Network Neutrality (often called Net Neutrality) has been in the news recently as the result of the January 14 ruling by the US Court of Appeals which struck down most of the Open Internet Order. But what is net neutrality and what does it have to do with libraries? According to the American Library Association (ALA) net neutrality “is the concept of online non-discrimination. It is the principle that consumers/citizens should be free to get access to – or to provide – the Internet content and services they wish, and that consumer access should not be regulated based on the nature or source of that content or service.” The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) uses the concept of “Open Internet” to reflect net neutrality.
The Open Internet Rules adopted by the FCC included the following:
Transparency. Broadband providers must disclose information regarding their network management practices, performance, and the commercial terms of their broadband services.
No blocking. Fixed broadband providers (such as DSL, cable modem, or fixed wireless providers) may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices. Mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services.
No unreasonable discrimination. Fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic over a consumer’s broadband Internet access service. Unreasonable discrimination of network traffic could take the form of particular services or websites appearing slower or degraded in quality.
According to a recent post by ALA member Larra Clark, the recent ruling struck down most of the FCC’s Open Internet Rules and would in essence allow “commercial companies the legal authority to block Internet traffic, give preferential treatment to certain Internet services or applications, and steer users to or away from certain web sites based on their own commercial interests.” The court ruling did encourage the FCC to “act to preserve the free and open Internet.”
Net Neutrality is an important concept for libraries for several reasons. ALA presents the case that libraries are important access points for information for many people. The ALA itself advocates for “intellectual freedom, which is the ‘right of all peoples to seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction.'” The Internet is a tool which can be used to connect people and allows for the free flow of information and ideas. While many libraries are access points for the Internet, libraries are also looking at ways to leverage technology such as the Internet to better connect, inform, and inspire their users. In higher education unrestricted access to information on the Internet may lead to research and development which will have an impact on society. By allowing business and service providers to determine who has access to the Internet, what content can be viewed, or what type of quality of access a user can have the limitless possibilities of Internet connectivity and research which are supported by Net Neutrality and the principles of the Open Internet are restricted.
Organizations including ALA, EDUCAUSE, and ARL have released a joint letter to the FCC advocating for the preservation of the Open Internet.
Launched in 2009 this unique collection of blogs is a growing array of insightful perspectives on health and healthcare. The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Health and Medicine Blog Collection was conceived of and is managed by the NLM Web Collecting and Archiving Working Group. The nine-member multidisciplinary team was tasked with not only looking for online content to archive but with creating the collection criteria, quality control standards, and much more. Since this was as new project and the field of born digital archives was also new standards for metadata and copyright also needed to be explored as the project moved forward.
Began as a pilot project, the initial focus included only 12 blogs but the collection has since expanded to include 31 blogs. The project utilizes Internet Archive’s Archive-It service. Archive-It is a subscription web archiving service that helps organizations to harvest, build, and preserve collections of digital content and is used by over 275 organizations across the globe.
Blogs currently archived in the project include e-Patient Dave and The Adventures of an Ambulance Riding Librarian. Both healthcare professionals as well as patients use blogs for communications and this project attempts to archive blogs from both perspectives. Some of the blogs include first hand perspectives about living with illness.
Because online communications through blogs has become an important point of information exchange about the fast changing topics of health and medicine the NLM’s blog archive project continues to grow. In the future the NLM envisions collaborating with other groups to capture important but unpublished studies and other information including scientific news and content communicated during natural disasters and emergencies.
What’s next on the horizon for technology and education? The 2014 Horizon Report from New Media Consortium (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative provides researched insights what to expect over the next several years for technology trends in higher education. The Horizon Report has been produced annually since 2002 and amazingly many of the trends and rates of adoption continue to be accurate. With the ability work with leaders in higher education IT the creators of the Horizon Report provide an honest and accurate assessment of some of the trends to watch and adopt.
To provide a frame of reference for how fast these new technologies will impact education the Horizon report places important developments in educational technology into “time-to-adoption horizons.” This year’s six trends to watch include:
Time-to-Adoption: One Year or Less Flipped Classrooms – “In the flipped classroom model, valuable class time is devoted to more active, project-based learning where students work together to solve local or global challenges — or other real-world applications — to gain a deeper
understanding of the subject.
