Mailing List Message #114859
From: Joan K. Lippincott <>
Sender: <>
Subject: Learning Spaces Collaboratory: The Agora in Physical and Virtual Space
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2020 14:17:00 -0500
Dear cni-announce subscribers:

One of the most stimulating activities in which I’ve taken part during the pandemic is an every other week online discussion organized and hosted by the Learning Spaces Collaboratory (LSC), bringing together architects, academic administrators, faculty, and other professionals such as myself. Sub-groups are creating essays on various topics, and the first one is about the agora, in both the physical and virtual context. Library commons have sometimes been described as agora, and they are noted briefly in the essay. The focus, though, is on how we can take some of the characteristics of the agora and translate them into virtual spaces during the pandemic. The essay notes, "From engaging in learning activities through your smartphone to encountering new ideas and places beyond the limitations of space and time, virtual platforms will extend the opportunities to be a part of a (metaphorical if not literal) campus." 

The announcement by Jeanne Narum, head of the LSC, and the link to the essay are below.
— Joan Lippincott, Associate Executive Director Emerita, CNI

This question is explored in this essay from the Learning Spaces Collaboratory. It is the first of a series of working papers crafted by members of the LSC Zoom Roundtable Think Tank

The Think Tank is a small, diverse group from within the LSC, including representatives of LSC Sponsors and LSC Collaborating Partners. This group has been convening since Spring 2020, exploring questions being asked and those that should be asked as campuses wrestle with how and where learning is experienced in the COVID-19 era.
The question about “agora” as a metaphor for a space for learning has been intriguing us since it surfaced at the initial LSC Zoom Roundtable in May 2020. 

We invite your attention and thoughts. 
Jeanne L. Narum
Learning Spaces Collaboratory, Principal
(202) 528-0305

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