Thursday Threads: Disruption in Library Acquisitions, Publishing, and Remedial Education plus Checking Assumptions of Cloud Computing and a National Digital Library

If it is Thursday it must mean it is time for another in this series of Thursday Threads posts. This week there are an abundance of things that could fall into the category of “disruptive innovation” in libraries and higher education. If you find these interesting, you might want to subscribe to my FriendFeed stream where these topics and more are posted and discussed throughout the week.

Adding Educause Connect’s “Service Oriented Architecture” Term to Planet LibrarySOA

Richard Akerman’s recent post highlighting SOA resources at Educause reminded me about the aggregation point on Educause Connect for SOA resources. I’m assuming significant number of those interested in applying SOA to library systems are at an institution of higher education or in some related organization, so I’m adding the RSS feed for that aggregation to Planet LibrarySOA. This will undoubtedly result in a large spike of “new” postings to the planet aggregator, but should settle down after that.

If you are blogging about the application of SOA to libraries and want your postings to see a wider audience, let me know and I’ll add you to the aggregator.

Undergraduates Own More Laptops than Desktops

The Chronicle of Higher Education today reports on a study by the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research on the usage of information technology by undergraduate students. Page three of the key findings report [PDF] contains this graph. Change in Technology Ownership from 2005 to 2007, from ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2007 One of the key findings that shocked me was the predominance of laptop computers over desktop computers for undergraduate students. Students reported last year an ever-so-slight ownership of desktop computers (68.9% versus 68.3%). Laptops overtook desktops this year, with three-quarters of students reporting ownership of a laptop and just over half reporting ownership of a desktop. (These numbers would also seem to indicate that a significant number of students own both a laptop and a desktop machine.) Another interesting finding is the growth in “smartphone” devices in the past two years. These are hand-helds that combine the functions of a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) with that of a mobile phone. One wonders if this number will jump significantly with Apple’s marketing push to sell 10 million iPhones by the end of next year