Week 12: Final Reflection

I personally found this class eye-opening as it introduced me to multiple concepts that I had never heard of before such as gamification. It also made me consider ones I had not paid much attention to such as virtual reality, and showed me how far artificial intelligence has come. I hadn’t realised things had progressed as far as the intelligent fridge that knows your preferences for example, and I am not sure I like that they have.  I would personally consider myself to not be a really technologically savvy person, and I was originally concerned that that the material might be too technical for me, but this class made all the ideas approachable and understandable. I think the activities were all fitting for the lecture material and I found most of them made me. Some of the lectures, especially Kim Lewin’s, were relevant to my immediate situation in my volunteer activities and gave me some ideas as to how we might push ahead in terms of getting new technology for the museum. I like being able to apply what I am learning into my immediate life and activities.

Interacting with my peers was also very stimulating, as many people came up with great ideas I hadn’t considered before and wrote very well. It was enlightening to find out more about people and what they had done, and I was relieved to find I was not the only person to be feeling a little nervous about changing career paths. In terms of communication, I did make a few mistakes. When commenting I would forget to click the option to notify me of any answering comments, and then forgot whose blog I had actually posted on. This may have led to some missed conversations. I also missed the opportunity to reply to Kathleen’s comments several times (sorry Kathleen!).

There were times I may have been able to push myself more outside of my comfort zone and didn’t. For example, I did not try the looking at my phone for fun activities all day or building an app because I was nervous I would do poorly. What I found hardest was self-reflecting on my phone usage as it brought up some uncomfortable truths about how much I can get distracted by it, particularly when I should be studying. However there were plenty of enjoyable parts too, such as finally biting the bullet and enrolling in a MOOC through Cousera, which I am still enjoying. Finding out more about MOOCs, despite my reservations on their actual openess when compared to open data, was a highlight of the course. I will definitely be exploring more of these avenues in the future.

I was the most excited and interested in the idea of open data. I was already briefly aware of it from long-ago previous university courses, but this class really widened my understanding of what it could do. I am very intrigued by the idea of people breaking the traditional publication mould and getting more information and ideas out there for free or much lowered costs. This could be very useful for someone trying to learn something on their own without paying large amounts of money for textbooks or education. It could also be very important for institutions to share information in this form that other institutions of the same nature could look at and improve from. I am thinking of museums and libraries sharing data sets about customer engagement for example, and how they. As far as I know, this may already be happening but I think a co-ordinated effort could make a large impact on visitor attendance.

I was not so enthusiastic about some of the leaps technology has made. I mentioned not wanting a fridge that knew so much about me, mainly because it may judge my midnight snacking but also because of the potential . I wonder what we will be trading in exchange for this convenience and comfort. It may be things like privacy and autonomy, if the technology we are using could also be recording and reporting our usage to advertisers or unknown third parties.  I got a chill down my spine when Internet of Things video played because I couldn’t help but see a dystopian futures where everyone is so wrapped up in creating an idealised, comfortable world that they block out those around them and anything they do not want to see like poverty. I try and avoid being too pesimistic about the influence of technology on people, because we benefit from it every day and I believe technology has caused many positive developments. I hope that technology development moves in a more inclusive direction, breaching the digital divide and helping those on both sides. It is important to note that the people behind the technology and not the technology itself will be making these choices, so I hope they choose wisely. Gamification is another potentially groundbreaking idea that could be used very poorly if just utilised for profit and to sell things. I think it could be a wonderful educational tool if used properly to engage and draw people into deeper understanding of a place or a situation. It is also clearly beneficial for

On a more light-hearted note, this class introduced me the joys of Makey Makey, which may be a little impractical but is very fun to watch and get involved in. I can now safely cross ‘played a jelly snake piano’ off my bucket list. This class has been a lot of fun and I hope to go on further with learning about technology and how to harness it for the best impact on the places I work at. Technology has already changed what being a librarian means and what we do, and will inevitably change it more in the future so librarians will best serve themselves by keeping up to date with what is happening and adapting to these changes rather than being blindsided and left irrelevant. This class has been a great first stepping stone down my technological path.


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