Enticing the Google generation: Web 2.0, social networking and university students

Kent, Philip G (2008) Enticing the Google generation: Web 2.0, social networking and university students. In: 29th Annual IATUL Conference, 21-24 April 2008, Auckland, New Zealand. (In Press)


Much has been written about Gen X, Y and Google generation students in the higher education sector. Student-centred approaches, new pedagogies, a focus on quality management, information and learning commons initiatives all evidence greater attention to the generational needs of the Google Generation. New technologies and applications have also been harnessed to meet students in their 'own space'. Traditional library systems are being enhanced to include Web 2.0 functionality. Universities and their libraries are establishing a presence in social network sites (eg Facebook, YouTube). The paper analyses these trends, takes stock of these initiatives in the university library environment and questions the strategy and planning behind them. Are we responding in an ad hoc manner, is a presence required in all environments, do students want us in their space and how do we best allocate our energies and resources? The paper also examines the marketing industry to understand how the commercial sector has approached these issues. Experience at Victoria University (VU) as a development partner in implementing the Encore overlay for the Innovative Interfaces library management system will be reported. VU's presence in Second Life will be examined to understand the resources required, benefits sought and lessons learnt. A partnership with Teaching & Learning for a project to develop a Virtual Learning Commons will also be examined. In a university with 60% of students studying part-time, the Virtual Learning Commons project complements VU's recent initiatives to establish physical Learning Commons facilities across multiple campuses. In addition social network sites have been utilised to support the Student Rovers who provide peer support in the Commons. The paper draws on a blend of theory, industry trends and project experience in a large multi-sector university to reach conclusions and make recommendations for the sector at large.

Item type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/800
Subjects Current > Division/Research > Library
Historical > RFCD Classification > 400000 Journalism, Librarianship and Curatorial Studies
Historical > RFCD Classification > 280000 Information, Computing and Communication Sciences
Keywords Web 2.0, social network sites, second life, university students, Google generation, Learning Commons, integrated online library systems
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