Last week, at the Illinois Technology Conference for Educators (IL-TCE), I said something that I wish now, I hadn’t said. It sounded kinda mean, now that I think back on it. The session was called, Right & Wrong on the Information Highway, and I started it off by playing the EPIC 2014 video and then asking the audience to share their reactions to the program, in light of the ethical skills we should be teaching our students.
Their were a large number of librarians in the audience, and I entertained several long and passionate pleas of preference for the dependable information that can be found in books. I said, regretfully, but with some apology, that the book’s days may be numbered. I expressed my preference that we continue to have books for a long long time, that they are part of my heritage as well as the heritage of our children. However, it is our children’s future that we are preparing them for, and it is a future that they will be choosing.
What I was really trying to convey to the audience, was that what we look at is not our most important concern, as information specialists — educators. The change that is affecting the greatest impact on every aspect of our jobs is the changing nature of information. Largely because of ICT, information is increasingly digital, networked, and overwhelming. In addition (and more recently), the increased practice of information tagging and XML have further transformed information into something that is for more shapeless, impossible to freeze and contain, less dependable, and, yet, more valuable.
I’ll be talking about “Harnessing the Changing Shape of Information” the end of this week at the California Computer Using Educators (CUE2006) conference in Palm Springs. Unfortunately, I’ll only be there for a few hours, but hope to see and chat with many of my California friends while I’m there.