Putnam Avenue Upper School Learning Commons

Putnam Avenue Upper School
100 Putnam Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
617.349.4100 (main office)

Library Hours: 8:15AM - 3:15PM

The Putnam Avenue Learning Commons features a magnificent, state-of-the-art library and media center. Enveloped in natural light, the library space encourages students to relax on the comfortable seating to read literature or work in groups. As in all the instructional spaces, there is an Epson interactive projector, which allows for multi-touch interactivity through digital pens or a user’s finger. Additionally there are several white boards, tables and window seats. On any given day you may see a small group of students working with their math teacher, while others may be reading quietly or browsing the stacks for that just-right book. The space is designed to meet the needs of many for the population we serve. A terrace is off to the left for students and teachers to enjoy in the nice weather. Situated between the Putnam Ave and King Library, is the media lab, now referred to as the Innovation Lab (iLab) aptly named by a student. 

Our shared iLab is quite impressive. Upon entering, one may notice its expansive space and glossy walls. A special whiteboard paint has been applied to the walls so that anywhere one can write on them. It is so much fun to see students write their ideas on the walls! The lab is equipped with 16 MacBook Pros, large projection monitors, mobile interactive whiteboards, several digital cameras, HD video cameras, tripods, microphones, headphones and a green screen. Teachers flock to this space to engage with the variety of media devices. During this school year, teachers have used the iLab for a variety of purposes. There’s been programming and computer literacy classes, as well as video, VoiceThread and Garage Band projects.

The library program focuses on building a love of reading and libraries among our students, teaching them to become efficient and effective users of information using print and digital resources. One of our curricular goals is to enhance academic research skills, which often involves collaborative projects between the Library Technology Specialist (LTS) and classroom teachers. The LTS looks for opportunities to incorporate information literacy and digital literacy skills within the classroom setting. Some recent projects have been Public Service Announcements using VoiceThread, defining a cultural movement research project, design your own movie trailer using iMovie, defend an ancient legacy using GarageBand and create a book commercial based on your independent reading. The upper school students use technology every day in a myriad of ways to expand, enrich and enhance their learning.

Marianne Bees, Library Technology Specialist
Kathy Buonpane, Technology Support Technician

The ICTS Team works together to provide support for the library, instructional technology services, and technical assistance to staff and students. For assistance, please contact a team member listed above.

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