Born Digital Author, John Palfrey, Gives Talk

Are you thinking about the children and adolescents in your family and how they effortlessly use digital information but don’t always manage it as well as they might?

John Palfrey, Harvard Law Professor and a co-author of Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives spoke at the University of Washington’s Project Information Literacy (an organization that deserves its own post sometime). Palfrey shared his thoughts on plagiarism, content evaluation, and the role of librarians and teachers. He also pointed out that even in this age of the digital native, plenty of young people around the world do not have enough access to information.

When he spoke about plagiarism in today’s digital world Palfrey commented, “One of the big mistake is to think that “…this time it’s different and then fail to look carefully into what’s really changed and what’s ultimately the same.”

Some Important Points

  • “Plagiarism is still plagiarism – using someone’s work and passing it off as your own — but we do need to teach students how to deal with the huge amount of digital information at their fingertips”
  • The concept of remixing information is confusing because a person is allowed to take another person’s work and do things with it, however attributing the work to the original author is paramount.
  • Digital natives are not all adept as sorting through and evaluating the information they find.

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