Mobile Technology and Learning: Information Literacy Beyond the Classroom

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Robin Canuel, MLISLiaison LibrarianHumanities and Social Sciences LibraryMcGill University

Chad Crichton, MA, MLISCoordinator of Reference, Research & InstructionU of T Scarborough LibraryUniversity of Toronto

40th Annual WILU Conference Regina, Saskatchewan June 1-3, 2011

Mobile Technology and Learning: Information Literacy Beyond the Classroom

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Learning ObjectivesParticipants will...1) Understand the value of mobile technology in an academic library context2) Appreciate the current state of mobile resources and services, and possible avenues of future mobile development3) Learn about the integration of mobile technology into information literacy instruction in the classroom and beyond

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IntroductionBeing available for your users anytime, anywhere, in any context

New Paradigm - Possibility of never seeing your patrons in person in the future

Does new mobile technology change what it means to be information literate?

Image Device pile: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blakespot/4773693893/

So here are some ideas Id like to get you thinking about during this hour.Mobile technology allows you to virtually be available for your users anytime anywhere, any place. This is particularly important because many believe we are entering a New Paradigm in which we will see our users in person with much less frequency.And finally we would like everyone to consider whether or not all of this mobile technology is changing what it means to be information literate.

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How many of you own a cellphone?How many of you have a smartphone?

So just to get a sense of the room let me ask you: How many of you own a cellphone?How many of you have a smartphone?

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In 2010, 74% of undergraduates owned an internet capable handheld device or planned to purchase one within the next 6 monthsECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ers1006/rs/ers1006w.pdfImage Exam week: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosipaw/4328473236/in/photostream/

So here is a picture of some high school students taking an exam, and what I love about this picture is that it shows 9 students and 17 phones. We probably cant see all the students in the room, but we still thought it was pretty funny.According to the ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology: In 2010, 74% of undergraduates owned an internet capable handheld device or planned to purchase one within the next 6 months

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A World Without WiresGlobally there are over 555 million fixed broadband subscriptions but over 940 million 3G subscriptionsThere are now over 5.3 billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwideThe World in 2010, International Telecommunication Union, http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/material/FactsFigures2010.pdf Image Earth and clouds: http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/images/technology-CM079001967.aspx#ai:MP900422242|mt:2|is:3|si:1|

Increasingly we are becoming more and more connected to the world, but becoming less and less connected through wired connectionGlobally there are over 555 million fixed broadband subscriptions but over 940 million 3G subscriptions. So, more people are connecting to the internet using mobile technology than through landlines. Additionally, there are now over 5.3 billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide

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70% of internet users in Egypt never or rarely access the internet via desktop, laptop or tablets.59% of internet users in India are mobile only25% of internet users in the U.S are mobile onlyHill, Alistar. (2010) The Mobile Only Internet Generation

Here is a map showing 2G & 3G coverage worldwide

70% of mobile internet users in Egypt never or rarely access the internet via desktop, laptop or tablet.Similarly, 59% of internet users in India are mobile onlyAnd surprisingly, 25% of mobile internet users in the U.S are mobile only

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AT&T reported that from 2007-2010 demand for mobile broadband increased 4,932% Hanson, Cody (2011)

Soon, 80% of all people accessing the internet will be doing so using their mobile device (Ericsson (2010), http://www.ericsson.com/jm/news/1430616)

PEW Internet and American Life: The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the Internet for most people in the world in 2020. The Future of the Internet III (2008)

In addition to this: AT&T reported that from 2007-2010 demand for mobile broadband increased 4,932% (Hanson, Cody)- According Ericsson, Studies show that soon 80% of all people accessing the internet will be doing so on their mobile device (Ericsson, 2010)

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The average person engages with their phone 150 times per day. If averaged out over a 16.5 hour day, that works out to an average of once every 6.5 minutes.

Tomi Ahonen

According to Tomi Ahonen, a well know mobility researcher, the average person engages with their phone 150 times per day. If you averaged this out over a 16.5 hour day, that works out to an average of once every 6.5 minutes. This may seem like a crazy number, and Id venture to say that everyone in this room is well below this average, myself included, but to put it in context, consider how many text messages your average 15 year old sends in a day or the fact that the same ICT report that gave us the map of the world we saw earlier found that in 2010 there were 6.1 TRILLION text messages sent, which was estimated to be over 192,000 SMS messages EVERY SECOND. (SMS=Short Message Service)9

Librarians could become invisible on smartphones unless they reach out to patrons through existing applicationsContinuing down this road, many libraries could find themselves doing little more than selecting and paying for databasesIf librarians are not visible in research apps, patrons will go to vendors to get helpBut if librarians are willing to redefine their roles in the research process, they can not only survive, but thrive in the mobile world.Boone, Tom (2011)Image - Nesting Dolls: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyi/482006549/

So the worry here whether or not patrons will continue turn to us for our expertise in the future given the ease of finding information using mobile technology.

As Tom Boone points out 1 then 2 Pause so the concern here is that librarians will be cut out of interactions with our patrons. And that

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So, how do we do this?13

Some QuestionsHow many of you already have a mobile initiative at your institution?

How many of you are going mobile in the next six months? Year?

Canadian Association of Research Libraries Members Offering a Mobile Web Presence

What does it mean to go mobile???

Apps vs. Websites

One of the first considerations is the current difference between mobile apps and mobile websites. Essentially this difference is beginning to disappear as technology evolves to make mobile sites in many ways as compelling and easy to use as downloadable apps. Generally,a mobile site is easier to create than an app, and will require less investment and technical expertise, but in the future advancements such as the expansion in the use of the new HTML standard, html5 will allow websites to better replicate the functionality of a downloadable application. Frankly, half the time mobile apps simply link users to a mobile site, and vice versa, and as you can see, at U of T our mobile app is neraly identical to our mobile website.17

Library Services for Mobile DevicesLibrary Account (Renewals)Library Chat Help (IM, SMS)Room Bookings / AvailabilityLibrary News (RSS)Desktop/Laptop AvailabilityResearch Workshop Schedule/Sign-upFloor Maps / Stacks GuideAutomated Phone RenewalsVPN/WIFI ConfigurationMobile Subject GuidesCampus WebcamsCourse ReservesVideos - vodcast (libcasts)PodcastLibrary FinderFull Text Finders (Article Finder)Bus SchedulesSend book location / call number to phone

Here again is a list of some of the most popular and frequently seen services and resources on the mobile sites of academic libraries.

Mention: Desktop/laptop availability Floor Maps and Stacks Guides Video Libcasts Course Reserves Library Finder (Particularly important at an institution like U of T where we have over 40 different libraries on our St. George Campus)18

So what sorts of things are libraries incorporating into their mobile sites and apps? Here youll see the results of our own environmental scan of the content found on mobile websites produced by libraries belonging to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, superimposed with the results from Alan Aldrichs scan of mobile ARL Library sites.

TOP 5: Library Catalogue Library Hours Contact Information Account Access Library Location19

So thats what people are doing with mobile technology, but why?

Whos priorities are those?

Who is setting the agenda, users or librarians?

Who should be setting the agenda?

So the questions then become (Click, Click, Click). Must strike a BALANCE between giving students what they think they want, and giving students what we think they need. If we rely completely on user surveys, well end up building services that conform to what students think a library is SUPPOSED to be (traditional stuff like catalogues, resources, library hours). Well be losing an important opportunity to use this technology to EXPAND our reach, and give users tools they never even KNEW they needed. Responding to customers is great, but successful technology implementation (think Apple) is also about thinking about what users NEED and THEN explaining to them WHY they need it. Steve Jobs doesnt ask you what y