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Beyond Passive Learning: Utilizing Active Learning Tools for Engagement, Reflection, and Creation
Mobile Technology and Academic Libraries: Innovative Services for Research and Learning (2017)
  • Danitta A. Wong, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Teresa Maceira, University of Massachusetts Boston
The twenty-first-century student frequently engages with mobile environments to fulfill his or her information needs. Reports from the Pew Research Center (Duggan, 2015) indicate an increasing trend in the use of mobile social media platforms in the US adult population. According to the report, Social Media Usage: 2005–2015 (2015), 65 percent of American adults use social networking sites, and young adults (ages 18–29) reported the highest social media usage for all age groups, at 90 percent. Among the young adult age group, social media usage in 2005 was reported to be 12 percent (Perrin, 2015). This sharp 650 percent rise illustrates the increasingly networked environment inhabited by young adults. In an effort to engage students in the online environment they frequent, educators at the University of Massachusetts Boston utilized iPads to integrate mobile technology into library instruction and other teaching initiatives.
This chapter will discuss activities that integrate iPads into library instruction and highlight the use of research guides, web-based polling, gaming pedagogy, online surveys, and other web-based applications for academic research that participants directly engage with, reflect upon, and use to create information in transformative ways.
  • research tool,
  • active learning,
  • databases,
  • information literacy,
  • educational technology
Publication Date
Spring May 24, 2017
Robin Canuel and Chad Crichton
American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, ACRL
Publisher Statement
Mobile technology has become a ubiquitous presence in the lives of today’s students and faculty. The maturing of this technology has led to our becoming more and more comfortable in a world where digital information flows seamlessly from screen to screen as we move about our daily lives. This evolution presents both risks and opportunities for academic librarians, operating in a field that is both uniquely tied to a static sense of “place” in the public imagination and at the same time passionately devoted to the freedom, spread, and accessibility of information for the public at large.

In seventeen chapters ranging from A Mobile-First Library Site Redesign to Mobile Technology Support for Field Research to Virtual Reality Library Environments, Mobile Technology and Academic Libraries explores how librarians around the world are working to adapt their spaces, collections, teaching, and services to the new possibilities presented by mobile technology. This is a detailed and thorough examination of technology that’s emerging now and how to incorporate it into your library to help the students and researchers of both today and tomorrow.  

Leveraging the potential of smartphones, tablets, and even wearable technologies allows academic librarians to further expand their reach to students and faculty beyond the library’s walls. Furthermore, by understanding how mobile technology changes the behavior of our users, we can gain new insights into their needs and make improvements to our traditional services and spaces to better contribute to faculty research and student learning.
Citation Information
Maceira, T. E., & Wong, D. A. (2017). Beyond Passive Learning: Utilizing Active Learning Tools for Engagement, Reflection, and Creation. In R. Canuel & C. Crichton (Eds.), Mobile Technology and Academic Libraries: Innovative Services for Research and Learning (pp. 73-89). Chicago, IL: Association of College and Research Libraries.
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY International License.