Chasing Storms or Rainbows—Resources and Inspiration from the Library 2.015 Spring Summit

Published: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 by Allison Randall Gatt

Think you need lots of time and money to attend a professional conference? Or maybe you just don’t have time for all the planning that it takes to get out of the house or choose the perfect “dressed-for-success” ensemble?

Well, think again. I listened to a recording of the Library 2.015 Spring Summit over the weekend and did most of it while dressed in my pajamas or sipping a cappuccino at the local café. There are so many virtual presentations available to listen to, with great advice and information to be tucked away for helping you focus your career goals, hone your skills and be up-to-date with what’s going on in the world of information technology.

The entire Spring Summit was three hours long—three separate topics lasting an hour each. For the next three days, I’ll be giving you the highlights and the low-down on each of the presentations—one a day so that you can pace yourselves. When you want to watch (or simply listen to, via MP3) the presentations, simply click on the title of the presentation in each blog post here, which will take you to the Elluminate recording.

The Future of Technology in Today’s Libraries
The first presentation, entitled “Chasing Storms or Rainbows?” (the correct answer is rainbows, of course!) featured a great discussion among four great leaders in library and information technology: Miguel Figueroa, Udi Chatow, Casey McCoy and Jason Swanson.

Miguel Figueroa is the director of ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries, whose mission in part is “to build connections with experts and innovative thinkers to help libraries address emerging issues.” Innovative thinkers—ahem—that would be you and me. Figueroa talked about the possibilities of collaborations within library communities, outside partners and professionals. He invited attendees to take a look at this website model of trends and let him know what you think; he welcomes suggestions about any additions that could be made. His email at the ALA is mfigueroa@ala.org

Udi Chatow of HP Graphic Business Solutions discussed the Hewlett Packard METIS project, which seeks to design a product that combines properties of a printed book with the advantages of an electronic version to create a better experience for students of all ages. Chatow is currently working with iSchool faculty as part of the METIS project.

Librarian Casey McCoy presented some of the resources from a study she did in Illinois, presenting workshops to disadvantaged parents and kids who had never used a computer before. References she recommended to those wanting to learn more about the digital divide include The Digital Dead End and the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition as well as McCoy’s own study, “Technology in Education: Too Much or Not Enough.”

Jason Swanson of KnowledgeWorks.org discussed the ecosystem of technology, learning and changes in education. “A learning system should be built for and centered around the needs and aspirations of the learner themselves,” according to Swanson. The new ecosystem will enable the learner to move seamlessly around in different environments, both formal and informal, and as Swanson said, is “tailored around the needs, interests and goals of a particular learner.” Swanson champions a vibrant content learning ecosystem, rather than the industrial model of education.

New Ways of Learning
I was encouraged by the discussion, prompted by moderator and iSchool instructor Dr. Sue Alman, because it helped me think about how learning environments are changing, and so rapidly, with the utilization of social media and open source learning, and the need to keep education in line with with technological advancements. I think about this for my graduate-level education as well as the elementary school–level learning of my children. It fuels a strange sense of competition in me—I don’t want to be out-teched by my first-grader, especially if I’m going to be an information professional. Swanson’s comments inspired me to learn right along with my kids, and to foster collaboration with them as well—seeing how they learn and maybe learning from them even as I teach by example.

Chatow chimed in about the need to help students develop their interests in a technological format that works best for them, which means working with publishers to develop their product in several different formats to fit with different learning styles. Adding to the discussion, Figueroa emphasized the importance of the different functions that different library environments have, and the advantages of each institution’s unique ability to cater to its own community.

The next Spring Summit post will be all about how to keep up with technology trends, including a presentation and resource list from current iSchool student Tina Jagerson. And be sure to keep your eyes peeled and email alerts for updates on this fall’s Library 2.015 Conference on October 20, 2015.

Related content:
SJSU Information School and Hewlett Packard Collaborate in Assessment of Educational Materials

Great Class Options at the iSchool for Summer and Fall

The Here and Now–a Closer Look at Social Media, Open Courses and Innovative Library Programming from the Library 2.015 Spring Summit

In the Know– Advice about Technology and Program Funding from the Library 2.015 Spring Summit

image courtesy of cooldesigns

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