Leveraging emerging technologies to create virtual libraries

The right virtual library design can boost student engagement.

Though still a relatively new concept, flipped learning is making an impact in classrooms across the country–and now, forward-thinking librarians are examining whether flipped learning and emerging technologies can transform traditional school libraries into participatory centers of collaboration.

Virtual libraries that offer engaging portals and opportunities for students to interact with one another and to communicate with teachers and library media specialists, might be a step in the right direction.

“My vision–I’ll tell you what it’s NOT, and that’s a normal library website,” said David Loertscher, a professor in San Jose State’s School of Library and Information Science during a recent edWeb.com webinar on virtual libraries and emerging technologies.

“The basic question is how do we construct a participatory space rather than a static space?” he asked. Loertscher is working with a team of graduate students to build and hone the Virtual Learning Commons (VLC), a downloadable template that creates an interactive and engaging space for school library media specialists, administrators, teachers, and students to interact, conduct research, and exchange information.

(Next page: What’s in the VLC?)

Laura Ascione

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