Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ten Trends and Technologies for 2009

Ten Trends and Technologies for 2009

This post comes courtesy of Michael Stephens, author of the blog Tame the Web: Libraries, Technology and People. Michael's post is scholarly and filled with data, links, and academic sources. Borrowing his 10 descriptors, this is my version, viewed through the lens of the CCHS Library.
  1. The Ubiquity of the Cloud - Clouds provide a powerful alternate way to present data. It is hard to find opportunities to use data with students to evaluate things that aren't intrinsically empirical. An example is writing. A student can copy and paste a paper into something like Wordle and see the resulting word cloud. If there are repetitive words it shows up immediately. Tag clouds are becoming increasingly important to search functions, especially with social networking sites. Understanding a cloud is an important emerging literacy.
  2. The Value of the Commons - A rich, collaborative space for people to create is the heart of this idea, covering everything from Creative Commons licensing to a Media Commons model for the library. Learning by doing, literacy beyond text, global connections - these are all elements that resonate with me. A Commons philosophy is welcoming, creative, fosters connections, and puts students at the center.
  3. The Changing Role of IT - Everyone needs to be an IT Specialist now. Period. We all must accept the responsibility basic trouble shooting. While we don't all need to know html or network configuration, we all need to be competent end-users, confident to try things, click buttons, roll our sleeves up and dig into an application. Comfort with various media files, uploading, downloading, embedable code, wikis, Nings and blogs are all core competentices for life in Web 2.0 and the 21st Century. How else will we be ready for Web 3.0?
  4. The Care & Nurturing of the Tribe - Teenagers need their tribe. They need to belong to a social group, thus the incredible popularity of Facebook. They also need nurturing and guidance as they learn to navigate the halls of their real world, and pixels of their digital lives. Both are real, both are valuable, and both are relevant.
  5. Encourage the Heart - How can we make authentic human connections with each other? Be the Change has played an important role in fostering connection and caring at CCHS. Can we capitalize on this and expand those connections to a global awareness? Really, it is about encouraging intellectual curiosity and caring.
  6. The Triumph of the Portable Device - iPhones are like lightning bolts of connectivity, and in a perfect world I would put one in the hands of every student. Connectivity is the air they breathe, and we should harness is and use it as an integral part of the educational process.
  7. The Importance of Personalization - At CCHS every student has a network account, and as they log in each day I can see how they personalize their desktop, their preferences, their interface with the world. Each student is different and while they often dress, talk and behave like each other, online they are far freer to be themselves. It is a joy to see how diverse they are in the freedom of their digital environment.
  8. The Impact of Localization - Our local resources are rich and varied, and sometimes this can get lost in the rush to push global awareness. Yet we have CCTV, our local cable access station, where I can tune into channel 10 and see what media is being produced and shared by our students. I can tune into WIQH 88.3FM and hear the local sports and weather forecast by students, listen to their music, and their political views. Kids are creating local content, and finding ways to share it with their communities. We need to continue to find ways to facilitate this local exchange.
  9. The Evolution of the Digital Lifestyle - Put an "i" in front of it, and it connects to everything in your life, or at least that what it feels like. Seamless, fluid, we are approaching a time when our digital interface will be a fully networked archive of our experience and work. The tricky bit is the blurring of traditional lines. In social networks who should we be friends with, and who should we not be friends with? Teachers? Professional colleagues? Bosses? The Digital Lifestyle demands that we review our social traditions, mores and policies.
  10. The Shift Toward Open Thinking - We need to be more open to creativity and finding alternative ways of demonstrating what we know. We need to be more lenient of technical failure, and give credit for trying. Allowing students to access learning in different ways, and providing alternate formats to access content has to be a priority.

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