Do the Technology

I co-taught a class with our new instruction librarian on Tuesday. Today she is on her own downstairs, but I am sure she is doing a great job. Where I am a great spaziod once I get in front of a class, she is the essence of calm. A very interesting thing happened in our class Tuesday.

We were teaching a freshman English Composition class at 7 am (seriously, 7am) and we started the class talking about how to start research using brainstorming for synonyms and mapping out Boolean search strings. One of the words they had to find synonyms for was “technology.” I was thinking of things like computer, the internet, and cell phones. The class did say those things, eventually, but what they said first was communication and convenience.

These students, about 8 years younger than myself, think of what they do with technology as opposed to the object of technology. Their attitudes are completely different than what I expected. I think of things. They thought of actions. Technology is so seamless in their lives that it has become a verb for them. Technology is a thing they do not an object they manipulate.

This concept has implications in the way we approach teaching for this generation. We have to focus on their actions. They are a generation of multi-taskers. They are doers. We should plan learning for them as an action and not a passive sport. This is a prime example of why active learning is important for teaching information literacy.

–Jane, is a verb

2 thoughts on “Do the Technology

  • November 10, 2005 at 2:42 pm

    Aforementioned new instruction librarian chiming in from down the hall. Fascinating observation about the students’ brainstorming. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but you make an excellent point. In terms of research strategies, it’d also be interesting to see how different understandings of “technology” as a topic affect the kind of articles and books that are found in a search.

    mgh, the essence of calm herself

  • November 10, 2005 at 9:19 pm

    I just did a presentation where I quoted this from an article, by Susan Gardner and Susanna Eng. “Generation Y students, ‘don’t see the Internet and technology as tools; they see them as integral parts of their lives.’ As such, they use the Internet and other technologies for many different purposes, including their academic pursuits.” I think that it applies to your instructional situation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.