7 Ed Tech Trends to Watch in 2014

Technology trends in both higher ed and K-12 classrooms continue to evolve and transform traditional learning environments. New learning analytics, mobile devices, open online learning, and 3D printers are some of the many Educational technology trends to be on the lookout for in 2014.  Here’s a detailed discussion.


1) 3D Printing

3D Printers which enable makers to create whatever they can imagine and design have exploded into mainstream culture over the past year.  Libraries are creating DIY makerspaces and providing these new tools of production to their communities along with opportunities for skill-building in math and engineering which are required to design 3D objects.  And schools aren’t far behind, realizing the many educational possibilities of the devices.

The Poland and Hong Kong based GADGETS3D  has launched an initiative called the “3D Printer in Every School” project in which they have designed a low cost, small 3D printer specifically created for the classroom.  Schools will be able to purchase the RepRap G3D printer for $245 as part of an educational kit.  They will also be donating to a free printer to 500 schools around the world.  The printers will be able to be access remotely by students doing homework, via their smartphones. The NYC-based MakerBot Academy has launched an initiative to put a MakerBot Desktop 3D Printer in every school in the United States of America by crowdfunding the costs.


 Click for full infographic


2) MOOCs

MOOCs or massively open online courses have exploded in popularity over the past two years and will continue to grow over the next several.  These (usually) free courses are attended by hundreds of thousands of students at the same time and offer both certificates of completion and occasionally college credit.  Online students can learn anything from basic computer skills to art history from Ivy-League professors at well-respected institutions such as MIT, Harvard, Yale, Duke, and more.  Although they have their challenges, mainly in the area of assessment, these online courses have demonstrated significant value to millions of students who would never have had the opportunity for such an educational experience if not for MOOCs.  I believe we will be seeing much more of these online courses in the coming years as they work out the kinks in the evaluation of large numbers of students and refine their focus.  I think we’ll also start to see platforms dedicated to corporate MOOCs providing online training for businesses.  For more on MOOCs, check out my previous article: The Future of MOOCs.




Click for full infographic

3) Big Data

Educational institutions, both higher ed and K-12, are making use of student data to improve classes, teaching methods, and entire programs.  Just as businesses have been mining such data for years in order to predict trends and consumer behavior patterns, schools are now finding that such “learning analytics” will be effective in personalizing the educational experience for students at the individual level as well.  This year’s NMC Horizon Report – 2013 Higher Education Edition on emerging technologies in higher ed identifies Learning Analytics as a significant trend on the horizon with adoption over the next two to three years.  They also provide many examples of learning analytics in use in higher education settings.


Click for full infographic


Read the full post 7 Ed Tech Trends to Watch in 2014 on OEDB.org.

32 Library Stories You May Have Missed in November

There was plenty of library coverage during November including articles about MOOCs, blogs, makerspaces, book clubs, and the invisible Web.  Library and information professionals had no scarcity of blog posts, white papers, and even lengthy articles on all topics of interest to librarians.  Here are 32 of those library stories that you may not have seen last month.

  1. University of Minnesota Fair Use Checklist Tool (or Thinking Through Fair Use)
  2. Libraries in the time of MOOCs
  3. Four Great Reports for Tracking Technology Trends
  4. The Future of MOOCs
  5. Top 12 ways to be a bad selector
  6. Getting started with readers’ advisory
  7. The Future of Libraries: Searching for the Deep Field

Read the full post 32 Library Stories You May Have Missed in November on OEDB.org.

The Best of iLibrarian 2013: Top 20 Posts Part II

This is part two of a two-part post to present the top 20 most viewed and tweeted articles on iLibrarian in 2013. (See part one here!) The statistics represent page views and tweets from the week the post was published, not from the entire year. In the spirit of the holidays, this is arranged countdown style, and since this is the second post, this one starts with number 10.

Note: The abbreviation UPV’s stands for unique page views, meaning that if someone visits a post 20 times, it’s still only counted as 1 *unique* page view.

10) The Best of Internet Librarian 2013


Every year there are two amazing conferences focusing on information technology and libraries hosted by Information Today – Computers in Libraries and Internet Librarian. They feature the field’s top innovators sharing their insights, recent project experiences, and practical tips. If you couldn’t make this year’s event, here are 10 stellar presentations that will catch you up:

  • This popular post received: 1,092 UPVs, 48 total tweets


9) A Librarian’s Guide to Makerspaces: 16 Resources


Makerspaces, sometimes also referred to as hackerspaces, hackspaces, and fablabs are creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. In libraries they often have 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies and tools, and more. Here are some excellent resources for anyone thinking about setting up a makerspace in their organization.

