Rules, Rules, Rules

Ben ForteLearning Commons


So many traditional Libraries have so many rules. Generally you will find posters here there and everywhere dictating what you are and aren’t allowed to do. These are often not engaging and frequently ignored. A Learning Commons must have a more relaxed common sense approach. There are now so many different things that can have so many different rules that … Read More

Supervision / Support

Ben ForteLearning Commons

Supervision Support

The level of support and supervision required should be considered carefully. Depending on how your learning space operates you may require different levels of support at different times of the day. There should always be someone available in your learning space and during peak times e.g. Lunchtime you are probably going to require more support. There are a few ways … Read More

eBook VS Physical Book Debate

Ben ForteEdtech, Learning Commons


On Thursday the 15th of January 2015 as part of the Learning Commons promotion week the Devonport Union hosted a debate the motion being “This house would have the school emphasise eBooks and online resources over traditional resources.” The debate had a great turnout and a good range of year groups in attendance. The first point to be raised was … Read More

Games & Games Based Learning

Ben ForteEdtech, Learning Commons


In this post I am going to talk about Games and touch on Games Based Learning although I am not an expert in the area of Games Based Learning and it is not something which is really part of creating the perfect Learning Commons, but it is worth a mention. I allow students to play games on personal devices and … Read More

Printing / Finishing Facilities

Ben ForteLearning Commons

Atmosphere - Resources - 4

Many learning spaces that I have visited have had great printing facilities, especially Universities. Some schools may have a dedicated print/design centre that has all the specialist equipment but in some schools these facilities are now being put into space where students can get greater access to more advanced finishing capabilities. The sort of products you may want to consider … Read More

Atmosphere – Resources (Books)

Ben ForteLearning Commons

Atmosphere - Resources - 3

Many people still love to read a physical book. Personally I think once you have used the right eReader those feelings go away. I did agree with people for a long time that I didn’t like reading on a screen, but now we have E Ink which is not backlit then I feel we are ready to make the shift. … Read More

Atmosphere – Resources (eBooks / eReaders)

Ben ForteLearning Commons

Atmosphere - Resources - 2

There are many eReader devices now on the market and they are definitely the replacement for the physical book. I didn’t think it was going to work as well as it does but personally I now carry mine with me everyday. I finished reading a book on my eReader the other day and someone had recommended my next read and … Read More

Atmosphere – Resources (Computers / Laptops / Tablets)

Ben ForteEdtech, Learning Commons

Atmosphere - Resources - 1

Your choice of technology is very important it can completely change the use of the space. For example if you go for 30 desktop computers you are very fixed in the style of learning that will happen in the space. The amount of space you have available may limit your choices. I believe that a combination of technologies is the … Read More

Atmosphere – Personal Technology

Ben ForteLearning Commons

Atmosphere - Personal Tech

Nearly every student carries some type of personal technology, whether it is a mobile phone, laptop or tablet it can be used to enhance learning. Many schools now have a personal device policy or BYOD (Bring your own device) if your school doesn’t then you may need to look into why not. Students can use their personal devices for many … Read More

Atmosphere – Refreshments

Ben ForteLearning Commons

Atmosphere - Refreshments

Traditionally no food or drink is allowed. Having visited many different locations and seeing what rules are in place I can see that unless you are staff or student helpers then you are not allowed food or drink. Most university level libraries/learning spaces have a lot more relaxed rules on refreshments and seeing people working in that relaxed way is … Read More