The New Media Consortium (NMC) has released Digital Literacy: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief in conjunction with the 2016 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference.

In analyzing the progress and gaps in this area, the NMC’s report has identified a need for higher education leaders and technology companies to prioritize students as makers, learning through the act of content creation rather than mere consumption. Additionally, the publication recommends that colleges and universities establish productive collaborations with industry, government, and libraries to provide students with access to the latest technologies and tools.

Based on the variety and complexity of these results, NMC cannot identify just one model of digital literacy. Instead three different digital literacies are now evident, each with distinct standards, potential curriculum, and implications for creative educators.





The aim of this publication is to establish a shared vision of digital literacy for higher education leaders by illuminating key definitions and models along with best practices and recommendations for implementing successful digital literacy initiatives.



To be digitally literate, you need to be:
fluent at critical thinking,
being creative, and
problem-solving in
digital environments.



Computer science and digital media classes can instruct on everything from office productivity applications to programming and video editing, for example.  Sociology courses can teach interpersonal actions online, such as the ethics and politics of social network interaction, while psychology and business classes can focus on computer-mediated human interaction. Government and political science classes are clearly well equipped to explore the intersection of digital technology and citizenship mentioned above. Communication, writing, and  literature classes have the capacity to instruct students on producing digital content in the form of stories, arguments, personal expression, posters, and more. 




From DSC:
If faculty members aren’t asking students to create multimedia in their assignments and/or take part in online/digitally-based means of communications and learning, the vast majority of the students won’t (and don’t) care about digital literacy…it’s simply not relevant to them: “Whatever gets me the grade, that’s what I’ll do. But no more.”

This type of situation/perspective is quite costly.  Because once students graduate from college, had they built up some solid digital literacy — especially the “creative literacy” mentioned above — they would be in much better shape to get solid jobs, and prosper at those jobs. They would be much better able to craft powerful communications — and reach a global audience in doing so. They would have honed their creativity, something increasingly important as the onward march of AI, robotics, algorithms, automation, and such continues to eat away at many types of jobs (that don’t really need creative people working in them).

This is an important topic, especially as digitally-based means of communication continue to grow in their usage and impact.



Part of digital literacy is not just understanding how a tool works but also why it is useful in the real world and when to use it.





From DSC:
Here’s an idea that came to my mind the other day as I was walking by a person who was trying to put some books back onto the shelves within our library.





From DSC:
Perhaps this idea is not very timely…as many collections of books will likely continue to be digitized and made available electronically. But preservation is still a goal for many libraries out there.



Also see:

IoT and the Campus of Things — from er.educause.edu by


Today, the IoT sits at the peak of Gartner’s Hype Cycle. It’s probably not surprising that industry is abuzz with the promise of streaming sensor data. The oft quoted “50 billion connected devices by 2020!” has become a rallying cry for technology analysts, chip vendors, network providers, and other proponents of a deeply connected, communicating world. What is surprising is that academia has been relatively slow to join the parade, particularly when the potential impacts are so exciting. Like most organizations that manage significant facilities, universities stand to benefit by adopting the IoT as part of their management strategy. The IoT also affords new opportunities to improve the customer experience. For universities, this means the ability to provide new student services and improve on those already offered. Perhaps most surprisingly, the IoT represents an opportunity to better engage a diverse student base in computer science and engineering, and to amplify these programs through meaningful interdisciplinary collaboration.

The potential benefits of the IoT to the academic community extend beyond facilities management to improving our students’ experience. The lowest hanging fruit can be harvested by adapting some of the smart city applications that have emerged. What student hasn’t shown up late to class after circling the parking lot looking for a space? Ask any student at a major university if it would improve their campus experience to be able to check on their smart phones which parking spots were available. The answer will be a resounding “yes!” and there’s nothing futuristic about it. IoT parking management systems are commercially available through a number of vendors. This same type of technology can be adapted to enable students to find open meeting rooms, computer facilities, or café seating. What might be really exciting for students living in campus dormitories: A guarantee that they’ll never walk down three flights of stairs balancing two loads of dirty laundry to find that none of the washing machines are available. On many campuses, the washing machines are already network-connected to support electronic payment; availability reporting is a straightforward extension.



