Friday, May 9, 2008

Whole Brain, Open Mind: CO-Constructing through Digital Reference for Today's Students

Presenter: Dr. Leslie Farmer, Cal State, Long Beach

Author of the new book Teen Girl and Technology being published by ALA


Agenda of the Session:
  1. Who are our students?
  2. The state of literacy
  3. Reference as conversation

Developing Brian
At age 12, new white matter has moved from back to front, things are changing inside the brain which makes teenagers act the way they do (there's a scientific reason for it!)

Impact of the teenage brain:
  • Behaviors resultant of the changes in a teen's brain:
  • impulsive
  • aggressive
  • emotionally volatile
  • likely to take risks
  • reactive to stress
  • vulnerable to peer pressure
  • prone to focus on and overestimate short-term payoffs and underplay longer term consequences of what they do
  • likely to overlook alternative courses of actions


A Whole New Mind For a Whole New Age: Concept and Right Brain
Function > DESIGN
Argument > STORY
Focus > SYMPHONY
Logic > EMPATHY
Seriousness > PLAY
Accumulation > MEANING

The millenials (children born 2000+) are getting older and things are different for them than they have been before...
Now, children are gadget-savvy, but information-clueless. They are growing up with the technology and it is second nature to them. Because of this, there is a large disconnect between school information literacy and personal information literacy. In their personal lives, students use cell phones, email, IM, when they get to school teachers say no to those things. Because of this, education is changing.

Biggest College Freshman Learning Gap: Finding Information!
  • Going beyond Wikipedi and Google
  • Finding books: LC vs. Dewey
  • Determining kinds of sources
  • Knowing about the different kids of sources (databases, scholarly journals, etc.)
  • Use of key words
  • Citing sources (correctly)
and libraries are scary!!!

New Literacies:
Technology Literacy, Information Literacy, Media Creativity, Global Literacy, Literacy with Responsibility

How we go about finding information and the information-seeking behavior of teens is different. They will probably start by asking someone, going to the internet (not the database), think about what they already know and trying to connect it to what they're doing, forgetting everything they've ever learned about keyword searching and searching with anything they can think of, thinking shallowly, about what they need to do to be done and get back to "real life" and getting easily confused.

Teens choose websites first by how they look and are laid out and less by the authority and content.

They know what they know (and here's what they know):
  • Wikipedia is where it's at
  • Google rocks
  • Newspapers start with www.
  • Email takes too long - IM's the way to go (instant gratification!)
  • "Good enough" is good enough
  • Everything on the web is fair game as long as you're not selling it
  • I get it and don't need help
  • I will go to the reference desk only if it is the end of the world and the paper is due in 6-12 hours (because librarians are mean and stodgey)
What do they want?
Well, definitely by creating a friendly variety, connections between the classroom teacher and the librarian (students trust their teachers and tend to trust those people their teacher's respect as well), us to tell them what to do and what websites to go to, for it to just be easy.

  • Where does the brain come into play?Make sure they know they have brains and know how they work
  • Have them research their brains (to see how they work)
  • Let them take breaks when they get stressed out
  • Help focus their risky business into intellectual pursuits
Now it's time to go to where they're at...
keep it simple, emphasize work better, not harder, BE their cheat sheet, make your library interactive (websites, blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc.), teach them to evaluate websites, encourage them, provide online tutorials, it might be time for online reference (IM!), make the library available 24/7 - they need us after we're closed, think of yourself as their coach/partner, be respectful, responsible, sensitive, get to know them, interact with them and don't make assumptions.
-Sarah C.

1 comment:

Beth Gallaway said...

Whole Brain Links (will add bibliography in a bit :)

http://del.icio.us/informationgoddess29/wholebrain