Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What does the i stand for in iCommons?

Some time ago a student asked me what the i stands for in iPhone, iPad and iTunes.  That's an interesting question and one that there doesn't seem to be an official answer to.  I have heard some people suggest that the i stands for internet (yet that wasn't the case with the first iPods) and others have suggested that Steve Jobs himself said it stood for individual - which does seem to make sense if you think of the i as the user.

Today was the first day back at school for our returning students and I was sitting in the iCommons area of our 3rd floor when I heard the same question - what does the i stand for in iCommons?  We asked the students to have a guess at what they thought it might mean and we had some good suggestions:  inquiry, interesting, intelligent, interactive and so on.  In fact our iCommons, which are on each floor of our elementary campus, are at the heart of our collaborative learning environment and the i stands for information.  Here is what the school's website states about the iCommons areas:
ASB iCommons’ mission is to inspire and support its users towards creative and intellectual achievement while responsibly and ethically learning the value of information, its acquisition, and its usage. The iCommons replaces the traditional concept of a library. We’ve transformed the centralized library into six interactive spaces within our learning communities. We call this area, the iCommons. Each floor will have an  iCommons housing a variety of resources - ebooks, playaways, audio books, printed books, and an iMac to create digital products. This collaborative space will support and engage students in their learning journey.  Our six iCommons house a wide collection of ebooks, print books and databases to support reading, multidisciplinary social and problem solving skills. Within these titles is a wide collection of ebooks that range from picture books, fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, other language materials and teacher resources. The iCommons subscribe to a variety of periodicals, journals, magazines, and  ebooks to support the needs of our students.
Each iCommons area contains an IT Kiosk.  This is the first port of call for students and teachers on that floor for tech support.  For myself I'm very happy that the IT and Library are together in the same learning space on every floor.

For me, the concept of the iCommons is a new one and I'm excited to see how it develops.  I can see another i coming out of this area too.  It will be a place for where i also stands for inspiration.

1 comment:

  1. I too am very happy that IT and Library are together - My understanding was that the i in Apple products came first from the iMac and stood for Internet mac. When the iPods and etc. came out they liked the sound.
    Since then, I like to think that the i stands for information - my iPad is my information pad ;-)