Also see:

2016 Innovators Awards | A Location-Aware App for Exploring the Library — from campustechnology.com by Meg Lloyd
To help users access rich information resources on campus, the University of Oklahoma Libraries created a mobile app with location-based navigation and “hyperlocal” content.

Category: Education Futurists

Institution: University of Oklahoma

Project: OU Libraries NavApp

Project lead: Matt Cook, emerging technologies librarian

Tech lineup: Aruba, Meridian, RFIP



Somewhat related:





300-year-old library in Dublin featuring a hall filled by 200,000 rare books — from fubiz.net

Example pictures:








The Flexible Learning Environments eXchange – FLEXspace – is a robust, open access repository populated with examples of learning spaces. It contains high resolution images and related information that describes detailed attributes of these spaces from institutions across the globe. The incentive for participation is to showcase innovative design solutions open to peer review ranking and comments. As more contributions are received, the repository will emerge into a very useful planning resource for education and supporting entities at multiple levels.


From DSC:
You can browse images, video, and documents.

You can get some new ideas, sources of inspiration…and get the creative juices going. The site covers a variety of learning spaces — from large lecture halls to library lounges to active learning spaces.





From DSC:
The article below made me wonder about how beacons might be used within libraries. Some possibilities that came to my mind:

  • That patrons’ devices (such as wearables, smartphones, laptops, and tablets) act as beacons, alerting sensors that another beacon is nearby and to automatically launch a particular app and bring up a particular “page,” video, and/or audio-based file
  • Send patrons personalized recommendations of new content/releases, based upon the items that they’ve checked out in the past or based upon their interests that are stored in the profiles that the library has on record for them
  • Provide information about a certain poster, exhibition, or section of the library — all based on proximity of the patron to the relevant item/space




New mobile app makes using the library more intuitive and experiential — from news.cision.com
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library to pilot a mobile app for the iOS platform that includes a digital library card, easier experience getting to content, and service highlights “beamed” to users’ mobile devices as they move within branches.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In March, 2016, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library will launch a new and innovative mobile application for the iOS platform, developed by Skookum and funded by an LSTA Project Access and Digitization Grant. This new app is an extension of the Library’s ongoing commitment to serving customers who are increasingly using mobile technology. It includes a pilot to assess the benefits to customers of receiving “push” notifications on their mobile devices informing them of library services as they enter and move about a library branch.

The new mobile app is also designed to work in conjunction with iBeacon technology in order to increase and extend the user experience while inside the library. iBeacon is the name of “indoor proximity system” technology that enables a smart phone or other device to perform actions when in close proximity to an iBeacon device. A mobile app user near one of the installed devices in a library branch can receive personalized notifications to their mobile device. As they enter and move about the branch, they’ll learn about resources, services and programs that may be beneficial to their visit. During the pilot phase, the app will integrate with devices located in three branches: Main Library, ImaginOn and Hickory Grove.




Addendums on 2/19/16:






Imagine what learning could look like w/ the same concepts found in Skreens!

From DSC:
Imagine what learning could look like w/ the same concepts found in the
Skreens kickstarter campaign?  Where you can use your mobile device to direct what you are seeing and interacting with on the larger screen?  Hmmm… very interesting indeed! With applications not only in the home (and on the road), but also in the active classroom, the boardroom, and the training room.

