Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Embracing Change: the Threat of Technology

Over the past few years, there have been numerous studies detailing the problems that various technology is creating for society. Many parents fear the lure of Facebook and Myspace, fearing that their children are doing something improper while on the internet for any length of time; other researchers believe that constant stimulation is causing attention deficit disorder in some children and adults.

However, in the article, "Don't Touch that Dial! A History of Media Technology scares, from the printing press to Facebook," Vaughan Bell argues that mankind has been weary of changes in technology from the beginning of time. Socrates warned of the effects of writing, and the radio was accused of distracting children from doing their homework. Children expect to be constantly in contact with their friends and family.  I am not certain that children have changed all that much; technology has just given them the tools to enhance certain capabilities that humans always possessed, such as multitasking and collaborating with many individuals in person or remotely.

Thus, technological advancement is a part of the natural change in our society.   Shouldn't it, then, be a natural change in the library?  Should not we as librarians be offering children access to the most up to date technology and teach them how to use this technology? Information literacy is more important than it ever was before, as we help students navigate the huge and sometimes daunting World Wide Web.

What skills should we be teaching children, and how should we go about teaching them these skills? Share your ideas here, and let's see if we can get a discussion going about information literacy in public libraries!


Jay said...

Although the use of new technology to make societal advances has many benefits and sometimes enables us to perform new tasks, but like many other things that man has created it has numerous disadvantages as well.

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