Emerging Technology Forum – Geelong 2012

I was happy to again be attending the ETF, which is a collaborative training event organised by Deakin University, Geelong Regional Libraries and Gordon TAFE. With a new format and new location and with a theme of “Using technology well”, it was an amazingly insightful day. Here’s my amazingly detailed notes from the day – created on my new Asus Transformer – which worked a treat!

 Tom Chatfield – How to become a digital gourmet

How to thrive in the digital age” – his new book.

 Digital as a word is becoming less and less meaningful. More mobile phones in the world today than there were people when he was born. Everything is being blown away – the boundaries are being broken down. More interestingly, its about time. Tech is good at consuming time, a finite resource, but is not good at saving it.

 We are the limiting factor. The computer inside my head has less capacity than the tech we use. Book “Thinking fast, slow” by Daniel Kahneman. Tom told us about a study of judges reviewing parole applications. Those who were reviewed straight after lunch had a 60% success rate, anyone reviewed longer than 5 hours since lunch had a 0% Judges study – elaborate. It tells us that willpower is a finite resource, but that chocolate is good to get the endorphins going again if you can’t have a meal.

 The energy that we can put into things is limited. If you wish to be as gourmet of tech, you need to pick and choose wisely.

 1. What works best. Plugged and unplugged

It’s a legitimate question to ask and worry about but the wrong question to ask. Both are good and not good, but we have to have both in our lives. It is also increasingly difficult to be unplugged. Being plugged in is now the default. We now spend hours consuming digital media. It’s not bad, it is one time of quality of time. We are different when we use digital media. We need to ensure that we are using time for our better selves.

Important not to let the power of technology distract us from the power of being there and being able to make decisions, instead of them being made for us.

 He told the story of the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. Despite all their training and preparation, the team going in had a helicopter malfunction just outside the compound, which gave them away. They had to make a decision whether to go ahead or abort. They could have used the digital technology to ask the chain of command, including the president, but the decision to go ahead was made by those on the ground.

 Jaron Lanier quote in response to people tweeting extensively during a talk he was giving. “The most important reason to stop multitasking so much isn’t to make me feel respected, but to make you exist. If you listen first, and write later, then whatever you write will have had time to filter through your brain, and you’ll be in what you say. This is what makes you exist. If you are only a reflector of information, are you actually there?”

 When it comes to thinking, our thoughts, reflection, a better quality of engagement, it is best done away from multi-skilling and digital immersion. Tom discovered that on flights. He got good quality work done, because he couldn’t use his phone. Our brains have been trained to feel messages arriving on phone via our pockets. We need to make ourselves go into airplane mode during work time and use the tech appropriately.

 2. Multitasking

Tom talked about this image being a good representation of multi-tasking. The term was originally created for computers and although we use it for people, it is not really appropriate. We are more continuous partial attention – which is a really bad form of mono attention.

 When writing his recent book, he did some work with paper and pen, because it gave him the opportunity to focus without distraction.

 Pen and paper used to be tech and now are just stuff, computers are becoming furniture. Having different tech helps me to engage in different ways. But not at the same time.

 3. What does tech want me to do?

Tech encourages us to act in particular ways. For example, email wants me to be available instantly and to respond via email and use email increasingly. For some people, if it doesn’t happen via email it doesn’t exist in the world in which they live. Unintentionally, email has become a monster. What it wants is instant response, which is very different to what most people want. But what do I want? And how can we tame the beast? We can change to things like shared docs, phone calls and face to face encounters.

 Computer says no. What the computer wants is more important than what we want and that has to change.

 iPad wants us to auction off our attention to the highest bidder – it uses noise and scandal to entice us.

 Hopefully we are at the beginning of a more literate society, who is able to better use, their time and energy, rather than going with the flow as directed by our tech.

 Think strategically about our attention and get help from peers in doing so.

It’s not finding the time, it should be why do we lack time. We need to be more discriminatory about which tools we adopt and choose those that suit our purposes. Accept then reject, otherwise it becomes toxic and you can’t really use the tools well if you adopt too many.

