ELI 2007 Fall Focus Session

The Net Generation seems at home in the digital world—navigating and adopting new technologies with ease. Although they can download music and create the perfect playlist, does that imply they know the professional applications needed for college and beyond? Do they distinguish between when Google and Wikipedia are the first places to look for information compared to an online database? Do they understand the ethics and nuances of using and sharing intellectual property? And, while almost all have a Facebook profile and long lists of friends, do they understand the difference between friendly and risky behavior?

In spite of being “digital natives,” many students demonstrate that they do not understand the personal, social, ethical, and academic implications of how they use information and technology. Perhaps the same is true of faculty, staff, and administrators. In an information-rich world, with constantly changing technologies, what skills do students need to prepare them for the 10+ careers they are likely to experience in their lifetimes?

August 15–16, 2007, in Boulder, Colorado, at the 2007 ELI Fall Focus Session we explored what, how, and why being net savvy is a critical skill in a Web 2.0 world. The session brought together a variety of professionals to examine the implications of digital and visual literacy and information and technology fluency on the curriculum, student life, student engagement, and faculty development in higher education.

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