The way in which we learn has changed dramatically since the world and knowledge have become so accessible. How many times do we check Google each day to find out something? Discover something new? Check a piece of information that we forgot or a song title that we can’t remember? Our children are or will be using the Internet to enhance their learning and our teachers are transforming the way they teach in order to really take full advantage of our new connected world. We need to prepare our students to be successful in the future. Do we really need books in the digital age?
Libraries have traditionally been a place for silent and independent study, a place where knowledge was discovered, learned and held. Not anymore. Our children and students can find everything they need to know on their smart phone or device, which could make libraries redundant. If we are not careful our children will rely on their devices and miss wonderful opportunities to collaborate with peers and interact. Developing creativity, curiosity, interpersonal and social skills are just as important as gaining knowledge. As educational institutions, we need to provide appropriate spaces to combine the development of interpersonal skills with the acquisition of knowledge, sparking curiosity.
At Regents, our classrooms are having a make over and our libraries need to evolve. Over the coming months, as we prepare for our new collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) we will begin the transformation.
Core to the collaboration is the reflection of MIT's philosophy of 'Mens et Manus', 'mind and hand', which calls for a hands-on approach to problem solving. Through this approach, Nord Anglia students will develop key transferable skills, such as flexibility, creativity and communication, which can be employed across all academic subjects, and in future careers.
Our Libraries will transform into Library-Maker spaces.
What is a Library-Maker space?
• A space to harness creativity, collaboration, and connection.
• A hub of interactive learning and the place to spark curiosity.
• A place to embrace new technologies, robotics, and engineering.
• An integration of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics).
• A place for action, discussion, noise, and discovery.
• A place for all kinds of learning.
• A space for all curiosities, ambitions, and desires.
• A place for all the community.
Yes, we still need books, nothing beats getting lost in a novel, curled up on the sofa and turning the page of a book. But, we need to embrace the world we live in and set the scene and tone for collaboration, connection, and creativity. Watch this space!
Ms. Sarah Jayne Osborne-James