Learning Analytics – “Learning analytics is an educational application of “big data,” a branch of statistical analysis that was originally developed as a way for businesses to analyze commercial activities, identify spending trends, and predict consumer behavior.”
Time-to-Adoption: Two to Three Years 3D Printing – “Known in industrial circles as rapid prototyping, 3D printing refers to technologies that construct physical objects from three dimensional(3D) digital content such as 3D modeling software, computer-aided design (CAD) tools, computer-aided tomography (CAT), and X-ray crystallography.”
Games and Gratification – “Gameplay has long since moved on from solely being recreational and has found considerable traction in the military, business and industry, and increasingly, education as a useful training and motivation tool. While a growing number of educational institutions and programs are experimenting with game-play, there has also been increased attention surrounding gamification — the integration of gaming elements, mechanics, and frameworks into non-game situations and scenarios.”
Time-to-Adoption: Four to Five Years Quantified Self – “Quantified self describes the phenomenon of consumers being able to closely track data that is relevant to their daily activities through the use of technology. The emergence of wearable devices on the market such as watches, wristbands, and necklaces that are designed to automatically collect data are helping people manage their fitness, sleep cycles, and eating habits. Mobile apps also share a central role in this idea by providing easy-to-read dashboards for consumers to view and analyze their personal metrics. Empowered by these insights, many individuals now rely on these technologies to improve their lifestyle and health.”
Virtual Assistants – “Virtual assistants are a credible extension of work being done with natural userinterfaces (NUIs), and the first examples are already in the marketplace. The concept builds on developments in interfaces across the spectrum of engineering,
computer science, and biometrics. The Apple iPhone’s Siri and Android’s Jelly Bean are recent mobile-based examples, and allow users to control all the functions of the phone, participate in lifelike conversations with the virtual assistant, and more.”
The 2014 Horizon Report provides some other areas of insight that are new to the reporting format. For instance the report also includes information on key trends that are accelerating technology adoption as well as significant challenges impeding technology adoption in higher education. Both of these factors are important for educators and IT professionals be aware of as they will greatly impact how a trend can be adopted by a user group.
Watch the video below for a brief overview of the report:
In a recent medical librarians Twitter chat the subject of the Horizon Report and it’s impact on medical librarians was addressed. Many questions and ideas came from the chat, the transcript is available for review.
Looking for ways to connect to others interested in public health? Try Twitter! Tweet chats are a great way to interact with individuals and organizations involved in public health topics across the spectrum. Typically held on a regular basis, these chats are usually lively discussions between people approaching the subject from different perspectives. If you aren’t familiar with the topic or are hesitant to participate, simply following the hashtag makes it easy to lurk or monitor the chat.
#abcDrBchat – Chat with ABC News Chief Health/Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser.
#hchlitss – Discussing health, health communication, health care, health and social media, health care disparities and social determinants of health. Every Thursday at 8pm EST. Moderators: @drkdhoffman @rv_rikard
#medlibs – The Medlibs Twitter chat occurs weekly on Thursday evenings at 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern times. Topics are selected and published at the #medlibs chat blog, http://medlibschat.blogspot.com/ Inaugural chat held June 21, 2012. Coordinated by @eagledawg
#mladisparities – The Health Disparities SIG of the Medical Library Association’s monthly twitter chat about ways for medical libraries to be involved with raising awareness of healthcare disparities. Healthcare providers, librarians and others welcome.
#pubHT – The purpose of this chat is to establish a platform where public health professionals can have the opportunity to share their experiences and resources, while also learning and networking. All are invited to join the conversation, yet the target audience includes public health professionals from NGOs, government, academia, etc. Add @PubHealthTalks or follow #PubHT for updates and or visit www.pubht.com. Established August 2012 and co-founded by @NinaJTweets and @SaraRubin.
#RWJF1stFri – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s First Friday Google+ Hangouts are broadcast live the first Friday of every month at 12 pm ET. Moderated by Susan Dentzer, senior policy adviser, this initiative keeps friends of the Foundation up to speed on its activities.