  • This popular post received: 1,219 UPVs 207 total tweets


8) 10 Online Privacy Tips for Librarians


It’s the new year and I’m determined to start it off right by becoming more savvy and attentive to my online security. Last year my email was hijacked and my Walmart account was hacked by someone who bought a $700 tablet device using my stored credit card – thankfully they weren’t smart enough to change the purchase notification email so I knew right away – incidentally I thought it interesting that they chose to save a few dimes by going with the free shipping option rather than next or same day delivery. Although I consider myself pretty vigilant about privacy, I’ve found that there’s still a lot to be learned about protecting myself and my data online. I’ve been doing a lot of research on this topic, hopefully you’ll find these tips helpful:

  • This popular post received: 1332 UPVs, 107 total tweets

Read the full post The Best of iLibrarian 2013: Top 20 Posts Part II on OEDB.org.

The Best of iLibrarian 2013: Top 20 Posts Part I

We keep track of all of our posts here at iLibrarian and produce detailed weekly statistics that measure how many page views each article receives as well as social media information such as how many times a post is tweeted.  This way we can see which articles are of interest to iLibrarian readers.  Based on that data, here’s a list of the most popular posts throughout the year. This is part one of a two-part post which will present the top 20 most viewed and tweeted articles on iLibrarian in 2013. And, since we’re closing in on New Year’s eve, I’ve decided to arrange the list in countdown style, starting with number 20.

Note: The abbreviation UPV’s stands for unique page views, meaning that if someone visits a post 20 times, it’s still only counted as 1 *unique* page view.

 20) 10 Social-Media Marketing Tips for Libraries


There are now so many social media platforms available for libraries to participate in, but it’s sometimes difficult to get a handle on how these channels can best be used for marketing library services. If you’re considering leveraging social media to promote your library, here are some strategies I’ve found helpful

  • This popular post received: 516 UPVs, 155 total tweets


19)  10 Treehouse, Dollhouse, and other Truly Unique Libraries – Part I


I’ve been very interested in the use of library space lately as well as the design of libraries be they traditional, mobile, pop-up or other types and in my research I’ve come across some truly unique and interesting libraries.  Here are five with five more coming up later this week.

  • This popular post received: 554 UPVs, 63 total tweets


18) 10 Free Tablet Apps Instructors Will Want to Use 


There are so many educational apps available out there, but not that many quality apps that can be used by instructors to make their courses go more smoothly. Here are ten apps that strive to improve your productivity, organization, and effectiveness in the classroom. All of them are available for free.

  • This popular post received: 589 UPVs, 67 total tweets


Read the full post The Best of iLibrarian 2013: Top 20 Posts Part I on OEDB.org.

10 Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Librarians

It’s the Christmas season and time to drag out that ugly-but-festive sweater that lets everyone know you’ve gotten into the holiday spirit. What makes an ugly Christmas sweater particularly suited for librarians you may ask?  Well it has cats on it, of course!  So, while you’re checking people off your holiday gift list and attending those Christmas and holiday parties, why not don one of these joyously ugly tops?

1) Grumpy Cat – Jingle All the Way to Hell – Sweater


Available via RetroFestive.ca


2) Santa Paws Sweatshirt


Available via on Etsy


3) Character Hero Cat Sweater


Available on Urban Outfitters



Check out the full post 10 Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Librarians here on OEDB.org.

35 Free Live Webinars for Librarians in December

‘Tis the season for online learning, especially in the library field!  December’s calendar is brimming with exciting and free learning opportunities for librarians looking for professional development.  Check out this list of 35 gratis webinars, just in time for the holidays!

