2013 K-12 Horizon Report

Earlier this week the 2013 NMC K-12 Horizon Report was released. This is the fifth edition of this report, which predicts emerging global technology trends and their impact on teaching, learning and creative inquiry.

The report details each horizon and technology and gives examples of how teachers and educators are already adopting these in their classrooms.

The length of time before each of these technologies is predicted to become mainstream is:

Near-term (less than 12 months)

  • cloud computing
  • mobile learning

Mid-term (2-3 years)

  •  learning analytics
  •  open content

Far-term (4-5 years)

  • 3-D printing
  • virtual and remote laboratories

Follow the discussion on Twitter at #NMChz or download the report at go.nmc.org/2013-k12

Goodnight Moon/ Goodnight iPad

The book Goodnight Moon is an old but classic children’s picture book about a bunny saying goodnight to all the objects in his bedroom. As the story progresses, children can pick out changes that are happening on each of the pages. In a 2012 survey, it was placed at #4 on the School Library Journal’s list of the “Top 100 Picture Books,” a testament to its popularity over time, despite being published in 1947.

In a delightful parody of the book, Penguin USA have created a modern YouTube version of the story to appeal to “the gadget-crazy kid in all of us.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ouOwpYQqic&feature=player_embedded) This version shows the plethora of electronic devices available to children these days, and how it’s a very good idea for them to say goodnight to each of these devices as they get ready to sleep.

Diigo Links

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Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device – Mobile Technologies in Libraries

Last week I presented a session about mobile technologies at the Australian School Llibrary Association 2011 Conference – worldwide trends, what is happening in university libraries and public libraries, and what school libraries are and should be doing. In May I attended the M-Technologies conference here in Brisbane, and became aware of just how fast the uptake of mobile technology is worldwide, and how we need to be placing our libraries in the information streams of our users in order to remain accessible and relevant.

According to Matt Murphy and Mary Meeker (Top Mobile Internet Trends) we are seeing the “early innings of a massive phenomenon.” Already there are 425,000 iPhone apps available, 40% of all tweets are from mobile devices, and there are 200 million mobile Facebook users.  Libraries can now no longer wait for patrons to come to them but need to reach out to their patrons in new and relevant ways. How many smartphone apps do you recommend to your students?  Does your library have a Twitter account?  How about a Facebook account?  Do you use QR codes in your library?

Joyce Valenza aptly challenges us all by saying, “If you call yourself an information professional, you have to be a professional in the information landscape of your time.”

So what should school libraries be doing?

•Recommend educational and research apps

•Recommend ereaders, ebooks and audiobooks

•Allow students to search the catalogue

•Use QR codes to take users to instructional podcasts and videos

•Develop an ‘Ask a Librarian’ service

•Promote citation creation

•Promote database access

•Use Twitter and Facebook for marketing

•Use SMS alerts for marketing

Diigo Links (from QSITE Conference)

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Collaborative Creativity

originality-demotivational-poster-1286743744For the past two days I have been re-charged and re-focused at the annual QSITE conference, where the presenters looked at a variety of ways in which teachers can engage students with ICTs, while at the same time meeting the demands of the school curriculum.

The keynote speaker this morning was Paul Holland, one of the first wave of teachers to introduce microcomputers into, and design software for Australian schools. He went on to pursue a very successful career in management and is currently completing a doctorate in Creative Industries at QUT.

Paul spoke about creativity – how the very young have it, but how it is often stifled within our schools – yet we desperately need to develop a culture where collaborative creativity can flouish and be valued. Albert Einstein’s words are as true today as when he wrote them: “Imagination is more important than knowledge because knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” An ‘insatiable curiousity’ is also the first of 7 Da Vincian Principles espoused by Michael Gelb and yet,

  • at age 5 children have 80%+ originality
  • at age 10 children have 20%+ originality
  • adults in general have 2% originality

What is causing this loss of creativity in our society? According to Sir Ken Robinson, “if you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.” Children are not afraid to be wrong, however their creativity is squashed as they grow older and are moulded to conform to the demands of our education systems. (See his TED talk  Do Schools Kill Creativity?)

