Desire2Learn has introduced new functionality to its learning management suite, including new predictive analytics tools, improvements on the mobile and e-portfolio fronts, and an important addition in the area of accessibility.
We may be upon predictive analytics’ moment in higher education, with student retention as its “killer app”. Institutions of every type – from 4-year publics to 4-year privates and community colleges – are acquiring commercial systems or building their own to mine a lengthening online audit trail of student data for everything from student services portal logins to LMS activity to digital textbook interactions.
Today’s hottest web and mobile technologies are offering libraries a new world of opportunities to engage patrons. Ultra-popular social media websites and apps combined with the availability of affordable cloud-based services and the evolution and adoption of mobile devices are enabling librarians to share and build communities, store and analyze large collections of data, create digital collections, and access information and services in ways never thought about before.
Libraries have become technology leaders by integrating cutting-edge tools to enhance users’ experience. It’s not enough to redesign the library website. Best practices mean developing user personas and following usability strategies to produce user-informed designs. New digital collections are stored in the cloud and mobile applications are developed around them. Libraries are claiming their venues on location-based mobile social networks, developing bleeding-edge augmented reality applications, and participating in semantic web efforts.
Forward-thinking librarians are actively experimenting with and incorporating these new technologies into their digital strategies. Here are 10 ideas for you to leverage today’s most innovative tools and techniques:
The trend of establishing and maintaining a personal brand has been a hot topic for some time with the public at large, traceable as far back as 1937 .... Unsurprisingly, personal branding has also caught on with librarians, notoriously preoccupied as we are with our professional image, both as we appear to fellow librarians and as we appear to others.
Establishing a Personal Brand: Five Questions to Ask Yourself
* What would an employer learn if he or she googled me?
* What kind of job am I looking for?
* What’s my personal mantra?
* If I asked my friends to describe me, what would they say?
* How can I make myself stand out in a crowded field?
"In the digital realm, what is typically referred to as “sharing” is actually copying—sometimes legal and sometimes not. Understandably, the ease and ubiquity of uncontrolled copying in a networked digital environment makes copyright holders uneasy. And the fuzzy line between copying and sharing in that environment also makes the question of what it means for libraries to “share” resources much more complicated than it might seem at first blush."
Should libraries share, or not?
"We don’t (or shouldn’t) share because 'sharing is what we do as libraries,' still less because sharing is somehow a 'core value' of librarianship. Sharing is a means, not an end. We share in order to provide access, and to the degree that 'sharing' actually means 'copying,' it is legally and ethically complicated."
"We live in a radically different information world from the one that gave rise to ILL. Instead of resisting that reality, we should embrace it, rejoicing in the ways it allows us to serve our patrons better."
"If I can't beat the gurus, sherpas, and assorted sages, I'm going to join them. Today I'm going to tell you, fellow librarians, the most basic, core skill that all of you need, more important than coding, cataloging, database searching, or anything else. It’s a subject barely taught in library schools, and yet mastery of it will do more for your career than just about anything actually taught there. What is librarianship really about? It’s about communication. And where there’s communication, you need rhetoric. ...
"Think about all the communication that goes on in libraries every day: phone calls, meetings, emails, IMs, negotiations, reference questions, performance reviews, grant proposals, instruction sessions, research guides, cover letters, job interviews; every one of these interactions is about communication with an audience for a purpose and could benefit from improved rhetorical skill and knowledge of rhetorical theory and techniques.
"Before you learn whatever new thing you’re planning to learn, learn rhetoric first. Then practice it for a few years. You’ll thank me later."
"How do you survive and thrive in this fiercely competitive economy? You need a whole new entrepreneurial mindset and skill set. Drawing on the best of Silicon Valley, The Start-Up of You helps you accelerate your career and take control of your future–no matter your profession."