"Millennial Dilemma" Conference @ Columbia, MO, 20 March 2007

I had a great time at the Millennial Dilemma conference yesterday. I was a bit intimidated, and didn't know what to expect, since I'd never been to a conference before, but I enjoyed myself immensely and learned a great deal, and not just about how to act at a conference.

Our panels were:
  • Emerging Interactive Media and Neomillennial Learning Styles: Implications for Higher Education, by Chris Dede, of Harvard University
    This was a fascinating presentation on the use of interactive video and MUVEs (Multi User Virtual Environment) to teach science, critical thinking, and decision-making skills to middle schoolers. In particular, his success with the River City Project was the beginning of inspiration.

  • Bridging the Chasm: First-Year Students on Campus and in the Library, Betsy Barefoot, Brevard University
    This presentation touched less upon technology and more upon the needs of first year students, and how those needs are changing in an increasingly individualist and computerized society that teaches students to technologically savvy but informationally unsure. Basically, Dr. Barefoot's thesis was that building good information literacy (done by librarians, staff, faculty, and by empowering students) leads to a more satisfying and productive first year.

  • Can I Google That? Information Literacy and Connectivity from the Net Get Perspective, Carie Windham, author of Getting Past Google: Perspectives on Information Literacy from a Mi...
    This struck a medium between the subject matter of the previous two, being a more in-depth exploration of both the needs and new opportunities made available to educators and librarians by having a plugged-in student body. Ms. Windham also mentioned several time the changing role of the library space and its relation to newer methods of research and communication.

  • The Missouri Experience: the Millennial Dilemma
    This was comprised of three short talks from faculty and staff of the University of Missouri:
    • Kate Markie talked about the applications of FERPA at the University.

    • Frankie Minor talked about new information demands of students having an effect on the university's Residential Life department.

    • Ted Tarkow, who gave a rousing talk on accusations of "narcissism" towards the Millenial generation.




And now, the inevitable pictures:

The registration booth early in the morning. You can't really tell from here, but it was a very gray, rainy day-- only good if you're a potted plant, and bad if you have to drive home to St. Louis from Columbia.



The main room, before the onslaught of presentations and librarians. A fuller report of this conference on the Web will be upcoming, I'm told, but in the meantime, this was the room where the action took place.



I shared a table with a great group of English as a Second Language teachers from China; they were all looking for ways to increase information literacy in their own classrooms at home. In back, standing, from left: Lingling and Xiao; foreground, sitting, from left: Yuzhu, Rong, yours truly, and Weiping.


For all the good time I had at this conference, I confess that it has spoiled me-- I'm now thinking of any kind of presentation I can do, or any publications that I might be able to make myself, on anything similar.

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Comment by Jennifer Parsons on March 28, 2007 at 10:22pm
I can't exactly say that it went well, as conferences go, because it was my first one, but yes, I enjoyed it a lot. And I learned so much! If you're relatively isolated, these are a great way to keep up with the field.
Comment by James on March 28, 2007 at 1:44am
Sounds like you had a great time at the conference!

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