Paul suggested that what the world needs is great managers and leaders who are not only convergent thinkers, but divergent thinkers, who can elaborate and think of original ideas with fluency and speed. As well as this, creativity which changes some aspect of culture never resides in the mind of only one person.  A ‘generosity of sharing’ is critically important in our culture for creativity to flourish, and this requires:

  • Intellectual hunger
  • Often a trigger event or challenge  (eg Apollo 13 in desperate circumstances)
  • No fear of failure
  • Respect for others’ ideas
  • Mutual trust
  • Dialogue which puts different ideas in context
  • Shared language
  • An ability to suppress egos for the common goal

John Cleese once said, “I have always worked with a writing partner because I am convinced I get better ideas than when I work on my own.”  Steve Jobs worked with Steve Wozniak and together they formed a hugely successful team.

So then, what are the implications for schools?   Firstly, we need to actively foster an insatiable curiousity in our students and encourage them to question understandings that others consider obvious; to embrace ambiguity, paradox and uncertainty;  to desire to test knowledge and to be willing to make mistakes. Secondly, we need to design tasks and craft opportunities which will enable connectivity, cooperation and collaboration to flourish in a culture of imagination and originaltiy.

Image from demotivationalposters.org

Diigo Links (weekly)

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QR Codes on Open Day

Boys downloading QR code reader Working on quiz Boys using phones

Back in March this year I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the M-Libraries conference which was held here in Brisbane. There I realised that university libraries and public libraries around the world are grappling with the need to reach their clients through mobile technology.  Why? According to Tony Kuesgen, Google’s head of technology in Australia and New Zealand, “More internet searches will be done on mobile phones than on desktop computers by 2013 as Australians increasingly embrace smart phones.”  Read more at: Smartphones ‘to overtake desktops for internet.”

I attended a session by Michelle Turner and Joanna Witt of Charles Darwin University Library, and was intrigued by a Library Treasure Hunt which they had made up (see below), using QR codes to gather statistics on how their physical and virtual library services were being used. I decided that this idea would be a good one to try out on Open Day, and last weekend I was able to put it to the test.

CDU Treasure Hunt - QR Codes

QR stands for Quick Response, and these square barcodes are a way of connecting the real world with the online world – of connecting users, with a minimum of clicks, to some type of information: a website, a text message, an SMS, a podcast, a phone number. After lots of reading and researching, I decided to use QR Stuff and, due to its simplicity yet versatility, I would highly recommend it. Because I ran out of time (and because I thought that connecting to the internet on a mobile phone might put some parents off) I simply linked each QR code to a text message – presumably stored on the QR Stuff website. You can change the colour of the barcodes with QR Stuff, and the website creates the barcode on the right of the screen as you type. Once you have finished, download and save it, or copy into your document.

Next, I looked for free QR code readers which could be quickly downloaded. Most readers scan the barcode as soon as you line up the red sqaure on the screen around the barcode.  My choice would be i-nigma, as it is very fast and clean, however some people chose to use BeeTagg instead – still a good choice because it’s free, but an extra click is required.

I set up 9 different clues around the Library, with each scanned code giving instructions for finding the next clue, and also asking a question which had to be answered. At each point the participants also had to collect a word, and then put them together in the right order to make  sentence about reading. It’s essential at this point to number your codes, to make them highly visible (I backed them with bright green paper), and to make sure the whole thing is working. I had some student volunteers go around and try it out to make sure all the codes were in the right order and made sense.

So that people without smart phones on Open Day did not feel disadvantaged, we ran a traditional pen and paper treasure hunt as well. The prize for each was chocolate, but the QR code hunt took a lot longer than the other treasure hunt, so that is something I would look at in future.

I found that people needed a bit of help to understand what they were required to do. Maybe my instructions were too brief, or maybe they just didn’t read them. Kids did very well as long as a parent was there to help them. This week we have left the instructions and entry forms out for our students: some have picked it up quickly, and others have struggled a bit with the concept.