#sm4ph – #sm4ph is a Twitter hashtag dedicated to exploring aspects of social media use and how it affects public health, including Public Health the field and the public’s health at large. Moderated by Jim Garrow, the #sm4ph chat is held every Wednesday evening at 9pm Eastern Time, and is open to anyone interested in public health or social media. @phsocmed
#smem – Social media for emergency management is a live Twitter chat on Fridays at 12:30 PM Eastern Time. It begin and persists as a regular hashtag.
For a full list of healthcare tweet chats, descriptions, and transcripts visit the Healthcare Tweet Chats page via Simplur.
Digital Preservation and Access (DiPA) Award
The purpose of the Digital Preservation and Access (DiPA) Award is to increase accessibility to historically significant and unique items in the South Central Region by providing funding for Network members to digitize portions of their collections. Collections considered for digital preservation under this award should increase accessibility of health/medical collections. These digital collections will then be made freely available online.
Amount of funding: $20,000
Disaster Preparedness Award
The purpose of the Disaster Preparedness Award is to help libraries prepare for disasters so that they can assist their communities with health information and other recovery needs after an emergency. Approaches can include, but are not limited to, activities that will integrate the library into their community’s emergency preparedness, response and recovery plan; equipment that will allow the library to have more flexibility in responding to the Internet needs of the community; and partnerships with city emergency planning groups, hospitals, public health organizations to enhance health information access in library settings.
Amount of funding: $8,000
Electronic Consumer Health Outreach Award
The purpose of the Electronic Consumer Health Outreach Award is to connect health professionals, their patients and the general public to the health information resources from the National Library of Medicine. This solicitation will focus on projects designed to improve access to electronic health information for such groups and organizations as consumers, the underserved and minority health care professionals, public health workers, public libraries, and community-based and faith-based organizations.
Amount of funding: $25,000
Emerging Leaders Award
The NN/LM SCR is partnering with the South Central Academic Medical Libraries Consortium (SCAMeL) to offer the Emerging Leaders Award. The purpose of this award is to motivate and prepare a junior librarian (2-5 years of experience) for a position of leadership in an academic health sciences library. The award will pair a librarian with an academic health sciences library director who will serve as his or her mentor. The award will include visits to the mentor’s library, the SCAMeL meeting at SCC/MLA, and the NN/LM SCR office.
Amount of funding: $3,500
Express Outreach Award
The purpose of the Express Outreach Award is to support a wide range of outreach projects aimed at improving access to and use of the National Library of Medicine’s databases to improve access to health information.
Amount of funding: Multiple awards up to $5,000 each
Health Disparities Information Outreach Award
The purpose of the Health Disparities Information Outreach Award is to support a wide range of outreach projects aimed at improving access to and use of the National Library of Medicine’s databases by populations which experience significant health disparities, including, but not limited to minority, rural and other medically underserved populations.
Amount of funding: $5,000
Health Information Literacy Award
Health information literacy refers to the ability to read and understand health information and use it effectively. The purpose of the Health Information Literacy Award is to support Network member projects, particularly those from community-based organizations (CBOs), faith-based organizations (FBOs) and other organizations that serve minority populations, to develop innovative and creative ways to promote health literacy to these target populations.
Amount of funding: $5,000
Health Information Needs Assessment Award
The purpose of the Health Information Needs Assessment Award is to improve health information outreach through increased knowledge of community needs. Thorough needs assessments serve to analyze community needs in depth, with respect to the community’s cultural, social, economic and physical situations. This award is designed to give organizations an opportunity to study a community in detail and to subsequently design strategies that promote the National Library of Medicine’s databases.
Amount of funding: $5,000
Hospital Library Promotion Award
The purpose of the Hospital Library Promotion Award is to support projects that promote the value of the hospital library to the hospital administrators and staff. As hospitals expand their services and programs, hospital librarians can play a significant role in areas such as: education and training to address knowledge management, clinical information systems, patient safety programs, electronic health records, health literacy, or patient education.
