Posted by: Kirsten | Saturday, 29 March 2008

Library of Congress Lecture Series: Digital Natives

From a Library of Congress press release:

THE JOHN W. KLUGE CENTER AT THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS OPENS LECTURE SERIES ON “DIGITAL NATIVES”

Young people today born into a digital world are experiencing a far different environment of information-gathering and access to knowledge than a generation ago. Who are these “digital natives” and what are they thinking? How are they using the technology, and are IT experts adequately responding to them?

These questions will be addressed in a new Library of Congress series titled “Digital Natives.” The first lecture will explore how young people think, learn and play. Distinguished scholar and child-development expert Edith Ackerman will present “The Anthropology of Digital Natives” at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 7, in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, the event is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are needed. In addition, the lecture will be webcast live at www.loc.gov.

Ackerman is an honorary professor of developmental psychology at the University of Aix-Marseille in France. She is currently a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the School of Architecture and a visiting professor at the University of Siena in the Department of Communications. The four-lecture series will examine the generation that has been raised with the computer as a natural part of their lives, with emphasis on the young people currently in schools and colleges today. The series will seek to understand the practices and culture of these digital natives, the cultural implications of the phenomenon and the implications for education – schools, universities and libraries.

Ackerman is particularly interested in helping shape the future of play and learning in a digital world. “I study how people use place, relate to others and treat things to find their ways – and voices – in an ever-changing world,” she said.

Future lectures in the series will be at 4 p.m. in the Montpelier Room of the James Madison Building. They include:

Monday, May 12: “Internet, the Private Mind?” by Steven Berlin Johnson, author of “Everything Bad is Good for You.”

Monday, June 23: “The Anthropology of YouTube” by Michael Wesch, assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University.

Monday, June 30: “Screenology” by Douglas Rushkoff, author of “Playing the Future: What We Can Learn from Digital Kids.”

The moderators and coordinators for these events are Deanna Marcum, associate librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress, and Derrick de Kerckhove, holder of the Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education at the Kluge Center.

The Papamarkou Chair in Education was established at the Library of Congress by a gift from Alexander Papamarkou (1930-1998), an investment banker who was generous in his support of the arts, education and medicine, in honor of his grandfather, a Greek educator. Holders of the Papamarkou Chair focus their research on the Library’s role in education and examine the impact of education on individuals and society.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit www.loc.gov/kluge/.

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