Thursday, 7 February 2008

Google generation?

The report from the CIBER research team, commissioned by the British Library and JISC, entitled 'Information behaviour of the researcher of the future' ' is an interesting and refreshing read in that it counters many myths that have developed with regard to the notion of 'digital natives', or the 'google generation'. It states, for example, that there is no evidence that young people today need instant digital gratification, and 'power browsing' appears to be a practice adopted by young and old alike. Given this welcome balance in the report, I was rather disappointed to read, on page 18, that the team were 'concerned about the current interest in using games technologies to enhance students' learning'. I looked again at the methodology employed in the study and, no, there had been no measure of learning and no examination of pedagogies. Not one school or classroom visited. A pity, then, that the authors felt that they could make a judgement about this issue, as there are enough ill-informed pronouncements made about the use of games in education as it is.

4 comments:

guy said...

I agree with you - the report's a bit of a mixed bag (I've been posting about that, too). I liked the idea of 'a new form of information-seeking behaviour' characterised as being 'horizontal, bouncing, checking and viewing in nature. Users are promiscuous, diverse and volatile.'

Jackie Marsh said...

Hi Guy, I'll catch up with your posts on it. The report was mentioned at a British Library seminar that was held here on Tuesday, so I thought I would have a look but was disappointed at the stuff on learning. Yes, I liked the same descriptions you highlight and felt it pretty much described my own online browsing patterns at times, but then at other times I would say I dove rather than bounced. It didn't really address the variety of online reading strategies an individual might have, did it?

Jackie Marsh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
guy said...

I think you're right there and I guess the strategies you apply are largely governed by purpose (and time constraints!) I originally picked up on the JISC report via a feed from our university library blog - in hindsight they were rather biased in their reading, and that caused me to make a hasty reading and to post a reactive counter-comment. It was only when I read an alternative account of the sam report that I went back to the original source and read deeper....so that's a tale of bouncing, commenting again (reflecting)and deeper engagement.