Learning from the Living [Class] Room










The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

From DSC:
Some of the phrases and concepts that come to my mind:

  • tvOS-based apps
  • Virtual field trips while chatting or videoconferencing with fellow learners about that experience
  • Virtual tutoring
  • Global learning for K-12, higher ed, the corporate world
  • Web-based collaborations and communications
  • Ubiquitous learning
  • Transmedia
  • Analytics / data mining / web-based learner profiles
  • Communities of practice
  • Lifelong learning
  • 24×7 access
  • Reinvent
  • Staying relevant
  • More choice. More control.
  • Participation.
  • MOOCs — or what they will continue to morph into
  • Second screens
  • Mobile learning — and the ability to quickly tie into your learning networks
  • Ability to contact teachers, professors, trainers, specialists, librarians, tutors and more
  • Language translation
  • Informal and formal learning, blended learning, active learning, self-directed learning
  • The continued convergence of the telephone, the television, and the computer
  • Cloud-based apps for learning
  • Flipping the classroom
  • Homeschooling
  • Streams of content
  • …and more!






Check out this picture from Meet the winners of #RobotLaunch2015

Packed house at WilmerHale for the Robot Launch 2015 judging – although 2/3rds of the participants were attending and pitching remotely via video and web conferencing.


The NMC Releases the NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Library Edition — from nmc.org


Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving library leaders and staff a valuable guide for strategic planning. The format of the report was designed to provide these leaders with more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership, and practice.

“Nowhere on university campuses has technology had a more sweeping impact than on their libraries,” says Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the NMC and co-principal investigator for the project. “It is critically important for the field that the unique needs and perspectives of those who work in academic and research libraries are at the center of this second annual report.”






Translating physical spaces into digital experiences — from create-hub.com by Sorcha Daly
Cultural institutions have a big challenge on their hands in a digital age. How does the experience of a physical space, of visiting a building housing priceless objects, one-of-a-kind artefacts and engaging exhibitions, translate digitally?


We’re seeing a huge increase in digital engagement with cultural institutions, with online visitor numbers far outweighing the number of people who make it through the doors. The British Museum, for example, received a whopping 35.3 million online visitors in 2014, compared with an in itself record-breaking 6.8 million physical visitors, the most of any UK museum or gallery. Add to this an impressive social media haul and that’s a lot of people who are engaging with the institution away from the building. This pattern is common to cultural institutions across the board.

So how exactly is digital changing the way people experience cultural institutions and how can they start using these changes as ways to better engage with audiences?

Several galleries have been using iPhone apps as enhanced alternatives to the audio tour guides, complete with additional interviews and comments from curators and personalities. Tate Modern’s London’s guide to last year’s Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition was particularly good, featuring additional images and an audio biography of the artist’s life. The Art Gallery of NSW also introduced a Chinese language guide app after noticing that there were many Chinese visitors to the gallery who would benefit from additional content.

These apps could be really powerful if extended across the entire visit to unlock stories throughout the building. Imagine walking past an unremarkable-seeming sculpture, for instance, and a tap notification appearing on your Apple Watch displaying a fascinating fact about the significance of the object. This could be powered with simple iBeacons technology.


From DSC:
Might some of these same ideas and concepts be applied within our libraries? Our art galleries? Other locations?




As excellently curated by Lugene Schemper, Theological Librarian:
Out at instagram.com/hlrbooks/, you can find an assortment of items from the Hekman Library Rare Book Collection at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary. Many of these images are from hundreds of years ago.







From DSC:
What applications and implications might this type of setup mean for libraries? For classrooms?


PressPad Lounge: new digital press corner that utilizes iBeacon technology — from talkingnewmedia.com by D.B. Hebbard


The idea behind PressPad Lounge is that the service allows a business to turn a space into a reading zone, allowing those with mobile devices to access digital publications for free.




Also see:


With PressPad Lounge, people visiting your venue are able to install the magazine app of their choice, and read every issue for free while remaining PHYSICALLY within your venue.

Whether it’s a hotel lobby, a shopping mall, restaurant or a booth, PressPad Lounge enables a slick marriage of digital publishing with location marketing. People located within the range of the reading zone will be able to read magazines on their mobile devices, for free.


