LTIS 4304- Week 1- Digital Natives, Growing Up Digital

The concept of digital natives will effect the services delivered in an academic/ research or special library because the way that the person asking the question processes and retains information will now increasingly want it in a format that a digital native will be able to digest instead of the old slow, step-by-step methods.

The old method of teaching, for people who did not grow up in the digital age, is a one-way street without interaction between the teacher and student. It is a regurgitation of information and even without communication between students, but rather a silent study mentality. It is a broadcast, a one way street. The new generation of digital natives are different, they need interaction and discovery and collaborative learning. They also need to learn how to navigate the digital world, though they probably have a basic understanding of this already.

So, as a reference desk clerk or any service provider, one needs to re-think the way we do things. For example, when we teach someone how to navigate the catalogue, maybe make a game to show them instead of a written step-by-step instruction sheet. Maybe give them some exercises to work out with a friend. When helping someone, don’t lecture at them but engage them in a conversation, accepting questions, answering as well as giving information. Videos, pictures and tutorials would be more effective than written instruction.

All in all, it is all in providing options for different types of learners (visual, verbal, kinetic etc.) and being open to questions and conversation.


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