Kansas City Public Library has been selected by Peer to Peer University to participate in the next phase of its global expansion. They successfully piloted a learning format called Learning Circles in the Chicago Public Library system in 2015. Based on the successes and lessons learned from that program, it’s our turn now!
Learning Circles are lightly-facilitated study groups for learners who want to take freely available online courses together, in-person. As part of the Library’s plan to narrow the digital divide for Kansas City adults, we will facilitate digital skills Learning Circles at select Library locations this fall—Bluford and Central.
The course is called “Make the Internet Work for You!” Each Tuesday we will learn a different topic including, basic internet navigation and searching, how to use tools like email, maps, and social media and internet security and safety. Our primary source of content will be gcflearnfree.org, an open access education source featured on Kansas City Public Library’s website.
Learning Circles will meet for 1.5 hours weekly on Tuesdays in the mornings at Central (from 10-11:30 a.m.) and in the afternoons at Bluford (from 1-2:30 p.m.) We will provide a facilitator, computers, and other necessary equipment for learners. (BONUS: Learning Circles will be the first program to utilize our mobile digital learning lab - a fleet of laptops and projectors - made possible through a recent state library grant.)
We are accepting applications from now to November 11 for our first LC’s that will begin Tuesday, November 15 and run through Tuesday, December 13. Successful applicants will have an understanding of basic computer skills—using a mouse, clicking on icons, etc. We will notify applicants that they have been accepted within 3 business days of their application via the phone or email they provided in the process.
Here are the application links for Bluford and Central.
Graduation packages will be provided for learners upon completion of the course and will include a 31-day KC bus pass, $5 library printing credit, a flash drive, and ear buds. Learners must be able to attend ALL 5 SESSIONS to be eligible for the graduation package. No exceptions. IF applicants think they cannot attend all sessions, they should wait for the next learning circle opportunity so someone else can have the slot.