Technology trends to watch

What's coming over the technology horizon that infopros should be aware of? Brian Kelly shared his thoughts at ILI.

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Exciting times

These are, as Brian Kelly told delegates, exciting times to be doing what it is we do.  In kicking off the technology developments and trends track on the first day of ILI2011, Brian made it clear that his was an open talk - that we could refer to, reuse and share his ideas.  He encouraged delegates to work together to identify and plan for the technology changes that would impact the way we work.

Brian placed future planning for technology in the context of where we are already.  Ten years ago, when he spoke at ILI, the technology and tools which we are using today would have seemed like science fiction.  Mobile and tablet computing are giving people the power of the mainframe in their pockets.  Information professionals should be proactive in using these devices.  Cloud computing is already with us, with many institutions moving that way because of cutbacks.  Open content is already with us.  We should ask ourselves if we are doing all we can to permit and encourage re-use? 

Brian spoke about some technology developments which are two to three years out, and which we should be aware of and planning for. 

Academic/learning analytics

There is so much data linked to university activities - about the learners and the context in which learning can be optimised.  These evidence based approaches to education build on open data but do have privacy implications 

New scholarship

The pre-publication of research, the visualisation of data, new ways of obtaining peer reviews and the growth in non-traditional scholarly objects all have implications for information professionals.  We have to begin to address the limitations of current practices and cultural barriers.  There are many opportunities for information professionals in this area.

Collective intelligence

Knowledge embedded in large groups and the analysis of tweeting trends to make predictions for example.  At the same time, this type of analysis has implications for data privacy and information professionals should be engaging with the debate and discussion.  Remember that people were arrested in the UK for Facebook status updates that incited riot. 

Other key learning points

  • Keep up to date using tools such as ScoopIt.
  • Find new ways to identify the 'weak signals' of trends just starting
  • Ensure your mobile users are treated as first class citizens.

You can read more about learning analytics and new scholarship on Brian Kelly's UK Web Focus blog.

Picture by Gerlos via Photostream.