What is Mobile IT and Backchannel?

The Kept-Up Academic Librarian http://keptup.typepad.com/academic/blog posted about two new technologies from the famous "7 Things You Should Know" series this time devoted to "Mobile IT" and "Backchannel"

Initial forays into mobile IT often involve generic information—
such as directories, campus maps, events calendars, shuttle
schedules, dining hall menus—that is available on the institution’s
primary home page. Other projects offer mobile library services
such as catalog searches and reference desk help. Institutions that
implement mobile authentication can offer administrative services
such as course registration and drop/add, financial aid support,
and access to grades, schedules, and other services in ERP and
course management systems. A mature mobile IT initiative might
provide access to the institution’s portal and all of its userspecific

For public librarians the switch to Mobile IT is not as fast as it is in academic libraries, colleges and universities but IT departments in public libraries should start thinking how to transfer more services into mobile phones if this is the primary communication tool used by customers.

Backchannel as an electronic chat among the participants in a lecture, presentation or another event and displayed as text simultaneously on a website, chat room or Twitter related to the event.

Whether the backchannel exists as a spontaneous chat among a few audience members or
as an audience-wide discourse displayed as text on a screen for
common participation, the allure is its immediacy as a real-time
conversation in parallel with the formal presentation. Still, not all
members of an audience will agree on how enriching or distracting
they find these second, third, or fourth conversations.

Backchannel is broadening the audience of an event and has potential for instructors, presenters and professors if they use, encourage and monitor it.

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