I came across some quotes recently, via articles and blog posts, that I thought were worth sharing here. They should, I think, resonate with academic librarians:
“Simplicity is an important trend we are focused on. Technology has this way of becoming overly complex, but simplicity was one of the reasons that people gravitated to Google initially. This complexity is an issue that has to be solved for online technologies, for devices, for computers, and it’s very difficult. Success will come from simplicity. Look at Apple, the success they have had, and what they are doing. We are focused on features, not products. We eliminated future products that would have made the complexity problem worse. We don’t want to have 20 different products that work in 20 different ways. I was getting lost at our site keeping track of everything. I would rather have a smaller set of products that have a shared set of features.”
Sergey Brin, Co-Founder of Google, from a recent Business 2.0 feature on “How to Succeed in 2007″
“Despite an entire industry now doing ‘professional development’ in technology, keeping up with every technology has been declared impossible by the kids. In their words: “You’ll only look stupid.” So what’s a teacher to do?…Relax, you do not have to learn to actually use any of the new technologies. The kids can use these technologies far better than you or I ever will, no matter how hard we try. Our job as educators…is to become familiar enough with the results that the technologies produce to help our learners evaluate good quality from bad. In the case of search engines and Wikipedia, for example, the lessons are the difference between “search” which means finding everything, and “research” as we have defined it over hundreds of years, which means using multiple sources and understanding the relative value of those sources…Teachers should let the kids do the work, and figure out and teach the key lessons beneath the obvious.”
Marc Prensky in an essay titled “The Train Won’t Stop” that appears on p. 80 of the November-December 2006 issue of Educational Technology.