Here I'll gather some materials I'm trying to draw together on the general subject of 'instructional technology'. It's all pretty tentative, just a matter of figuring out what I think by seeing what I say, and needless to say is entirely my own opinion-of-the-moment. I don't speak for librarians generally, though what I have to say is the product of about 7 years of participant observation.

A lot of what follows comes down to ruminations on and intimations of what the digital world is doing (and will do) to our orderly lives. We have all adopted a succession of new technologies (some of them [and some of us] with greater enthusiasm than others; and at some we draw the line...), and it's clear that there's more-of-same just over the horizon. People seem to offer media-linked educational New Jerusalems at every turn, and what these seem to have in common is that they require our time and attention and [somebody's] money. They offer implicit golden tomorrows and a sense of with-itness, but they forbear to mention such inevitable sources of friction as steep learning curves, mandatory hardware upgrades, impenetrable instruction manuals and rampant prolepsis.

So we need to think carefully about what we're trying to do and why. That requires more reading and thinking and talking and experimenting in lives that are already pretty full, so payoffs can't be long delayed, and examples of things that really do work are necessary pour encourager les autres. People need to experiment with applications of these new technologies, and need to convey what does and doesn't work in particular settings and circumstances. This takes time as well as inspiration and hardware and software support, and it's no wonder that many faculty share the feelings behind

...Leo Tolstoy's alleged refusal to use a new invention called the dictaphone, which Tolstoy explained by saying it would surely be "too dreadfully exciting" and distract him from the content of his literary compositions...
(from a review of Birkerts' Tolstoy's Dictaphone: technology and the muse)

Improving the climate for personal engagement

Librarians and instructional technologies

Some assumptions


A bibliography of sources in W&L libraries

Some interesting links to web materials in this general realm

A course that should work better. What to do?