Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Heavy reading about the Dept of Ed, google generation and fair use-

Wow, this was heavy reading-especially the Dept of Ed regulations on Enhancing Education through Technology. It was interesting though, since they want students, elementary and high school fluent on the information technology, but do not mandate SLMS on the elementary level. That would seem counterintuitive, since the SLMS is the best resource for introducing students the using the internet in an productive manner.
On the other hand, after reading the research article about the Google generation (in Information Behaviour of the researcher of the future), it seems that the SLMS might soon become unnecessary! Students of this generation seem to have an almost natural fluency with technology that SLMS do not have. They are also much more liable to search for information on the WWW than a book, or even enter a library portal to search through there. This was borne out by my conversation with a SLMS who graduated in the 1970s. She confessed she did not know what a blog or wiki was, and asked me to explain what Facebook was all about. She admitted that her knowledge of technology was far less than the students. She also said that her students were more interested in the web than in books, and that each year she orders more and more DVDs, since that is what circulates the best. It will be interesting seeing if students will come to balance the WWW and books or research books will fall by the wayside.
Fair use is confusing. I admit I did not know much about copyrights, but now whatever I know is confused. (I don't feel to bad, since the author went to law school to understand copyrights). Hopefully, this will be clarified as I continue to read the text.

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