Amount of funding: $5,000
Library Student Outreach Award
The purpose of the Library Student Outreach Award is to promote the value of outreach to library school students interested in health sciences librarianship.The award provides funding for students to attend the Quint Chapter Medical Library Association Meeting in October 12-16, 2014 in Denver CO and participate in meetings, conference sessions and other activities designed for them to learn about the importance of health information outreach and services conducted by librarians in the South Central Region.
Amount of funding $1,800 per student
Mobile Applications Project (MAP) Award
The purpose of the Mobile Applications Project (MAP) Award is to provide an opportunity for Network members to provide outreach and increase access to health information utilizing mobile technologies. Projects may target health professionals, public librarians, public health workers, consumers, or the general public. Recipients are encouraged to promote awareness and utilization of mobile sites and services from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mobile/). Potential applicants may consider using free Application Program Interface (API) from the National Library of Medicine for the creation or development of mobile applications (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/api/).
Amount of funding: $5,000
Outreach to Healthcare Providers Award
The purpose of the Outreach to Healthcare Providers Award is to ensure improved access to health information and Health Information Technology for those health providers without adequate access to library and information services. This solicitation will focus on projects designed to improve access to electronic health information for such groups and organizations as: unaffiliated healthcare providers located in rural, inner city, and Medically Underserved Areas (MUA), public health workers, minority health practitioners, and those who serve minority populations.
Amount of funding: $8,000
Professional Development Award (PDA)
The purpose of the Professional Development Award (PDA) is to enable individuals at NN/LM SCR Network member institutions to expand professional knowledge and experience to provide improved health information access to healthcare providers and consumers.
Amount of funding: Multiple awards up to $1,500 each
According to a recent study by the advertising agency WPP’s Kantar Media 28% of physicians use tablets and 21% percent use smartphones to to read articles in medical journals. These numbers are low compared to 74 % that use a desktop or laptop computer and the 55% still reading paper journals. The survey results were the result of a questionnaire sent to physicians in 2013.
According to the results, about 51% of physicians told Kantar they use a tablet device for professional purposes. While only 19% reported the use of a tablet device for personal use only. With 78% of those surveyed reporting the use of a smartphone for professional and personal tasks, and less than 1% reporting use for personal tasks only, the results show that the adoption rate was higher for smartphones.
The study also showed that reading medical journals is one of the few tasks for which doctors are more likely to employ tablets than smartphones. Overall Kantar found that doctors are still more likely to use a smartphone than a tablet for professional tasks, including researching specific clinical situations and getting professional news updates.
Kantar also investigated application (app) use among physicians surveyed. Kantar found a significantly different list for smartphones than for tablets. For smartphone apps, 56% of doctors reported the use of diagnostic or clinical reference tools, 51% report the use of drug coding or reference apps, 37% reported the use of apps for medical journal, magazine, or newspaper access, and 31%t reported the use of workflow tools. In terms of tablet apps, though, 37% used medical journal, newspaper, or magazine apps, 30% of doctors used diagnostic or clinical reference apps, 27% used electronic medical record apps and 22% used drug and coding reference apps. Accessing the Internet and checking email, however, were still the top use cases for both tablets and smartphones.
Additionally, Kantar found that survey participants had downloaded an average of seven apps for professional or personal purposes in the past six months. Twenty-four percent had downloaded at least 10 apps in that time. Additional data analysis can be accessed in the original mobiehealthnews post on this survey.
Overall, these survey results provide a look into the use of mobile devices by physicians. It is clear that device adoption and app use continues to be import to those in the healthcare industry. As medical librarians look for ways to connect with physicians to better provide information services it is useful to consider how physicians are actually using the devices they have access to.
January 28th through February 28th is Data Privacy Month (DPM). This month is designed to raise awareness and empower people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint. As we move to a more mobile, connected, and always-on society the increasing amount of data being shared can put your privacy at risk. By taking proactive measures everyone can more easily control their data and information.
What’s new and what’s next for educational technologies? iLibrarian Ellyssa Kroski recently compiled a list of 7 Ed Tech Trends to Watch in 2014. The list includes technologies that are impacting both higher ed and K-12 classrooms. As these technologies continue to make an impact on education, librarians should also consider how the use of these technologies will impact learning styles. These new educational technology trends may also help librarians transform their own teaching styles.
