In her article “11 Predictions on the future of social media” Wellons (2014) outlined the history of social media and with the help of 11 industry expert predict where they see social media in 25-years. One theme present in each prediction is that social media will further penetrate the world’s population. At the time when the article was written there was 1.3 billion Facebook users, today that number has surpassed 2 billion (Kemp, 2018). It is clear that technology and social media are in a state of flux. Becoming faster, more mobile with increasing internet speeds, data collection and storage make for an interesting future. For an information professional the term ‘lifelong learner’ will be forever etched in a the vernacular as this role will need to continuously evolve to meet the needs of end users – that is ultimately driven by technological innovation. Van Dijck (2013) stated that today social media companies corporate ethos has evolved to now resemble one of the early egalitarian days of Web 2.0. I often wonder how social media services and library services will fare in the future with the onset of emerging even established technologies like blockchain technology; that once again promises to return the power to the people with decentralised programs that, unlike open source software, promise the ability for creators to monetize information – and will future innovations ensure epistemological credibility within the academic realm of information presented on social media?
Within my context as a digital technologies specialist teacher I see schools either maintaining a school-wide library, decentralising the library (placing smaller collections of books within learning spaces) and supplementing either of the former with student access to eLibrary services that include both ebooks and audio books. With the commercialisation of education (Hogan, Enright, Stylianou & McCuaig, 2017), innovation is taking place faster than educators can adopt. Whilst the concept of library augmented reality apps, book delivery drones and digital tools to navigate a library (Kowalczyk, 2018) are initially attractive an in-line with current technology trends, such concepts will potentially be realised at the expense of information literacy skills?
As informations professionals, how do we ensure that in an information revolution we are supporting the acquisition of information literacy skills to empower students? How do we know what skills students have acquired? As technology continues to evolve the critical evaluation of and adoption of new technologies is key in supporting the information needs of individuals and organisations.
Image Credit: Gerd Leonhard, Learning Technology Work and the Future Gerd Leonhard Keynote Speaker Public.017, flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
Hogan, A., Enright, E., Stylianou, M., & McCuaig, L. (2017). Nuancing the critique of commercialisation in schools: recognising teacher agency. Journal of Education Policy, 1-15.
Kemp, S. (2018, January 30). Digital in 2018: World’s internet users pass the 4 billion mark – We Are Social. (2018). We Are Social. Retrieved 15 May 2018, from https://wearesocial.com/blog/2018/01/global-digital-report-2018
Kowalczyk, P. (2018, March 18). Library of the future: 8 technologies we would love to see. (2015). Ebook Friendly. Retrieved 12 May 2018, from https://ebookfriendly.com/library-future-technologies/
Van Dijck, J. (2013). Engineering Sociality in a Culture of Connectivity. The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/CSUAU/reader.action?ppg=14&docID=3055231&tm=1510365111525.
Wellons, M. C. (2014, October 2). 11 Predictions on the future of social media – CNBC.com. Retrieved May 16, 2018, from https://www.cnbc.com/2014/10/02/11-predictions-on-the-future-of-social-media.html