 Tom’s website: http://theschooloflife.com

 The Australian Mediatheque – Nick Richardson

ACMI collection started in 1946 as State Film Centre. As tech has changed, a lot of content has become prisoner to its format. They aim to ensure that content is accessible to all users and do so through projects such as the Mediatheque at Federation Square. It now includes content from the National Archive, as well as other sources.

 They have been able to legally digitise content they own until the format is no longer usable. Centre is staff mediated – around 100 visitors a day. http://www.acmi.net.au/australian_mediatheque.htm

 They cater to both research and entertainment use of the material, with 11 booths. They have curated content, canned searches, tag clouds and more, with the intention that users will be able to starting viewing content within a few clicks. Have staff picks online now instead of newsletter – in the same way that JB HiFi and other retail outlets do.

 ACMI runs outreach programs in the community, to create content that is then available through Mediatheque. About 1000 items in view on demand, but rights needed to be renegotiated to enable that.

 Peter Macauley – Skills needed in the technological age

There are differing tensions between employees, accrediting bodies, students and universities. It’s about hard and soft skills. Employers tend to hire on hard, fire on the soft.

 The mental software is a vital requirement.

 Employers want hard skills – e-everything, m-everything, f-everything. (f=future)

Accreditors want a lot, the same but different, continual program renewal, documentation and designated meeting attendance, compliance and flexibility/rigidity and promotion of the body.

 Students want a job, skills reflecting employers’ requirements, value for money, accredited programs, quality teaching, real world experience.

 Unis want quality programs, work ready programs, satisfying conflicting demands, get bums on seats.

 Emerging areas include mobile tech, interoperability and connectivity, evernet, sustainability, changing pedagogues and teaching spaces. Others include health information management, collaboration and isolation, the cloud, security, usability, NBN.

He referred to the great work of Helen Partridge and her team on the LIS Education 2.0 Project. http://liseducation.wordpress.com/about/project-team/

 Robin Wright – Copyright in the digital world: issues for librarians

Copyright is changing everything and will be paramount in the next 3-5 years. Physical container is very different, once it is owned you can do what you want with it. Libraries have certain exceptions, but once it goes digital, its all bets off.

 Digital = licensed use. Need a license to share, read, terms are controlled by contract and DRM, contract may override exceptions, additional access limitations, revocable, may allow owner to replace, edit or modify….

 Robin looked at the issues and the agreements that are out there and being signed by libraries and found the following issues around lending, research and preservation.

 Lending – should libraries lend ebooks, one copy-one user, checkout limits, some publishers refuse to supply, device incompatibility, kindle owners lending library, UK Society of Authors argument over remote lending of ebooks

 Researchers – ILL, educational use, fair dealing – couldn’t generally be made available via ILL or vendors offered commercial alternative; educational use only refer to US law, own limits, forbade use in course packs or ereserves; fair dealing referred to US law, access limits by DRM etc.

 Preservation – orphan works issues – can’t digitise as can’t contact owner, no exception for getting it online, so materials remain unused. Legislation on orphan works has great opposition from publishers and photographers. Eg. Hathi Trust case.

 Who will run the digital library of the future? Copyright skills needed for the digital library include licence interpretation, negotiating agreements, fair dealing exceptions etc.

 Panel with Tom, Robin and Nick

Digital platforms are places you go to, to interact. Libraries can help bring people to rich digital experiences, using personal presence and expertise. Need to integrate our expertise with these digital experiences.

 Analogy of copyright, not like stealing a car – stealing a car denies access to it, stealing a digital copy does not deny anyone access to it. Libraries need to have a big role in determining future policy on digital content and copyright. Copyright is a government granted monopoly. Content should be the most important thing, because that is what is most important and that’s what people want.

 Mediatheque is cautiously moving towards using these cloud sources such as YouTube.. Will transform within a generation – may replace on campus with online. Digital works are best in academia when they work together with class contact, otherwise will lead to disintegration of these institutions. Copyright law implications when cloud services are in one or more international countries, each having their own laws.