New from Educause:
Higher Ed IT Buyers Guide





Quickly search 50+ product and service categories, access thousands of IT solutions specific to the higher ed community, and send multiple RFPs—all in one place. This new Buyers Guide provides a central, go-to online resource for supporting your key purchasing decisions as they relate to your campus’s strategic IT initiatives.

Find the Right Vendors for Higher Education’s Top Strategic Technologies

Three of the Top 10 Strategic Technologies identified by the higher education community this year are mobile computing, business intelligence, and business performance analytics.* The new Buyers Guide connects you to many of the IT vendors your campus can partner with in the following categories related to these leading technologies, as well as many more.

View all 50+ product and service categories.


“Learning Spaces – Lernwelten”. New database to view global trends for the first time! — by Professor/Dr. Richard Stang for the Learning Research Center at Media University Stuttgart; the database is curated by Stefan Volkmann


Database structure:
1   Facet between introductory, visually inspiring, and theory & research materials
2   Physical Spaces & Institutions – schools, universities, libraries, adult education, etc.
3   Digital & Hybrid Spaces
4   Design and Architectual Aspects
4.2.4   Information Technology Integration   Mobile Devices
4.5   Service Design
5   Organizational, practical and methodic aspects
5.1   Policy & Strategy
5.2 / 5.3 organisational & cooperation structures
5.4   Project Cycle & -Management
5.5   Stakeholder-driven Innovation
6   Learning types and demographic change
7   Stakeholders – Learners of all ages, teachers, practitioners, designer, and decision makers
8   Languages – especially English, German, and Scandinavian
9   Countries and Regions




Also see:

  • Learning Spaces database released — from designinglibraries.org.uk
    Media University Stuttgart, Germany, has released the largest international database on learning space development.
    From academic to public libraries, from schools to adult education – digital environments fuse with physical learning landscapes, and offer learners, as well as institutions themselves, unforeseen possibilities. However, realising this very potential requires radically new measures in project management, organisational structures and stakeholder interaction. The database will address all these issues by providing the most current and comprehensive range of resources on learning spaces, visions and trends. 



Addendum 2/13/15:



The article therein mentions:


Future of the Campus in a Digital World — from campusmatters.net by Michael Haggans | November 2014

Excerpts from PDF (emphasis DSC):

In the digitally driven future of higher education, three-dimensional classroom spaces still will be needed. They won’t be used in the traditional manner and they won’t be the traditional kind. They will be bigger, flatter, faster and there will need to be fewer classrooms for the same number of students.

Classes that meet on campus will need additional area per student to accommodate interactive configurations, such as those allowing group work in the flow of the traditional class period. Typically these will be flat floors allowing easy configuration changes. At the same time, these rooms must be faster, with access to robust bandwidth.

Both physical and administrative adaptations will be required. While there will be more floor area per student when in class, the number of classroom hours per degree will drop, and all the while the expectation for digital transmission capability will continue to rise. To justify the required investment, institutions will have to rethink the administration of classroom scheduling to maximize effectiveness for students and faculty, and to achieve increased utilization. These are not new or easily managed issues for higher education. The accelerating move to online instruction will expose existing weaknesses of current systems and the benefits of more strategic investments and scheduling.

Digital Visible
From an institutional perspective, many of the implications of digital transformation are difficult to see, lost in a thicket of business issues presenting themselves with increasing urgency. Moreover, the changes induced by digital transformation are difficult to address through traditional facilities development and capital funding processes. These transformations are not about the need for a single new – or better – building, a campus student recreation center or teaching laboratory. 

This is about adjusting the performance of the whole campus to support a digitally transformed pedagogy and academic community.

Libraries have never been about books. They have always been about access to and use of information.

Make campus matter
With so much of higher education available in digital and largely asynchronous forms, the justification for a campus must derive from something more than “we have always done it this way.” Even at the most traditional institutions “on-campus time per degree” will decrease. This change in convention will make the support of increasingly limited face-to-face time of
strategic value, rather than an assumed byproduct of traditional campus life.

© 2021 | Daniel Christian