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The Rise Of Pd As As A Ubiquitous Computing Option

1103 words - 5 pages

The Rise of PDAs as a Ubiquitous Computing Option

Looking at the evolution of technology can provide a glimpse at what the future has in store for information providers. Learning about technological evolution can therefore affect decision-making processes related to library and information systems. Studying technological trends can guide information providers to new technologies and they can be better prepared for the reactions of their customers to these new technologies. It is vital for information providers to examine the big picture of how the new technology will influence their services. There may be unexpected expenses associated with the new technology, customers may not be ...view middle of the document...

In today's society the ability to have access to information anywhere and anytime can be a great advantage. Glogoff states that "collaboration technologies, enhanced by the increased capabilities and the Internet's reliability, are providing people with new ways to merge their skills, arrive at insights, and exchange resources." 3 PDAs are offering information providers a new way to deliver information to their customers, whether students, library patrons, or medical professionals. The possible uses are far reaching and we are just beginning to see the tip of the iceberg regarding their application.

The use of PDAs stems from the trend over the past few years toward the realization of ubiquitous computing. Since Glogoff's article was published,this trend has continued and gained significant momentum. Personally, I have seen PDAs come to be a vital tool in university administration. I work in a dean's office at the University of Arizona, and in the past two-and-a-half years I have seen everyone from the dean to the assistant deans to the office staff incorporate PDAs into their work lives. This technology has changed the way business is done. It has cut down on paper usage, made processes such as scheduling more efficient, and made networking among people smoother. PDAs are also becoming indispensable in other environments such as libraries, hospitals, and schools.

Libraries striving to provide their clients with new ways to use the library's myriad services are also beginning to use PDAs. For example, the Cleveland Public Library has begun circulating eBooks and digital media. The director of the library, Andrew Venable, Jr., states, "The new… digital book collection will be another example of our dedication to utilizing technology for 'Access-Anytime-Anywhere.'"4 This technology could have tremendous benefits for libraries in terms of bringing in new clients attracted to the use of technology.

Another arena that is utilizing PDA technology is e-learning. Here PDAs offer an additional way to transmit knowledge to students. In this environment the use of PDAs is referred to as mobile learning, which Paul Harris defines as, "… the point at which mobile computing and e-learning intersect to produce an anytime, anywhere learning experience." 5 By looking at how technology has evolved in the past, e-learning providers can look to the future and hopefully have a better idea of how and if new...

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