This week has had me thinking about technology in terms of conceptualization – both technologies that are intended to make you conceptualize information in a different way and reconceptualizing existing technologies for use in new ways.
For the past two days I have attended the Statewide IT Conference here in Bloomington. Admittedly, as I am not an IT specialist by any means, much of the conference material was over my head; however, there were several programs that dealt with the use of technology in the classroom, and it is my reflections on these programs that inspired my post for the week. For at least the third time this year, I attended a program that discussed Prezi. For most, Prezi is fairly well-known at this point as a presentation software akin to PowerPoint, yet entirely different at the same time. I had to agree with the presenter today – I have seen both good and horrible Prezi presentations! The thing that sets it apart from PowerPoint is – my buzzword for this post – conceptualization! PowerPoint is inherently linear – you present your information slide by slide. Prezi is more of a “mind map,” meaning that the information you are presenting is all linked around a central concept; certainly, you will present this information in a particular order, but in theory you could present the same information in a different order, because it is all interrelated. I’ve been a little leery to use Prezi in the past because so many people I know find it sea-sickening (I think I’ve coined a new term there!), however, there is much in legal research that could be taught, perhaps best even, through a mind map conceptualization, because so much in research is interrelated; thus I intend to start experimenting more with Prezi to see how my presentations might be transformed for the better.
In addition I continue to find new uses for existing technologies that I believe could put a new face on typical library activities and raise our profile among our patron base; this goes beyond the Facebook and Twitter accounts I began earlier this year. I hate to be so vague about this, but as I haven’t put these into action yet, I think I should hold off on detailed ideas. Suffice it to say that I have been looking at existing social media and other popular applications lately in new ways that I think could change or supplement the manner in which we present library services and collections in the future.
To be continued…