On Friday 10 February 2017 I gave an hour-long invited talk on “Predicting and Preparing For Emerging Learning Technologies” at the CILIP West Midlands Annual Members Day event which was held at the Priory Rooms Meeting and Conference Centre in Birmingham.
The talk described a methodology which can be used for helping to predict future technology trends and support planning for the deployment of relevant trends. The methodology, which is based on the approaches used by the NMC (New Media Consortium) in the production of their Horizon trend-spotting reports and was used by the Jisc Observatory project, has been used in a number of workshops including:
- Preparing For The Future: Helping Libraries Respond to Changing Technological, Economic and Political Change: half-day workshop for library and IT services staff at the University of York.
- Future Technologies and Their Applications: full-day workshop held at the ILI 2013 conference in London.
- Let’s Predict the Future!: half-day workshop held at the 12th SAOIM (Southern African Online Information Meeting) conference in Pretoria, South Africa.
- Preparing For The Future Workshop: half-day workshop held over 2 days at the ELAG 2014 conference at the University of Bath.
- Preparing for the Future: Technological Challenges and Beyond: full-day workshop held at the ILI 2015 conference in London.
Since the slides for the talk (and the other workshops) are available on Slideshare and embedded below I will not attempt to summarise the talk in this post. Rather I will provide a number of observations from the event:
- The Priory Rooms Meeting and Conference Centre at the Quaker Meeting House in Birmingham is an excellent venue for meetings. I was also told that the cost for hire of the facilities is very reasonable.
- The take-up of smart mobile devices at such events has increased significantly since I last gave talks for the library sector.
- In the shortened Delphi session used during the talk the attendees highlighted ‘Reference Apps’ as the most important technology for attendees which will be significant in the short term and ‘User Expectations’ as the most important driver of technology uptake in the medium term. Addressing the implications of ‘fake news’ was identified as a ‘wicked’ challenge; staff developments issues as a solvable problem and Brexit as a difficult challenge.
- Take-up of tweeting at such library events is becoming more widely accepted. However, as suggested by Cara Clarke’s tweet not all delegates at the event who owned a smart mobile device were using Twitter.
- Event organisers may find it helpful to suggest a format for personalising short URLs which link to speakers’ slides, such as the http://bitly.com/cilipwm17-kelly and http://bitly.com/cilipwm17-purcell links used by myself and Sarah Purcell.
- Since the word ‘CILIP’ is unusual it has value in helping members of the library community to spot events and resources which may be relevant to them. The word ‘cilip’ may be particularly useful if used in tags, links, etc. I made the suggestion that ‘#cilipwmamd17′ (or #cilipwmmd17’) might have been a better hashtag for the event than ‘#MembersDay17′ as CILIP members who spotted the former hashtag in their stream would have been able to identify it as potentially relevant. In contrast, #membersday17’ struck me as sounding somewhat pornographic!
- If an event hashtag is popular and ‘trends’, it may attract spam messages as happened on Friday (so the ‘#MembersDay17’ hashtag did have some value!
- Events such as the CILIP West Midlands Annual Members Day provide a valuable opportunity for sharing knowledge and learning with one’s peers, as opposed to passively listening to experts.
- I noticed that all of the speakers at the event had a Twitter account: (a) Ayub Khan: @ayubkhan786; Alex Fenlon: @afenoer; Sarah Purcell: @Sarahbrarian and myself: @briankelly
- It can be helpful to archive tweets at an amplified event for a number of reasons including (a) to help those who may be writing reports on the event; (b) for speakers to see comments made for their talk and (c) to gather evidence of the value of such event amplification. I created an archive using the free version of Tweetarchivist which provides various statistics including details of the top three Twitterers at the event: @libmichelle (19 tweets); @CILIPWM (12 tweets) and @CaraClarke (8 tweets) – so you’ll know who to follow if you wish to learn more about amplified library events!
- In addition to aggregation of all event tweets, speakers may find it useful to archive tweets related to their talk. For example I used Storify to aggregate tweets related to my talk.
- Details of CILIP’s “Facts matter” campaign were announced at lunchtime at the event, with the importance of information professionals facilitating access to facts in a ‘post-truth’ environment being acknowledged. However there is a need to be aware that facts can highlight organisational deficiencies – and in the case of CILIP is appears that the CILIP membership numbers have declined every year since the organisation was established in 2002, from 23,000 to 12,350 in 2016 – a decline of 50% in 14 years. As can be seen from the graphs of membership numbers this decline is linear which would suggest that CILIP will cease to exist in 2030!
Note the slides I used in the talk are available on Slideshare and embedded below: