The Commonwealth Government’s Building the Education Revolution Primary Learning Environment

The Commonwealth Government has recently released the guidelines for Primary Schools  applying for grants for 21st Century Learning Neighbourhoods, 21st Century Libraries/Learning Resource Centres and 21st Century Multipurpose Centres. 

Of note to library staff (whether or not they are eligible for the grant) will be the information on what a 21st Century Library/Learning Resource Centre should offer:

21st Century Library / Learning Resource Centre

The 21st century library provides a learning resource hub and a central location for storage and coordination of facilities and services for use by the whole school

community. In contrast to the libraries of the industrial era, 21st century libraries can be thought of as places, opportunities and resources for individual and shared investigation for all learning styles.

 The library will house the majority of the school’s resources and provide formal and informal spaces for both students and staff.

 The library area performs a number of important functions associated with the range of learning and teaching activities to be undertaken at the school. It should be able to house the physical resources of the school, such as books, magazines and maps, as well as offer access to online, electronic, audiovisual and other resources through provision for computer terminals and audiovisual equipment.

 It offers flexible teaching spaces that can be used by whole class or smaller groups to undertake learning activities based upon library resources. There are spaces for quiet reading and discussion as well as space for formal lecture and discussion for larger groups of students.

 Audio-visual recording and editing facilities, with ‘green screen’ and acoustic separation, an animation zone, computer access, central storage of communal ICT resources and a small presentation space are integral to its design as a ‘high-tech’ digital learning hub. A staff work area, areas and facilities for dynamic displays, displays of books and other learning resources, an adjoining conference room, interview room, collaborative zones, quiet reading and study areas, relaxation zones, including an integrated café style area for senior students, provide spaces for independent learning and social interaction and ensure that it maintains a ‘hightouch’ quality.

The 21st Century Library is a sophisticated learning resource centre for joint school and community use with resources, spaces and programs that can accommodate the needs of people at all stages of the lifespan.”

Also of interest is the information provided on “Embedded, Integrated Information and Communications Technology.

“Communication is the key to building and sustaining a community of learners. Seamless access to information and communications technology (ICT) by students and teachers is essential for contemporary teaching and learning practice. ICT is broadening the scope of how, when and where learning occurs. ICT provides a powerful, integrated set of tools to improve learning, teaching, communication and administration. Effective use of ICT enhances a school’s capacity to:

  • Personalise and extend learning
  • Support creativity, risk-taking, higher order thinking and problem solving
  • Connect learning beyond the school
  • Promote self-directed and self-managed learning
  • Develop 21st century literacies – digital, technological, visual, collaborative, interactive
  • Embrace authentic assessment and ‘assessment for learning’ through presentation software, ePortfolios and online assessment
  • Communicate across geographical, cultural and temporal boundaries
  • Creatively develop and manage learning and teaching resources
  • Efficiently access and store information.”

The full guidelines can be found here and fact sheets can be accessed here. Information on leading practice and design is located here. For specific information on the Victorian implementation of the program, contact your Regional Office or email

Good luck with your application and we would love to follow the process of building some new primary school libraries on Bright Ideas.

More Elluminate resources

As well as being an excellent ‘lecture capture system’, the DEECD’s Elluminate website  hosts a number of very interesting presentations that have been saved for access at a later date.

One of these presentations is Steve Hargadon’s Web 2.0 is the future of education. (You must have Elluminate installed, Victorian educators can download this for free from here. Elluminate lite is also available to other schools free for one year; for the free program click here.) This presentation gives a great outline of Web 2.0 in education and why it is necessary for 21st Century learning.

Steve Hargadon's
Steve Hargadon’s Web 2.0 is the future of education presentation
Access is available to other Web 2.0 presentations, click here for them. Elluminate is a fantastic tool that allows archiving of presentations and so access at a later date for people who couldn’t attend or those who want to revisit the presentation is open and easy.

21st Century learning

Continuing on with Professor Stephen Heppell’s talk on 21st Century learning at the State Library of Victoria on Monday 10th November, Stephen outlined the 21st Century as ‘people centric’ where ‘helping people help each other’ is leading to the mass social construction of knowledge. People adding entries and editing Wikipedia, creating content in LibraryThing, YouTube, Flickr and the like (my examples) means that we (and our students) ‘are in a world we haven’t met before’. Stephen says ‘it’s time for schools to run, not follow’.

A recent UK survey by Ipsos asked students how they were currently learning in school. The responses were something like:

  1. Copying from books or the whiteboard (approximately 50% of respondents).
  2. Taking notes from a long teacher talk (approximately 30% of respondents).
  3. Copying from the Internet (approximately 20% of respondents).

When asked how they would like to learn, the responses were:

  1. Learning in groups.
  2. Learn by doing practical things.
  3. Learning with friends.
  4. Learn by using a computer.

When asked what they would like their teachers to be able to do, they responded:

  1. Edit a Wikipedia entry.
  2. Upload a video to YouTube and make a comment.
  3. Subscribe to a podcast.
  4. Manage groups in Flickr (and be able to spell Flickr).
  5. Select a safe online payment site.
  6. Turn mobile phone predictive text on/off.

Certainly food for thought, not only for teachers but also for school administrators. For a recording of Stephen’s session with Victoria’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Knowledge Bank, click here.

To read more about what Stephen has been involved in, his thoughts and projects, please follow these links:

Teachers TV

Internationally renowned educator Professor Stephen Heppell presented an enlightening lecture at the State Library of Victoria on the evening of Monday 10th November.  The topic of 21st Century learning and how we as educators address and change not only our practice, but mindset, is just one of the things that consumes Stephen.

One tool that Stephen discussed was Teachers TV (not to be confused with TeacherTube). UK in origin, it provides thousands of educational programmes on television and the Internet. Many of the programmes available are made by teachers for other teachers; they discuss new ideas that have worked well in their classroom. Teachers TV provides a subject guide to programmes, recommended videos and more. You can keep up-to-date with RSS feeds and if you register, you can download programmes to view later on, comment on programmes and access sneak previews.

Thousands of education programmes on TV and online

Thousands of education programmes on TV and online

Teachers TV is highly recommended as a free, reliable and credible source of educational videos freely available through the Internet. Teachers TV also provides links to educational websites that may be of interest.

More on Stephen Heppell soon.