Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Report on Tara Brabazon's keynote address

What an electrifying start of the day! Tara Brabazon has introduced us to the concept of electronic dieting and challenged our lazy habits of googling.

She threaded the metaphor of healthy eating through her talk - ‘we all know there’s better food, just like better information’

Tara argued that Google steers us to search for information that we already know and that it delivers information on the level the searcher is comfortable processing. While this may be an excellent way of finding the perfect pair of shoes on the internet, is this good enough for academia? Learning happens when we are tipped out of our comfort zones and are presented with new, provocative ideas or as she put it ‘Challenge builds learning, conformity builds ignorance’.

She also posed us the question ‘What if we gain more meaning from fewer media?’
Reducing the sensory environment and the choices learners are presented with can create a different sort of learning. She celebrated librarians for the crucial role they play in educating students (and all of us) in academic literacy.

Watch her presentation and decide whether you need to go an an electronic diet too :)
Full video to follow.
Agi Ryder
Research and Innovation Team
Middlesex University

(click to enlarge)

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