Module Thirteen: Emerging Technologies

This week, we explore the impact of emerging technologies on information communities. Over the past few years, the Web has changed. It’s rebooted and has become more engaging. A confluence of technological advances has led to our current landscape of learning and information use by communities. The creation of global networks, paired with enhancements to networking technology, and the evolution of devices has created a perfect storm of change. In a 2005 edition of Technology Review, Roush highlighted the move to social interaction online via new technologies. He argued that mobile technology, access to social media, and widespread wireless access to the Internet are creating new forms of self-expression and conversation. Roush labeled this phenomenon “continuous computing.” This concept describes how people access and share information, and how they utilize constantly updating devices to form and maintain information communities.   In simple terms the Internet, extended by WiFi transmission capabilities, increasingly powerful cellular networks and mobile devices, allows for anytime, anywhere information access. The Horizon Report for 2012 included this key trend related to mobile devices: “People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to” (p. 3). Further Horizon Reports (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), and others highlight the discussions surrounding how this expanded connectivity influences learners, information specialists and other information communities.

For this module, please read the article below and then spend 1-2 hours exploring and reading the reports below under “Things to Explore.” If a trend or technology struck you in the lecture, follow up on it in the report.  Also, for an overview of the Horizon Report, visit:

 Things to Read:

 Things to Explore:

Horizon Reports (2012 through 2017)

Horizon Reports – Library Edition (2014, 2015 & 2017)

Pew & Libraries



Roush, Wade. 2005. “Social Machines.” Technology Review (August 1, 2005): 44–53.