Abstract: Information technology serves as an essential tool for today’s information professional, with a need for ongoing research attention to assess the technological directions of the field over time. This paper presents the results of a survey of the technologies used by library and information science (LIS) practitioners, with attention to the combinations of technologies employed and the technology skills that practitioners wish to learn. The most common technologies employed were: email, office productivity tools, web browsers, library catalog and database searching tools, and printers, with programming topping the list of most-desired technology skill to learn. Generally similar technology usage patterns were observed for early and later-career practitioners. Findings also suggested the relative rarity of emerging technologies, such as the makerspace, in current practice.
Over the past few years, skilled developers and tech professionals have been in high demand for startups and corporations alike. And 2016 will be no exception. What will be different, however, is the sheer quantity of specialties companies are seeking in order to fill highly specific gaps, from data engineers to machine learning experts with deep knowledge of their fields.
Given that many companies are already hiring — or will be shortly — I asked 15 startup founders from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) which categories of technical talent they are looking for this year and why these roles will be so impactful. Their best answers are below. READ MORE: 15 top tech jobs of 2016 | Mashable
Image Credit: Microsoft
The new Minecraft module is part of Code.org’s third annual Hour of Code, a worldwide campaign that tries to demystify code by teaching the basics of computer science in just an hour. The Hour of Code takes place during Computer Science Education Week from December 7 – 13.
If users sign up for the free Hour of Code Minecraft module, they’ll learn how to use blocks of code to make Steve or Alex, the two main character skins from the game, adventure through a Minecraft world. Other modules, including some based on Star Wars, “Frozen” and other popular content, are also available on the Code.org site. READ MORE: Microsoft and Code.org want to teach kids to code with Minecraft | CNET
Women are under-represented in the tech sector. Not only that, but they’re underpaid, often passed for promotions and faced with every day sexism. It’s no wonder women are more likely to leave the industry within a year compared to their male counterparts. MORE: Why Aren’t There More Women in Tech? | Next Generation
BERLIN — Weston Hankins, an entrepreneur in Germany currently juggling three startups, was complaining to a friend one night about the lack of computer programmers in Berlin, when they stumbled into an idea: What if they trained refugees to code? “It was just so obvious,” said Hankins, who, along with his friend Anne Kjær Riechert, reasoned that coding classes for refugees would not only offset a shortage of technical skills across Europe, but also help kickstart the students’ new lives. “We can help them integrate because we know the startup community and we’re well connected here,” Hankins said. Also, he pointed out, “they need something to do.” READ MORE: Entrepreneurs launch coding school for refugees in Germany | Mashable
According to the National Center for College and Career Transitions (NC3T), about 20 percent of careers — and many of the fastest growing areas — directly relate to science, technology, engineering and math.
But by one count, an insufficient number of students today will pursue STEM careers. So how do we convince students that STEM is important even if they don’t think they will pursue a career in a related field? READ MORE: Exposing Every Student To STEM | TechCrunch.
Data scientist, according to a 2012 Harvard Business Review article, is the sexiest job of the 21st century. Given that its authors are Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil, the declaration is hardly surprising. Nonetheless, the IT industry is besotted with the term, and is expecting huge shortages of skilled workers.
A less well-known paper, “The future of employment: how susceptible are jobs to computerization?,” was published less than a year later by two Oxford academics (data scientists, perhaps). The authors, Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, examine 702 detailed occupations in the U.S. labor market and estimate that about 47 percent of total U.S. employment is at risk from computerization “over some unspecified number of years, perhaps a decade or two.” Nearly 100 occupations, covering a wide range of skills from manual to mental, showed a 95 percent or higher probability of computerization. READ MORE: The Sexiest (And Last?) Job Of The 21st Century | TechCrunch.
There aren’t any express objectives or any real way to win in Minecraft. It’s a “sandbox,” in gaming speak—offering free play without a specific goal and currently used by more than 18.5 million players, with some 20,000 more signing up every day. Users may choose between Creative Mode, in which they can build using unlimited resources by themselves or with friends, with no real danger or enemies, and Survival Mode, where they fend off enemies and other players and fight for resources and space. They can trade items and communicate using a chat bar. Modifications (or mods) can add complexity by creating things like economic systems that let players buy and sell resources from in-game characters using an in-game currency system. These downloadable mods can also add computer science concepts and thousands of additional features.
Minecraft’s worlds and possibilities are truly endless—and increasingly, so are its educational adaptations for school use. Available on multiple platforms (Apple, Windows, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox, Raspberry Pi, iOS, Android, Windows Phone), the game’s flexibility and collaborative possibilities make it a favorite among devotees of gamification.
“Minecraft is like LEGOs on steroids,” says Eric Sheninger, a senior fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education. “Learners of all ages work together to ultimately create a product that has value to them,” he adds. “The simple interface provides students in the classroom with endless possibilities to demonstrate creativity, think critically, communicate, collaborate, and solve problems.” A Swedish student research study also showed that collaboration in Minecraft provided a more immersive problem-solving experience than group LEGO building.
Coding is a great skill for kids to learn but it can be a lonely, sedentary endeavor. Hackaball, a new toy created from a partnership between the design agencies MAP and Made By Many, promises to get kids off their butts and playing outside—all while teaching basic coding skills and empowering kids to invent their own kind of play.
Here is a link to the presentation my colleague and I gave at Netspeed 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta. First time ever presenting in public. We worked really hard and felt we gave a great presentation. The presentation focused on evolving roles, competencies and skillets of information professionals working within corporate libraries. Attendees really listened and didn’t spend the whole time fiddling on their smartphones. Practice makes [almost] perfect. I can now cross this accomplishment off my bucket list!
E4: Role of the Corporate Library in the Information Management World | Netspeed 2014 Conference Program | The Alberta Library
Presenters: Margo Price and Nicole Mullings, Talisman Energy Inc.
Information management is an interdisciplinary field which combines skills and resources from librarianship, information technology, records management, and archives. The Information & Research Centre at Talisman Energy Inc. is part of a newly created Information Management team comprised of the corporate library, records management, and enterprise content management ECM groups. Learn more about the unique benefits and challenges that go along with aligning these synergistic roles and functions under one umbrella and how it speaks to potential trends in the special library field.