  1. Wednesday, Dec 4
    1:00 – 2:00 pm (Eastern)
    Serving the DIY Patron: Library Instruction at the Point of Need (Florida Library)
    What DIY patrons want most isn’t traditional person-to-person reference services, but rather web- and mobile device-based resources so they can serve themselves through the library. In this workshop, Farkas will explore the DIYmindset and ways to embed online instruction and live virtual reference help at patrons’ points of need, whether online, in the library, or out in the world.
  2. Wednesday, Dec 4
    2:00 – 3:00 pm (Eastern)
    The Future is Now: Rural Library as Innovation Incubator (WebJunction)
    With the technology landscape constantly shape-shifting, libraries must respond as futurists to changing patron needs. Learn how to remain relevant, if not core, to your community’s needs by providing the means and support for patrons to create and innovate. Rural and small libraries with limited resources can become community innovation incubators, by providing patrons access to transformative technologies and by providing space for new ideas to be explored. Beyond makerspaces to editing suites and digital learning labs, libraries are empowering and impacting their communities, now and in the future. Bring your own story of library as innovation incubator and learn from others!
  3. Wednesday, Dec 4
    2:00 – 3:30 pm (Eastern)
    Managing Changes to Reference Services: Keeping Reference Services (and Reference Librarians) Alive in a Turbulent Environment (Reference and User Services Association)
    Being a librarian isn’t what it used to be, but how do you deal with and manage this shift? Libraries and the services they provide are adapting to meet the ever-changing needs of their communities. How can reference librarians embrace and lead change to keep their services relevant, while staying sane and healthy? This webinar, featuring Gail Griffith, will discuss change and transition as it relates to reference librarians and departments. Using online discussion and activities, Griffith will not only ask participants to define current reference trends and models, she will discuss how reference librarians and professionals can manage change on a personal and professional level.
  4. Wednesday, Dec 4
    3:00 – 4:00 pm (Eastern)
    Financial Education Webinar for Libraries (Institute of Museum and Library Services)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) are partnering to develop financial education tools and share best practices with the public library field. The goal of our partnership is to provide tools and materials to help libraries provide free, unbiased financial information and referrals in their communities, build local partnerships and promote libraries as community resources The webinar will feature representatives from the CFPB, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), American Library Association and two of our local public library partners.
  5. Wednesday, Dec 4
    3:00 – 4:00 pm (Eastern)
    Life After Desk: Implementing the New Service Models (Infopeople)
    We’ve all heard how progressive libraries are experimenting with new ways to deliver service. Recent years have brought news of shrinking circ desks, roving reference, virtual branches, after-hours lockers, unattended kiosks, information neighborhoods, zone staffing, imbedded librarians, and other service innovations. In this timely webinar, library consultant and futurist Joan Frye Williams will bring us up to date on how new service models are performing in a variety of settings.
  6. Wednesday, Dec 4
    3:00 – 4:00 pm (Eastern)
    What Is a Data-Driven Academic Library? [DDAL Pt.1] (Library Journal)
    This is the first in a series of three webcasts. This webcast will give an overview of how academic libraries are using data to drive decisions. The presentation will touch on the terminology, tools, services, and data available to libraries and provide real world examples of how academic libraries have used data to enhance services, improve online tools, and develop collections. Sarah Tudesco will also touch on how to communicate data to various stakeholders. Attendees will depart with a number of resources to learn more including the best books, blogs, journals, Twitter handles and more to continue learning as well as maintain a solid command of the progress and practices of the data-driven academic library.
  7. Thursday Dec 5
    1:00 – 2:00 pm (Eastern)
    Achieving Thresholds for Discovery: Addressing Issues with EAD to Increase Discovery and Access Webinar (OCLC)
    The recent Code4Lib Journal article “Thresholds for Discovery” reported results from an OCLC Research analysis of 120,000 Encoded Archival Description (EAD) encoded finding aids; the article also highlighted issues with current encoding practices that would inhibit access and discovery. In 2012, Princeton University’s Archival Description Working Group undertook an ambitious project to upgrade their finding aids delivery system, addressing many of the issues identified in the “Thresholds” article. Join us for a joint presentation of the OCLC Research and Princeton work, and discussion on steps that institutions can take both individually and collaboratively to improve their own thresholds for discovery.
  8. Thursday Dec 5
    2:00 – 3:00 pm (Eastern)
    Developing Communities of Learning (Florida Library)
    We often are inspired by what we learn, but far less often find ways to apply newly-gained skills and knowledge once we leave our physical and virtual learning spaces. Communities of learning—including those we create and nurture within libraries—can help assure that learning accompanies learners out of the classroom and back into those settings where it can produce positive results.
  9. This one-hour interactive webinar includes reviews of and discussions about resources that help us establish and maintain effective communities of learning; helps us see how approaching learning as a process rather than as an event increases the impact of any learning opportunity; and encourages you to apply these discussions and resources to your own libraries to create communities of learning that produce positive, measurable results for all involved.
  10. Thursday Dec 5
    2:00 – 3:00 pm (Eastern)
    Developing a Strategic Plan for Volunteer Engagement (VolunteerMatch)
    Are you engaging volunteers with an eye to the future? Do you know what your volunteer program should look like in 3 or 5 years? Join us as we talk about the fundamentals for creating a strategic plan for volunteer engagement for your organizations. This webinar will include components that should be included as well as ideas for working with organization leaders to include strategic goals for volunteer engagement in your organization’s overall strategic plan.

    Check out the full post 35 Free Live Webinars for Librarians in December here on OEDB.org.

Law Librarianship in the Digital Age Giveaway!

In the spirit of the holiday season, the folks at Scarecrow Press have given me a copy of Law Librarianship in the Digital Age to give away!!  Please enter to win on Goodreads!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Law Librarianship in the Digital Age by Ellyssa Kroski

Law Librarianship in the Digital Age

by Ellyssa Kroski

Giveaway ends January 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win



Check out the full post Law Librarianship in the Digital Age Giveaway! here on OEDB.org.