Academic Libraries in the Net GenerationEmbracing Technology to Infuse Information Literacy throughout the Curriculum Pamela A. Jackson April 14, 2005
Net Generation Students • Also called Net Gen, Generation Y, Millennials, Echo Boomers, Boomlets. • Born after 1981. • Net Gen students grew up with digital media integrated into their everyday lives (WWW, video games, chat rooms, Blogs, IM, cell phones, etc). A boomlet born in 1992.
Placing the Net Gen in Context • Do you remember when handwriting letters was a necessity, not a ‘vintage’ mode of communicate? • Did you wait in line to see Star Wars in the theater…on its first release? • Was your first hyperlink in a Choose Your Own Adventure book? • How many of you were regularly using a computer by the ages of 3-8?*
Circa 1981: A Techno Turning Point • MTV goes on the air debuting “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. • Supreme Court rules to allow television cameras in the courtroom. • Commodore Vic-20 debuts in May 1981 and becomes the first personal home computer to sell more than a million units. Pacman-mania swept the nation.
Learning Characteristics of Net Gen Students • Comfortable with the digital environment. • Accustomed to independent navigation of the Web. • Visually-oriented. • Accustomed to figuring things out themselves (trial-and-error, experimentation). • Enjoy collaboration and teamwork. • Multitaskers. • Expect immediate results and instant gratification.
SDSU Students • Average Age = 24.2 • Undergraduates: 22.6 • Graduates: 30.9 • International Student Enrollment: 4.2% of student population (SDSU ranks 13th in nation for hosting international students) Source: SDSU Office of Analytic Studies Fall 2004 Data for San Diego Campus
International Net Gen Students • Today’s international students are globally connected and techno-savvy. • Like domestic students, they think in terms of their lives as they relate to computers and computer access. Source: Jackson, Pamela. Incoming International Students and the Library: A Survey. Reference Services Review, 33(2). (Forthcoming 2005).
Net Gen Students and Academic Libraries • May be confused by library resources and the research process. • Find library resources are difficult to figure out on their own. • Rely heavily on the Internet for research. • Approach research in a nonlinear fashion.
Information and Communication Literacy (ICT) Net Gen students: • are ‘web-smart,’ but may not know how to make appropriate use of technology to communicate ideas in presentations or class assignments; • need information literacy instruction to develop critical thinking and evaluation skills; • need help constructing effective search strategies.
Information Seeking Activity Pretend you are a Net Gen student who lives on-campus. You need to write a research paper for a sociology course. It’s due in 3 weeks. Rank the following resources in the order that you would seek the information: ___ Photocopy an article from the current periodicals section in Love Library ___ Search Google for the American Sociological Association’s Website ___ Request a book through Link+ ___ Link to the full-text of an article from Academic Search ___ Get a book from the Asian collection on the 4th floor ___ Obtain a newspaper article from microfilm on the 1st floor ___ Order an article through interlibrary loan
Technology-Enhanced Academic Library Services • E-journals • Electronic Reserves • Virtual Reference (chat, email, text messaging) • Open URL Linking (SFX) • PDA/Cell Phone/Smart Phone/iPod access to library resources • Digital Collections (images, audio, video) • Federated Searching
Live Online Reference • Makes use of digital media with which Net Gen students are comfortable • Available 24/7 • Can work well for office hours • More research needed--convenience doesn’t equal quality
Technology-Enhanced Information Literacy Instruction Although technology is not the answer to every instructional problem, it can: • enhance student learning • keep academic libraries relevant and on the cutting edge • make library material more visually oriented • actively engage Net Gen students • help students interact with digitally-rich world of information
Infusing Information Literacy across the Curriculum Employ innovate technologies to enhance student learning and facilitate articulation of InfoLit into the curriculum. • Embed digital library resources into Course Management Software (BlackBoard, WebCT, ANGEL) • Create Self-paced Interactive Web-based Tutorials • Explore Emerging Technologies (RSS Feeds, Blogs, WIKIs, Gaming)
Interactive Web-based Tutorials Tutorials are innovative ways to stimulate student learning. Students learn important research skills: • at their own pace • outside of traditional class time and classrooms • when it is convenient for them (24/7) • in ways suited to individual learning styles
Interactive Web-based Tutorials Tutorials can influence changes in ILI: • Students learn at their own pace, outside of physical classrooms and traditional class time. • Offers a progressive reinforcement of information literacy skills. • Students gain a common foundation of knowledge before the in-person library instruction session. • “Face” time with students can be advanced and student-centered when tutorials precede in-person library instruction.
Gaming Net Gen students are growing up with edutainment/infotainment—How will Higher Education respond? • Role Playing Games (RPGs) • Science experiments • Online Coloring Books and Puzzles • Interactive Public Service Announcements
Blogs (Online Journals) • Yes, students do still read and write. • Academic Library Blogs: • promote services, collections, events • highlight resources and instruction • subject-specific for departments or classes • Potential ILI use • Student research process blog
RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) • RSS feed is usually a group of headlines, brief summaries, and links to full text.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) • Push out information that students and faculty can pull in to their personal web portals. • Partner with technology centers on campus to offer RSS feeds and links to trusted freeware aggregators. • Embed library RSS feeds into CMS.
WIKIs • Collaborative content composition software • Potential ILI use: • Plagiarism instruction—groups of students can work collaboratively to read original passages, then write and edit paraphrases until they are satisfied as a group that they have avoided plagiarism.
Google Smoogle Are libraries becoming less relevant to our user community? • Calm down, it’s just another search interface. • Students need critical thinking and evaluation skills. • Role of information literacy is to teach students how to interact with information.
Blended Librarianship • Librarians need to embrace the scholarship of teaching and learning: • instructional design • teaching pedagogies • assessment of student learning • “Blended Librarians help faculty to achieve student learning outcomes by designing learning tools and objects that facilitate the mastery of information literacy skills.”* Source: collaborate conference
Campus-wide Partnerships for Information and Communication Literacy • Campus-wide responsibility for graduating information literate students • Build partnerships=everyone plays a role • Information Literacy House
Get the Students Involved “Librarians should consult with students in the design phase of services and incorporate students on teams that make decisions about the implementation of those services. Making use of the imagination, creativity, technical skills, and perspectives of Net Gen students is the best way to ensure that new services will be responsive to both their needs and their style” (13.9)
Challenges for Academic Libraries • Advances in technology have a significant impact on staff • Funding • Technology fluency required of librarians • Need for professional development opportunities and support
Further Reading Questions/Comments? Thank You.