These words were said by the Deputy of the Brazilian Ministry of Education at a Meeting of the National Advisory Committee, BIREME, talking about the students who nowadays don’t need to go to the library to look for information and check “book by book”, since they have virtual access to almost everything in a well-organized fashion.
Those words made me think deeply; during the meeting, I even froze for some seconds and I felt I was being unfair with the new generations who are constantly told that “they do not value what they have”.
We cannot ask someone to value, for example, having Internet when that person was born in the Internet age, or having access to virtual libraries when, from the early days of their education, they have been advised that “you can have access to everything you need through this url” or when they have always been told “go to Google and search”. At the same time, we insist on learning more and more “to search the search engines”; we demand computer people to “improve search algorithms”, while they are fascinated watching and understanding Google’s or yahoo’s, among other good search’s tools.
But, why do I write about this issue? Because I think we have to work hard on new social rules imposed – whether we like it or not – by the Information Society, and in this case in particular, this is closely connected to the cultural and generational convergence issues that I wrote about some time ago in this blog.
As usual, and as in every democratic society, the rules should be written together with the people or its representatives. Therefore, we should encourage multicultural and multigenerational public debates in order to get a better understanding and, in this way, get a flow of wished and needed knowledge among us and convey adequate knowledge to people in the moment they need it, for any setting of their personal and professional life.