How fine is the line between socialization and social learning

Dough Johnson and Ann Krembs are here at ISB this week consulting with our school and the Library Review Committee on creating/restructuring our library learning space. Doug wrote a great post titled: The essential question I would highly recommend reading it and all of the comments. The Ed Tech team and the Librarians (total 8 people) met with Doug and Ann on Thursday to get our take on the new space. At one point Doug brought up the thought about having a space for socialization versus social learning. Just how fine is the line between socialization and social learning? When we talk about spaces and what students’ needs are and what a school’s needs are can we blur the line between being social and social learning? I started thinking of my experience at the local Barnes & Nobles in my home town of Spokane, Washington and just how many times I end up there in the summer time. Sometimes I stop for a coffee at the Starbucks located inside and end up browsing books. Other times I meet friends there and just socialize, and yet other times I go there looking for books and end up drinking a coffee. B&N and Starbucks have blurred the lines between books, work, and social hour. You throw in a little WiFi connection and you’re set for the day. Could we create spaces in our schools that were both used for socializing and at the same time a library and a place were kids go to work and get work done? In other words…can we create the modern school? Could a modern school library be the hangout? Do we want students to be social in a place were social learning should/could take place? Personally I think we need to not only blur the line but start erasing it. B&N and Starbucks do a really good job of being open in one large area but using features such as a change from tile to carpet and a little railing between the Starbucks portion and the B&N portion of the store to let people know when you have moved from one to the other. Physically they share space, but as you enter the store you can easily see where Starbucks ends and the bookstore begins. What if we could replicate this in our libraries? What if we could create spaces that allowed students to work...

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