Belmonte Middle School is poised to take a leap into 21st century learning. The library media center is ready to take that leap as well. The West Virginia Standards for 21st Century Learning state that:

"The mix of technology tools will change and evolve rapidly in the future. Today's technology may be obsolete tomorrow. It is impossible to predict the tools that will be essential for learning and working in the years to come. That is why it is important for people to acquire learning skills that will enable them to use next-generation technology and why business people and educators need to continue to collaborate so schools will stay abreast of new technology. By moving beyond the development of foundational skills in technology to the development of ICT (information and communication technology) literacy skills, we will prepare our students to be productive in the classroom and the workplace."

We need to recognize that the world our students will be working and living in is scarcely imaginable today. We need not only to educate them to use and understand the technologies of today, but to prepare them to be ready for the technologies of tomorrow. As stated above, we need to teach them the "learning skills" that will prepare them for a workplace that doesn't yet exist.

Belmonte Middle School can create a "learning commons", which is a space that is a center for information, knowledge and enjoyment. The environment is one of inquiry and creativity, not just skill-building and fact-gathering. It is inquiry and knowledge building that will lead our students into successful lives in the 21st century.

The vision for the Belmonte Middle School Library Media Center is:

An information commons where inquiry, knowledge, enjoyment, creativity all live together.
A model for deliberate and intentional engagement with knowledge.
In place is an inquiry model of knowledge acquisition, hopefully school-wide (IIM-Independent Investigation Method).
A place where they use Web 2.0 tools in the school as well as out of school. As Marc Prensky says “It’s their after school education not their school education that is preparing kids for their 21st century lives—and they know it. When kids come to school they leave behind this intellectual light of their everyday lives and walk into the darkness of the old-fashioned classroom”.
Teaching students literacy skills and they include print literacy, visual literacy and media literacy.
A place where students and staff know they will be welcomed, inspired, and challenged.
A place where 21st-century ethics are alive.

It is the goal that all stakeholders at Belmonte will adopt and work towards this vision.


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