 Technological determinism – tech is always an enabler of change, but all the tech that we are enmeshed with today is making it a forceful driver, like never before. We can push against those forces and should. Problems with tech is not new, though the speed at which the change happens is much faster. The good thing is that everyone is now involved in the discussion. Tech has been forced to change in copyright, so at least in law, tech is a driver. Our thinking is lagging behind our actions, due to tech. We are platform agnostic and forget often that it is even there. Content and experience are the key and are what people are seeking. Regardless of this, our user`s priorities – whatever they may be, are what is important.

 With copyright, everyone has their own moral compass. The Peer to peer sharing services are efficient and attractive and people will continue to use them. If we don’t do something to protect the smaller content producers, they will disappear.

 Socially responsible way is to educate rather than filter the internet for children. However, given special circumstances, an exception may be applied, as in Mediatheque and their display of Aboriginal films from the 50s..

Should protect copyright exceptions, filtering can endanger that.

 Hamish Curry – Putting technology on trial

His presentation is available on Slideshare.

 The GLAM sector is a slow moving beast because we carry the human story.

 We are about apophenia – “Making connections where none previously existed”- Danah Boyd. Need to think about what we are seeing in the short term as well as the long term.

 Patterns – always had issues with physical vs digital storage, always been about efficiency – both libraries and tech. But now we can go broader – so how exactly do we get beyond the local?

 Tech can sometimes create rods for our backs – we have to see it through – there can be resistance. GLAM has survived all the tech changes because its always been about the object, it has known what tech is and what it is not, plus we have our users in mind.

 Library is an individual pursuit, helps people to experience the medium, books are technology, but they are people to people. He then showed a TED video from Sherry Turkle – “Connected, but alone?”- http://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together.html

 He showed a video from The Onion, exploring a new museum – a walk into the past into a Blockbuster Video Store. http://onion.com/bK9hxC

 Tech is servant to info, but it has created new challenges. Libraries should be a fusion point and getting content from as many sources as possible. However, we can be too focused on consumption. There are great challenges in communicating all we do. Information is complex and sometimes we make it more complex. Another video.

 What is the commodity that libraries can offer? Out of interest, he posted the question on Quora. Overwhelmingly the response was information, not books. Libraries need to consider the experience they are providing – it’s not just about information.

 Sagacity – intelligent application of knowledge acquired from years of learning and experience, its applied wisdom and that’s what libraries can bring to our users.

 GLAMification – people are core, visuals matter, libraries can be the new GLAM, we are the intersection of digital and physical. Examples of where this GLAM is already happening are through projects including:

  •  Geek Library
  • Biblion

  • Historypin

  • Street Museum

  • Powerhouse Museum using Layar – augmented reality product

  • Broadcastr

  • Libraryhack

  • Data Hacks with Open Government

  • Data Camp

  • Flinklabs – data visualisation

  • Google Ngram – infographics

He then showed an ABS video where users could interact with census data on the big screen and in public. http://www.youtube.com/user/CensusAustralia

 This sort of thing clashes directly with what is expected from libraries. Need to meet a lot of those expectations, but also need to turn expectations on their head. Building new expectations will surprise people, make them curious, help them to discover and experience.

 Pull onsite for community, then push online for independence. Examples here include: Europeana, Culture Victoria, National Archives digital vault (US), Monet Sketchbooks, Panasonic Online Design Museum, Imperial War Museum (UK).

 We also need to keep in mind that these online resources need archiving as we don’t know how long they will be around for.

 Virtual experiences examples included: 360 cities, Smithsonian, Photosynth, Flickr SLV, Hive Learning Network, Childrens’ Creativity Museum, QR codes, Google Goggles and Aurasma.

 Diversity is important.

 Fword is fun and libraries can be. Leap 3 d tracker for pcs ? 70 dollars put it with developers and our data and wow. https://live.leapmotion.com/

 Social media is a space where we can all engage.

 Games in GLAM gives a safe environment which can give you an experience that you can’t get elsewhere.