The seven trends include:
The Flipped Classroom
Several of these trends have been discussed in previous Blogadillo posts, but the discussion provided in the blog post linked above provides more in-depth information about each of these trends.
Many of these trending topics having been gaining attention over the course of 2013 and are expected to be more widely implemented this year. Several were listed as part of the New Media Consortium’s (NMC) 2013 Horizon Report.
Are you seeing these technologies impact medical librarians and health professionals? If so how? Share your experiences in the comments section below.
What if all of the devices in your home or office could communicate with one another? What if they could communicate with you? While this futuristic concept sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, the idea of the Internet of Things was first identified in 2009 and today’s latest technologies are making the Internet of Things a reality.
Today many devices are connected the internet, these devices are also often tracking data. Through the integration of built in connections through WiFi, Bluetooth, and RFID (radio frequency identification) these devices can begin sharing the data they are collecting. Because a growing number of devices and machines can be connected to the internet and to one another new devices enable a network of machine to machine (M2M) communication.
“Your alarm clock goes off, and the lights in your bedroom automatically come on, slowly brightening to full strength. The thermostat slowly brings the room to a comfortable temperature even before your alarm sounds so that you’re comfy getting out from under the blankets. Your coffee starts brewing in the other room when you get out of the shower so that it’s hot when you get to the kitchen. It’s a specific instantiation of the idea of the ‘internet of things,’ communication between previously unnetworked objects.”
A recent survey of IT decision makers estimates that by 2020 more than 24 billion devices will be connected to the internet. This makes for a large and growing network for the Internet of Things. As these devices track data, a wealth of real-time information will be generated leading to increases in big data analytics.
One of the best ways to keep abreast of new technology trends is by watching for news from the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held annually in Las Vegas. At This Year’s CES many new advances in the Internet of Things were introduced.
This year Belkin introduced a new product that allows you to add internet connectivity to any device with a DC switch with it’s WeMo Maker. WeMo already provides a variety of solutions which allow users to control devices through adapters that can be added to power outlets. Once the devices are networked using WeMo solutions a user can then control them through a smartphone app. WeMo even has partnerships with Crock-Pot®, Mr. Coffee®, and others which have already lead to a a crock-pot which can be controlled with the press of a button from a device miles away. WeMo can also provide control for light bulbs!
WeMo is just one of many options which are leading the push for the Internet of Things.
Another player in the Internet of Things, Nest, an advanced home thermostat, has also been in the news recently. Nest is described as a “sensor-driven, WiFi-enabled, self-learning, programmable thermostat” and provides users with the ability to monitor and control the temperature in their home using a mobile app. Nest makes a note of the changes you make to the temperature setting and the time of day in order to anticipate how hot or cold you would like it. After learning your daily routine, Nest goes above standard programing to help you stay comfortable while also helping you safe money by not running when you don’t need it. Nest also has a home fire and carbon monoxide sensor on the market as well. Nest was recently acquired by Google for $3.2 billion dollars. This could mean that you will soon be able to monitor home temperature, safety, and maybe even more from the comfort of your Google Account.
Look for other WiFi-enabled devices which should be hitting the market soon. The Internet of Things is quickly becoming a reality.
The NN/LM SCR is happy to offer the online version of “Super Searcher: Enhancing Your Online Search Super Powers” class.
This self-paced online class will open February 3, 2014 and remain open until March 9, 2014.
This self-paced online course offering focuses on the advanced search features of web search engines and online searching. Participants will use various search engines, compare the features of each and broaden their knowledge of search strategies and online search techniques. Participants will develop search strategies that will increase the precision and scope of their online searching ability. In the online version of the class, participants will view short video demonstrations, engage in online discussions and complete exercise sets focused on improving online search skills. The class includes: information about web search engines, strategies for searching for online media including images, videos and books. The class concludes with a discussion on real-time search, mobile search and what the future of search holds.
The class content has recently been updated to address the launch of the Google Search Algorithm Hummingbird and additional topics on the future of search engines.
Participants may work at their own pace during this class but are expected to interact with other class participants in discussion forums.
Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 4 hours of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.