The EDUTech 2023 Conference was buzzing with excitement as librarians from NUS Libraries showcased the flagship immersive technology Jumpstart Minis programme and efforts to increase scalability, serviceability and sustainability in blended learning.
Wondering how learning platforms have been used to achieve greater manpower efficiency? Or how students and learners can be empowered with immersive technology skills? Read on to learn about how educational technology is changing the future of libraries. This post concludes with some takeaways on how librarians can keep up with educational and technological changes at their own institution.
Jumpstart Minis: Teaching Immersive Tech to the Masses
Organisations tend to emphasise acquiring the latest technology, and it can be easy to be impressed by the latest shiny thing on the market! However, having the know-how to use these tools well is just as important. The TEL Imaginarium Team gave a passionate presentation about how they helped the NUS community make good use of immersive technology in learning and research through the Jumpstart Mini series of workshops. Designed to be accessible to participants of all levels, workshop content is regularly kept up to date with trending technology and open-source platforms that academics and students have easy access to.
Workshops are conducted every semester to get the general NUS community started on basic immersive tech projects, covering a good spectrum of topics. We take it as a mark of success when our participants go on to develop full-fledged immersive tech projects for their research!
The TEL Imaginarium Team also shared the participants’ learning journey, showing how participants are provided teaching aids, including 360o cameras, AR printouts, and even VR headsets to test their own creations on the spot.
At the end of a course, participants receive digital skill badges that they can embed on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. These badges help signal to prospective collaborators, partners, and employers who might find these skills valuable.
Integrating Massive Open Online Courses in Blended Learning: Scalability, Sustainability and Serviceability
Next, the Systematic Review librarians shared some considerations that educators and learning technologists should consider when adopting an online learning platform. Using experiences with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platforms as a case study, they illustrated how learning platforms can be leveraged to increase scalability, sustainability and serviceability as defined by the “Triple-S” Framework (Moro et al., 2023) below:
By consolidating teaching content on a platform accessible to learners anytime and anywhere, the team were able to solve some common bugbears using technology (image below):
- Time-consuming content updates for separate courses – updating content on a single platform instead is much more efficient;
- Having to repeating the same content over and over across different courses and at consultations – instead directing students to the content, freeing librarians from the need to deliver content face-to-face;
- Inconsistencies in content and delivery due to variance in librarians’ experience and habits – the platform serves as a “single source of truth”.
Finally, the team shared how MOOCs can be integrated into library instruction for greater self-directed learning, knowledge construction and application below:
Takeaways for Librarians Thinking About Exploring Educational Technologies
For those thinking about exploring the intersection between librarianship, education and technology, here are some tips:
- Engage with Thought Leaders: By participating in global and regional conferences and platforms to engage in professional development opportunities and share innovative ideas and practices
- Secure Resources: Find out what learning tools, support and funding are offered at your own institution
- Collaborate with Stakeholders: Foster collaboration with educators, technologists and network with librarians from other institutions (reach out to the librarians as we are more than just information specialists)
- Embrace Technological Trends: Don’t be afraid to experiment with new or unfamiliar technologies
In this age of information and data explosion, where information is readily available at our fingertips, librarians, as custodians of knowledge, must keep pace with changes in the education and technological sectors. We must rapidly evolve into creators of experiences and discovery for our community and beyond.
Magdeline NG Tao Tao, Cluster Head (Strategy Planning Unit – Digital Strategy & Innovation), Associate University Librarian, NUS Libraries
Raudhah THONGKAM, Principal Librarian (Immersive Learning Librarian), NUS Libraries
Jie Ying MAK, Senior Librarian (Research Librarian – STEM), NUS Libraries
Suei Nee WONG, Senior Librarian (Research Librarian – STEM), NUS Libraries
Lyndia CHEN Yanru, Librarian (Research Librarian – HASS), NUS Libraries
Siu Chen LIM, Librarian (Research Librarian – HASS), NUS Libraries
The authors would like to thank NUS Libraries for their commitment to staff development in providing them the opportunity to attend EDUTech Asia 2023. They would also like to thank Marcus Wong and Shelley Wu for looking through drafts of this piece.
Moro, C., Mills, K. A., Phelps, C., & Birt, J. (2023). The Triple-S framework: Ensuring scalable, sustainable, and serviceable practices in educational technology. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 20(1), 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-022-00378-y, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License