
  • Information and resources produced or added to by students and staff within the organisation including Open Education Resources, Open Courseware and RSS feeds to be shared with others (RHS of graphic)
  • Online access by students and staff within the Polytechnic via normal logon (LDAP) or Open ID (bottom of graphic)
  • External access by school students, mentors, local communities... via open unauthenticated access or Open ID (top of graphic)

These needs will now determine the kinds of systems that will be required. Current ICT systems may or may not be sufficient.

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