Share and Inspire: the headline of my recent CPD event on using technology in education. As always, I checked my cynicism at the door, loaded up on free tea, cakes and biscuits, and settled in to be inspired.
Speakers from all over the world sharing their experience of using a particular piece of technology to engage with learners. I found the event equal parts enjoyable, entertaining, perplexing, and of course, inspiring.
Highlights for me included the BYOD (bring your own device) classroom, the use of Facebook for student recruitment, Instagram for connecting with local/global communities and using social media to link theory and practice. These were highlights for me because they addressed issues relevant to me and my work as a librarian.
I have recently been doing research into how libraries can engage learners, remain vital and offer a valuable service in the 21st Century. How can a learner use their own technological devices to progress their studies? How can a learner use their library if they do not know what services are offered? How can Facebook and Twitter be used to promote library resources? What are the security and privacy issues related to these resources?
Two areas of concern for me were the reliance on Facebook and Apple as two of the main providers of this technology, and how institutions will balance access and Internet restrictions. As a side note, I am very anti censorship. I do not believe that places of higher or further education should restrict learner’s access to social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Flickr. This becomes especially important as these resources are being used more and more as tools for sharing, interaction, and as the basis for important work.
I feel that librarians are in a transition phase. Technology is developing at an exponential rate and we must keep up to stay relevant in the lives of our learners.