Sunday, October 16, 2011

Digital Omnivores ?

Transliterate teens are consuming information in obese quantities with multiple utensils.  In education circles we are now dealing with digital omnivores-- I love that term used this past week by a CNN blogger.   It goes hand in hand with our transliterate MO.   Not only do they read and react across multiple platforms (media, text, song, print, etc.), but their tools for the job are now more than one.  We can call this a soup-to-nuts approach: phones, desktop, iPods, iPads, and more.  Most teens are utilizing multiple tools to carry out multiple tasks.  Therefore, we must be at the banquet table with information worth consuming.  It is more imperative than ever to have your digital platform polished, easily accessible, and full of credible consumption. 

These teens might be tech-savvy, but they are not as information literate as they need to be.  Until they get there, it is imperative for CARS (credible, accurate, reliable, & supported) information to be in their face.  That's akin to mothers wanting to feed their kids good food as opposed to junk. CNN Blogger Amy Gahran claims that publishers are going to be offering more multichannel cross-platform platforms in the future.  We see that already with behemoths such as Google stating they are concentrating on their mobile market.  We see this as our database and e-providers email their APP announcements daily.

Growing up on Long Island, we were always cognizant of the changing tides.  Most people in my town knew the tide tables either for fishing, swimming, or flooding.  It was common knowledge.  The mobile device tide won't officially change until 2015, according to the Horizon Report which states in three years the majority of the students will walk into school with their own device.  Right now we are experiencing a slow in-coming tide.  Educators should have ample time to prepare for the change and get their digital platform content ready for the consumer.  Educators will need to take on the role of the digital producer and provider for the digital hunter-gatherers.  

We just temporarily come off the SLJ eBook Summit, but the conversation shouldn't end.  As cybrarians, keep the administration abreast tools we have.  We should be doing our best to keep the banquet table replenished and well-stocked.  Don't keep your digital food in the cabinets, but add to the digital obesity.  Your admin has enough to worry about with APPR, CCSS, RTI, and more.  If you can take care of this for them then they'll thank you.  Here are a few places to start:
  • Assess which databases have APPS, and list these on your site with a link to the download
  • Create bookmarks with directions to download database APPS. 
  • Start a campaign for a digital download library  - use data to drive the need
  • Create a Voki or Xtranormal or other avatar who could advertise your library's information is available in Cyberspace. 
  • Embed marc records in your catalog with URL's for access to all digital content you own accessible on the web.  
  • Define what your main channel of "discovery" is going to be in this digital tsunami. 
 Whatever method you choose....enjoy the feast!

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