Saturday, June 16, 2007

STLHE 2007 - Conference Day Two - Conflicting Cultures: Promoting Academic Integrity To The Millennial Generation

This presentation was given by Selinda A. Berg, a librarian from the University of Western Ontario.

There is a need to understand the culture that Millennials live in and it is different from the academic culture. Selinda handed out a sheet listing 15 different Web 2.0 and other online tools and technologies. Two questions were asked - how many of them have you heard of and how many do you use. I had heard of all of them and I use 10 of them (YES - I am an uber-geek - and proud of it!). many in the room had not heard of most of the names on the list.

So what does that mean? Some of these tools have given Millennials a false sense of consequence. For example:
  • YouTube - severe copyright issues - but the message being sent is that there is a small consequence/repercussions for violators uploading videos and other copyrighted material
  • FanFiction - ideas are free, there is no consequence or repercussion (except to the original authors who are warned by their legal counsel to stay away from the site so as not to inadvertently steal fans' ideas).
  • MusicMashup - rip, mix, burn - again little consequence or repercussion. Even professional musicians are doing it.
Basically the attitude is if it can be digitized, it can be distributed as Millennials are pushing information out onto the Web, they are not just consuming it (a la Web 1.0).

Traits of Millennials:
  1. Sense of privilege
  2. Atmosphere of consumerism
  3. Desire for customization, personalization, and choice
  4. Very social with a committment to the power of collaboration
  5. Goal oriented
  6. Complete immersion in technology
Millennials are product oriented consumers, this includes their attitude towards education, just another product.

Strategies:
  1. Clearly define standards of scholarship
  2. Separate the social environment from the scholarship, academia, and professional worlds
  3. maintain academic standards when engaging in a social environment with the Millennial generation
  4. Consequences:
    1. Unlike FanFiction - ideas are owned by authors
    2. Unlike YouTube - you are not allowed to republish and redistribute
    3. Unlike Music Mashup - you cannot mix and match
    4. Unlike the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bob Dylan - you cannot cut and paste
  5. Use authentic assessments
I had hoped to hear at this presentation (other than the confirmation that yes, I am a geek) some changes in attitude towards the way information is moved and shared in the Web 2.0, social networking online world we live in today. This didn't happen. There were some good strategies mentioned, but they were to get Millennials to "toe the current line". My own opinion is that the way we look at information ownership and how we handle that ownership and rights to it has to fundamentally change. For example, there was no mention made of Creative Commons licensing, yet several people in the audience were talking about it amongst themselves.

An interesting presentation, but the debate continues...

2 comments:

Robert said...

Thanks for this! I'd misplaced my own notes, so thank you for yours.

And I agree, most of the discussion among my colleagues is about how to get the students to adopt traditional views of scholarship and integrity, but a few of us are managing to suggest that context matters, and wish to explore if new communication technologies demand new interpretations etc.

Robert said...

Thanks for this! I'd misplaced my own notes, so thank you for yours.

And I agree, most of the discussion among my colleagues is about how to get the students to adopt traditional views of scholarship and integrity, but a few of us are managing to suggest that context matters, and wish to explore if new communication technologies demand new interpretations etc.