Assignment 2: Emerging Technology Planning

Remit For The Second Assignment

The remit for the second assignment in the Hyperlinked Library MOOC is to “craft a  plan for incorporating an emerging technology or participatory service into a library setting of your choice“.

Selecting an Emerging Technological Area

The page about this second assignment suggested that topics might include blogs, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, commenting on library catalog items or a mobile app. However since I am familiar with use of Twitter and Facebook and have some experience in using mobile apps I felt that I would go beyond my comfort zone and explore use of a technology which I have little expertise in. I have designed to chose the creation of badges for my community not only because of my lack of experience in this area but also because of the doubts of the benefits of badges which I described in a post entitled “The Pros and Cons of MOOC Badges“.

Importance of Planning

In the early days of the social web the doubts and concerns expressed by those who felt social media had little or no relevance for those working in libraries tended to be rejected by the early adopters and evangelists. I myself published a paper entitled “Web 2.0: How to Stop Thinking and Start Doing: Addressing Organisational Barriers” in which I argued that organisations should stop simply taking about barriers to use of social media, embrace the technologies and base further developments on the experiences gained. Such approaches were probably relevant in 2007 when the paper was published. However six years later we have gained a broad range of experiences in use of social media and the benefits they can provide are now more widely appreciated. However we are also in a better position to appreciate the limitations of social media and the resource implications which their use will entail. In 2009 I wrote a follow-up paper entitled “Time To Stop Doing and Start Thinking: A Framework For Exploiting Web 2.0 Services” which acknowledged that there were risks associated with use of social media, but these risks should be acknowledged, understood, risks minimisation strategies adopted and organisations and individuals should be prepared to accept certain levels of risks – after all getting out of bed and travelling to work may entail risks, but we are prepared to accept such risks!

My plans for use of badges will therefore be based not just on the methodology outlined in the assignment details but also on the risks and opportunities framework described in the paper given above and further developed in a paper on “Empowering Users and Institutions: A Risks and Opportunities Framework for Exploiting the Social Web“.

It should be noted that the plans given below are being published in an open fashion and comments and feedback are welcomed; such open and transparent approaches can help provide benefits which have been described in the module on Transparency and Privacy.

Badges for the IWMW Event

In this post I have used the checklist provided in the post which outlined the requirements of this assignment.

Planning Checklist

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:
The main objective of the “IWMW badges service” is to provide participants at IWMW events with a visible indication of their involvement in IMW events.

An important secondary objective is to provide the community with an opportunity to gain experiences of badges, which may be valuable in an institutional context.

Action Brief Statement:
The assignment suggests that an action brief is provided by filling in the blanks in the following statement:

Convince ______ that by _______ they will ________ which will ________ because _______.

Since there are two key objectives for this service I have produced the following two action brief statements:

Convince IWMW participants that by claiming an appropriate IWMW badge they will demonstrate their involvement in IWMW events which (a) will provide a visible indication of their involvement in the event which may be useful in sharing of expertise and interests beyond their host institution because of their shared participation with other attendees and (b) will demonstrate active engagement in Web development activities because of their willingness to carry out Web activities beyond their host institution.

Convince IWMW participants that by claiming an IWMW badge and engaging in discussions about the pros and cons of badges they will be better able to engage in discussions about the value of badges within their institution make which will provide benefits to the institution and the individual because they have personal experiences of the processes.

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service:
The following resources will be used:

Mission, Guidelines and Policy related to Technology or Service:
A small group (say 3-5 people) will be established which will provide advice and suggestions on (a)  information to be
published on the purpose of the IWMW badges service; (b) the number and types of badges to be provided; (c) the design of the badges and (d) an FAQ about the IWMW badges service.

Since the badges are for participation at events, similar examples will be sought.

The FAQ will include details of guidelines for use of the badges; sustainability of the badge services; risks of use of fraudulent badges; etc.

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service:
Sponsorship of the badges for the IWMW 2014 event will be sought.

Action Steps & Timeline:
The service will be prototyped for participants at the IWMW 2013 event. This event featured a plenary talk on “Mozilla, Open Badges and  a Learning Standard for Web Literacy” given by Doug Belshaw of the Mozilla Foundation, which generated interest in further evaluation of badges. The aim will be to make a prototype available in January 2014. There should be no additional dependencies, apart from the time needed for the work

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service:
I will do this work.

Training for this Technology or Service:
I will read relevant resources and explore participation ij a badges MOOC.

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service:
The service will be marketed to IWMW participants and those with responsibilities for managing institutional Web service within the UK.

The numbers of badges claimed will provide an important performance metrics. In addition associated discussions about the pros and cons of such badges will be equally important.

If there is sufficient take-up of the badges, advice and support may be provided for other national bodies which organise large-scale events.

Risks and Opportunities Checklist

The risks and opportunities frameworkIn addition to the planning checklist provided by the MOOC organisers, the “Risks and Opportunities Framework for Exploiting the Social Web” mentioned previously is also being used to ensure that possible risks which may hinder the effective take-up of the services have been considered and appropriate risks minimisation approaches used.

  • Intended purpose: Covered above.
  • Benefits: Covered above.
  • Risks: Possible risks include:
    (a) There may be a lack of interest in claiming badges;
    (b) It may be time-consuming to learn about badge-making and deployment; use the tools and engage in discussions about the pros and cons of the creation and use of badges.
    (c) Due to lack of experience in this are mistakes may be may in selecting the number and granularity of the badges; the design of the badges; selection and use of badge-creation services.
  • Missed opportunities: Not engaging in this work could lead to Web managers missing out on opportunities to gain expertise in this area.
  • Costs: Felt to be little (see above)
  • Risk minimisation: Seeking feedback from other participants in the Hyperlinked Library MOOC should help in getting feedback from others with similar interests. It should be possible to make contact with key members of the IWMW community in order to discuss the development of the IWMW badges service with those who have a direct interest.
  • Evidence base: The interest in the Badges at the Library tribe on the Hyperlinked Library MOOC indicates the interest in this area.
  • Biases and subjective factors: As previously mentioned in a post which gave my Initial Reflections on The Hyperlinked Library MOOC and the Badges I Have Acquired I have some scepticism as to whether experienced Web managers would be interested in claiming badges.


I’ve found completing this assignment helpful in focusing my thoughts on the planning processes for use of badges for an event I’ve been involved with for 17 years. I’d welcome feedback on the plans, especially from those whom may be making similar plans or who have experiences (whether good or bad) in the creation of badges.



2 thoughts on “Assignment 2: Emerging Technology Planning”

  1. Brian – This is a well-written plan and I was really impressed with your action briefs. That is a brand new part of the assignment and you did it perfectly.

    1. Hi Michael
      Many thanks for the feedback. The exercise was very helpful for me. In addition I will make use of the checklist you provided in the workshop on Future Technologies I’ll be facilitating at ILI in London next week. I’ll give the Hyperlinked Library MOOC acknowledgements.

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