Activity: Learn how to use a new tool, software or game, and write about your experience.
For this activity I learned how to use Aurasma, an augmented reality application that allows for additional layers of useful information to be overlaid upon a static image, which may then be viewed through a smartphone or tablet. The static image can be of your own choosing as can the layers, which can be a video, URL, text or animation. This can be seen to offer tremendous potential for libraries to deliver informative, directional, actionable and descriptive information in an engaging way.
Mobile AR applications can be seen to offer an engaging and interactive information experience, in Robinson’s (2015, p.113) view this presents a profound opportunity for increased access to library collections. Massis (2015, p.797) explains that after viewing an AR display, one’s interest in the topic may be expanded, prompting a search for further supplementary information on the subject such as books, articles and videos, and that this exploration of multimedia sources can be seen to support the development of information literacy skills. The librarian is able to choose the resources to be displayed in the AR application, the benefit of this explains Beautyman and Shelton (2009, p.69) is that the information can be channelled towards age appropriate and topic specific materials.
Beheshti (2012, p.54) describes digital natives as those born after 1989, and explains that as they live in a digital world and rely extensively on ICT that they may process information differently to their predecessors. AR can be seen as a learning solution for digital natives as the virtual world can be utilised for engagement and delivery of information, and in Massis (2015, p.798) view AR supports the shift from the static transmission of knowledge to user-centred learning as the information seeker becomes an active participant in the learning process. Indeed, “the user is vital to making AR technology functional” (Zac. 2014, P.39) as the content/information lies dormant until activated by a user’s smatphone or tablet.
I now know that there are any number of exciting new tools at my disposal that will enable me to harness technology to develop engagement and to deliver information to young people in a way that can be understood and enjoyed, and that many of these platforms do not require a high level of technical skill. Knowing this has given me confidence which has relevance to my professional practice as a librarian for children and young adults as I look forward to exploring and creating new engaging ways to deliver information. As I gain skills in terms of mastering this new technology, gaps in my knowledge will be continually revealed as it will inevitably be superseded as new platforms and applications are developed. There is opportunity for me to fill those gaps by ensuring that I stay well informed of relevant emerging technologies and stay willing to continually learn how to harness them for the benefit of my clients.
Beautyman, W., & Shenton, A. K. (2009). When does an academic information need stimulate a school-inspired information want? Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 41(2), 67-80. doi:10.1177/0961000609102821
Beheshti, J. (2012). Teens, Virtual Environments and Information Literacy. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (Online), 38(3), 54-57. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/933226070?accountid=10344
Massis, B. (2015). Using virtual and augmented reality in the library. New Library World, 116(11/12), 796-799.
Zak, E. (2014, 2014/12//). Do you believe in magic? Exploring the conceptualization of augmented reality and its implications for the user in the field of library and information science. Information Technology and Libraries, 33, 23+.