NFAIS 2009: Conference Prep

The title of this year’s NFAIS Annual Conference is Barbarians at the Gate? The Impact of Digital Natives and Emerging Technologies on the Future of Information Services.

So, when I arrived at the conference early, I headed across the street for lunch at Borders (it’s raining and it was closer than the library) and picked up a copy of Grown up Digital to skim before the conference started. I read the introduction and a bit of the chapters on revamping our education system to meet the needs of the digital natives – and I found it very interesting! The author mentions that our current educational systems were built around the industrial worker – who was expected to listen to his superiors and just do his job. In that model – the one we all experienced as students, the teachers lecture and the students write down what they’re told to regurgitate on the test.

Last week I saw a piece on the news about a school in our area that is having students (young students) attend morning meetings in their classrooms where they talk about themselves a bit, then do a group project of some sort, and generally learn to get along, work together and learn together.

This is the model that seems to be right for the digital natives – a classroom where the students collaborate with each other and learn to work in groups – and have their own opinions. It’s a great model and I hope that more and more schools are following it – because today’s youth are used to having a voice and being allowed to collaborate with those around them – and around the world for that matter.

Well, the conference is about to begin – so it’s time to see if any of the speakers touch on the points found in Grown up Digital.

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