For Open Day I created a QR Codes poster, a QR Codes brochure, a QR Codes table sign, a QR Codes entry form and a QR Codes clue sheet. If you are interested, feel free to download and modify any of these documents from the BGS Library page at Scribd.

One parent was very keen to learn how I had created the codes because he had seen them around and wanted to use them in his business.  A lot more businesses are using QR codes these days for advertisng their products, because the codes can instantly take people to their business website, email address, telephone number or message.

Benefits for the Library:  it’s good to be one step ahead of the boys!  We were also asked to showcase the use of technology in our department, and this was a good way to do that. We have experimented in the past with putting these codes on novels to link to an author’s website, but without a lot of uptake. I think it’s an idea worth pursuing though, especially when most students will soon carry a phone with them everywhere. I may start glueing them into the back of novels to quickly take the boys to more information about the book or the author, or to reviews written about the book. Another idea is to use them on our APA Referencing booklets to take students directly to the BibMe or EasyBib citation creation sites.

Other useful links:

http://www.launchsquad.com/blogs/whatsnew/2010/12/02/qr-codes-making-the-visceral-world-link-able/ –  What are QR Codes?

QR Treasure Hunt Generator –  Free online generator

QR Codes in Education – excellent PPT showing many ways QR codes can be used in the classroom

http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=51894

http://www.technologybitsbytesnibbles.info/archives/5066

http://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/2010/12/qr-code-at-glance-comic-tutorial.html

http://daringlibrary.edublogs.org/2011/04/02/qr-code-quest-in-the-library/comment-page-1/#comment-3

http://socialtimes.com/no-projector-use-qr-code-slideshare-to-share-a-presentation-on-smartphones_b73334 –  Using QR codes for presentation

Scanning a QR code QR code at Matthew Reilly's books

Diigo Links (weekly)

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Mobile Technologies and Libraries

Library in your pocketAccording to the 2011 Horizon Report, mobile technologies are one of the emerging technologies likely to be in widespread use within the year, and already “mobile computing has become an indispensable part of day-to-day life in the workforce.” The  mobilization of information in our society is impossible to ignore, and the proliferation of mobile devices has brought with it an ease of instant access to the internet. For the connected community we have become, this is increasingly mandatory.

Here in Brisbane last week, I attended the 3rd International M-Libraries Conference, along with university and public librarians from around the world. Students constantly engage in an online environment where they expect to discover anything they need to know and access it immediately and if  we, as information specialists, cannot deliver the information our clients demand when they want it, they may well decide we are irrelevant to their needs. While a growing number of university libraries recognise the imperative for them to offer new content or enhance existing services seamlessly via mobile devices, many are still grappling with the logistics of  how to achieve this, in addition to upskilling their stafff to cope with a massive shift in the provision of traditional library services.

Stephen Abrams, author of Stephen’s Lighthouse blog, was a keynote speaker who examined the profound shift in human behaviour that is happening with mobile technologies. He reiterated that libraries are social institutions, connecting people with people and people with information.  While librarians are at the heart of our learning communities, and are still needed as high-end professionals to help students make sense of the digital world, libraries are increasingly no longer just physical places.  He challenged the audience that “as technology advances emboldened librarians hold the key.”

Does this hold true for teacher librarians as well?  We have a more captive and less mobile audience in our schools than universities do, but does that make it any less imperative for us to be providing services via mobile technologies?  I believe not. I believe that schools in general, and teacher librarians in particular, should also be looking forward into the future and tailoring our services towards an increasingly mobile clientele.

To see what some university libraries are already doing with mobile technologies, visit the following sites:

University of Bedfordshire Libraries

North Carolina State University Libraries

Bavarian State Library – Famous Books App and Oriental Books App

Mobile Apps for Libraries – Libraryland Roundup

M-Libraries Wiki

Library Anywhere


Images from http://www.flickr.com/photos/sukisuki/ and http://lrweb.beds.ac.uk/libraryservices/whoweare/apps