BIT15: Lightning

flash-297580_1280Learning Commons Lightning Round
Host: Anita Brooks Kirkland
Thursday November 5, 2015, 10:00 – 10:50 am

Five innovative teacher-librarians share their library learning commons innovations in six-minute lightning talks.

Speakers & Topics

Caroline Freibauer: TLLP in the Learning Commons: A Hero’s Journey

In my quest to transform an under-used school library into a vibrant learning commons, I turned to the Ministry of Education’s Teacher Learning Leadership Program grant to fund an investigation into the power of inquiry-based learning. One project turned into three, four participants became 25 and our ultimate collaborator turned out to be the Rotman School of Management. This presentation tells that story, the ups and downs, the laughter and tears and the successes and failures. Where does the journey end? Does it ever?

Caroline FreibauerCaroline Freibauer is a teacher librarian at Assumption College School in Brantford. Before that, she taught high school English, media studies and literacy. Her background is journalism and she worked as a newspaper reporter for about 15 years. Her interests include creating authentic learning opportunities. Twitter: @freibauer

Carlo Fusco: GAFE for Knowledge Building Centers

As schools move to integrating more technology in student learning, there are tools such as the Virtual Library Learning Commons and Google Apps for Education that can integrate a variety of tools into a single location. The ability to build virtual Knowledge Building Centers (KBC) for both staff and students can be a powerful tool in education. During this portion of the presentation we will be looking at virtual KBC’s designed for an SNC2D Climate Change project ( and a Teacher Book Club (

Carlo FuscoScience Teacher turned Teacher-Librarian at Waterloo Collegiate Institute. I have always had a love of technology from the first time I used the Commodore PET to getting my Pebble watch synced with my Android phone. Recently my focus has been on Google Application for Education and helping my colleagues become better acquainted with the platform and helping them discover the potential for GAFE in the the classroom. You can find me on Twitter @mrfusco

Kate Johnson-McGregor: Stealth Librarianship:The Learning Commons Revolution

In an attempt to teach and grow a learning commons philosophy in my school and in my school board, I have employed a variety of tactics to engage and encourage participation on frequently unwitting participants. The evolution from Library to Learning Commons isn’t an overnight transition and there are many ways to get there. I will share some of the ways I have made inroads in my school and at the school board level. Cue Mission Impossible theme music here…

Kate Johnson-McGregorKate is the Teacher-Librarian at Brantford Collegiate Institute in the Grand Erie District School Board. She is passionate about teaching and learning in the Library Learning Commons and is always trying to find new ways to innovate and collaborate with students and teachers. Kate is honoured to be the Vice President/President elect of the Ontario School Library Association for 2015-2016. Please follow her on Twitter @TeacherKate.

Alanna King: Raising the Stakeholders in the Library Learning Commons

The Learning Commons provides a space where everyone in a school can work together and all can collaborate in learning partnerships. Hear the highs and lows of shifting the culture of library to learning commons to include the whole school community as learners….and why it’s worth it!

Alanna KingAlanna King is an agent of change in the Upper Grand District School Board. She works tirelessly to improve availability and access to resources in all media forms in her secondary school library learning commons. Alanna is proud to represent the Central West region with the Ontario School Library Association and can best be found on Twitter @banana29 or on her blog at

Melanie Mulcaster: Collaboration, Creation, Communication and Critical Thinking – The Learning Commons 2.0

One goal of our Learning Commons MakerClub makerspace is for all learners to construct knowledge in student-centered, social settings using tools best suited to meet their particular needs – bridging the gap between what they can do independently and what they can accomplish with assistance.

Melanie MulcasterMelanie is the teacher librarian for a diverse and extraordinary bunch of middle school students in Mississauga ON. She likes to over exaggerate her impact on the world, often referring to herself as a “legend in her own mind”. This doesn’t, however, stop her from trying to take over the world….one day and one learning theory at a time. Twitter: @the_mulc

View the slide presentation here.