Librarians must realize how important the Internet and/or online learning has become to an ever expanding army of millennials. Finding information and being information literate are not just the main priorities…how information is presented appears to be just as important. Since everyone learns differently, everyone benefits from experiencing new methods of processing information. And with millennials, information may be preferable when it’s visual, quick, and concise.
I came across a site the other day, a new non-profit organization called IDEA whose mission is to research and create ways that stimulate online learning. It’s a site geared to delivering information in ways that upcoming generations of thinkers, all thinkers actually, will find receptive and not boring. A little more about IDEA:
IDEA arose out of the belief that there should be no barriers between people and computers. Technology is now advanced enough to adapt to the ways people naturally think and interact with the world. The user’s experience with technology should be personalized, interactive, and intuitive, so that the tools add breadth and depth to the information presented, and stimulate creative thought. Innovative strategies built into the technology can help people from all walks of life maximize their potential.
Not too different than the aims of search engines, wikis, or even blogs. But where those are more social technologies, IDEA’s focus is to present unique solutions to conceptual conundrums. Take a look at their project page and collaborations for some examples of learning methods in development or already in public use.
Specifically, some of their projects involving the use of a device they term spicynodes which involve the clustering of brief concept maps in which the user can take in any direction their fancy chooses, simply by clicking and dragging. Learning more about the history of daylight savings time or the evolution of poetry are two projects involving this method. It’s similar to the interactivity seen in such applications like tag galaxy or piclens, whereby user click and drag on the multitude of content presented. Other interesting projects include health science tools like a prostate calculator and vision simulator.
Apart from creating a repository of information, IDEA works with information to help people learn better. Perhaps a useful information literacy tool for librarians all over.