Technology Trends in Libraries, PT. 3

Photo by openexhibits, some rights reserved.

This the third and final post about emerging technologies as predicted by the Horizon Report. So far we’ve looked at mobiles, ebooks, augmented reality, and game based learning which are becoming mainstreamed into higher education libraries.

In 4 to 5 years, look for Learning Analytics and Gesture-Based Computing to be used in the classrooms. Learning Analytics uses information used in the school databases to guide decision-making and actions. This technology is becoming more sophisticated and is applied in creative ways to assist college success. For example, I once worked for a college that used learning analytics to alert instructors to students missing two classes in a row. A report would generate a list based on attendance sheets fed into the program. The instructor then called the absent students to find out why they were missing classes.

A library application for learning analytics could be a report alerting the library to order more materials in specific subject areas, based on enrollments in specific courses. Another idea would be to get lists of students who have never experienced library instruction.

Now for the Horizon Report’s final emerging technology prediction. We are already familiar with Gesture-Based Computing through video gaming systems. Your actions, such as waving the remote , are picked up and interpreted in order to play games, like table tennis or kayaking. Touch screens fall under the category of gesture based computing as well. I can foresee applications as to our interactions with the library catalog, which may be adapted to work with touch screens like we already see in ebook technologies. We could be flipping through pages on the screen and touching on interactive links to pull up additional information embedded within the book’s catalog record.

Perhaps you can come up with additional ideas of how these technologies can benefit libraries and library users and share them with us in the comments.

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