I have a new post at ALA Techsource about attending EDUCAUSE Learning Initiatives last month:
Keynoter John Palfrey, co-author of Born Digital, gave a thoughtful presentation on his work studying Digital Natives. The revelation that the room should have been filled with librarians as well as faculty and IT staff came when Palfrey acknowledged the issue of information overload facing the natives as well as all of us and noted that the wealth of information out there now available to young people via mobile device presents a key challenge for librarians: “In a world of information overload, who are your guides? Who are the people who help you find the most credible information when you need it?” Palfrey went on to say that librarians are in a perfect position to curate, collect resources and develop spaces for young people to find information and interact. I was the one who shouted “Amen” from the back by the power outlets.
Beyond session content, this conference was one of the most connected and open events that I have ever attended. All of the keynotes and featured sessions were streamed live on the Web as they happened via Silverlight and then archived for free viewing at the EDUCAUSE site. The combination of speaker and slides in a Web browser window has made going back to view sessions I couldn’t attend most enjoyable. This content is free and readily accessible on the web. I’d like to see more of this in our library conferences–more streaming and recording and more FREE access. Go watch Palfrey’s session or one of the others listed below. It’s probably the closest to “being there” I’ve ever seen for capturing a conference.
I’m still mining the presentations and slides at the EDUCAUSE site – my brain filled with what we could – and should – be doing for LIS students.