Week 1 Activity 4: Generations of information seekers

Click to access UCL_Reading_research.pdf

What follows starts with a quick exercise to focus your thinking about the Google Generation.

  • Below are four statements about that generation. Two statements have been described as myths by the authors of the study from which the graph is taken: please try to identify those two statements. And, in your view, how accurate are each of the other statements?

    1. ‘They [the Google Generation] need to feel constantly connected to the web’

    2. ‘They are the “cut-and-paste” generation’

    3. ‘They pick up computer skills by trial and error’

    4. ‘They are expert searchers’

Which of Statements 1–4 above, if any, apply to you?

I think that in some way most of these statements could apply to me, although to varying degrees.  I’m pretty much a daily user of the web through both my work, my study and my home life. I definitely pick up computer skills by trial and error and I would class myself as an ‘ ok but could do better’ searcher … In terms of the cut and paste generation .. that is a tricky one .. I can see in one way it could apply but it does seem an almost ‘dismissive’ turn of phrase – not sure about that. I’m definitely not part of what I see as the ‘google generation’ though age wise ..

Which method in the graph above do you depend on most?

I guess I’m probably right in the middle of the graph age wise and I would pretty much use all of the methods mentioned, it depends on the task really.

Week 1 Activity 2 : Sharing your reactions

Something that interested me …

I’m really interested in how people learn both in formal situations and informal contexts. I love the idea of the fact that you can learn without realising you are learning ( if you know what I mean). I’m really interested in the different attitudes and behaviours that people have towards use of technology for their own learning and I’m looking forward to working in a collaborative setting as we go through the course.

My Chosen Learning Outcome

For me I guess the key learning outcome would come under Cognitive Skills  and developing my ability to  ‘use …differing perspectives to make sense of your own and others’ experience of learning with technologies’ .  Working with other people and learning about their values and attitudes towards the use of technology will really help with this 🙂

Week 1 : Activities

  • Activity 1, Meeting fellow students and your tutor: introducing yourself in the forum, reading messages and responding (up to an hour and a half, spread over two or three visits to the group forum).
  • Reading ‘Introducing H800’ and ‘A taste of H800’s themes’, and getting to know the website (about half an hour).
  • Activity 2, Sharing your reactions: forum discussion (about an hour).
  • Activity 3, How much changed when printing arrived? Reading an online newspaper article, ‘Thanks, Gutenberg – but we’re too pressed for time to read’; discussing it in the forum and doing some guided exploration on your own (between an hour and a half and two hours – depending on the forum discussion).
  • Activity 4, Generations of information seekers: finding out who in your group likes GoogleScholar, and who prefers to visit a library in person. Comparing your group with research findings on age-related differences, and spotting myths about the Google Generation (about two hours).
  • Activity 5, Are the ‘Net Generation’ great at multitasking? Listening to an interview with an academic who researched Australian students’ use of technologies – for example, how many have a blog, how many use social networking sites (of which Facebook is a current example)? Then reading a research paper by him and a colleague, about multitasking. This activity involves individual listening and reading, though you may, of course, discuss it in the forum. We’ve provided a transcript of the interview in case you prefer to read, or need to for reasons of accessibility (about an hour and a half).
  • Activity 6, The Google Generation: a crisis of information literacy? Optional activity: viewing a webcast from one of the authors of the report in Activity 4. Revising the topic while comparing your experiences of the webcast and written text. Individual study, not forums (between a few minutes and an hour; or you can omit this activity completely).
  • Activity 7, Setting up your computer for OU Live: installing the headset-plus-microphone and checking the sound levels in preparation for Week 2’s live voice discussions; using the forum to troubleshoot any difficulties (say, up to an hour).
  • Week 1’s activities formally total quite a bit less than 14 hours. That’s partly to give a bit of extra space for ‘Week 1 hassles’, and partly because people are still getting used to the module this week.