Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tara Brabazon: Digital dieting, a guide through information obesity

There's a video of Tara Brabazon's keynote at the Middlesex University Learning & Teaching conference in June 2010. She is a tremendous speaker and very good for getting key issues out there. I must say I also like her way of dealing with latecomers (i.e. embarrass them by picking out some aspect of how great they look).
I have myself criticised her earlier "ban wikipedia" statements, but in this she goes into a greater explanation of what the problems are and why she makes her decisions (and Google has moved from being white bread to being a smörgåsbord). She highlights issues (e.g. lack of note-taking and reading, reading-as-highlighting) we, in my Department, have been discussing and aiming to address in the curriculum. There are some nice quotations e.g. "Conformity and comfort build ignorance", and (spoken to a student) "it's not time management, it's information management you have a problem with". She also has some good Carrie Bradshaw-esque questions like "What if we can gain more meaning from fewer media?"
Photo by Sheila Webber: This year the birds didn't get all the cherries, Sheffield, July 2010

1 comment:

Phil said...

Ideologically I should be with her about 95%. If I wrote down all her statements, I'd be ticking them off quite happily. Except - I loathe the woman and just want to disagree with her on principle. I really dislike the 'humiliate the latecomers' routine - she doesn't know why they're late, and it's really un-necessary and obstructive. She did that to me I'd walk out again.

What particularly amuses me is that she talks about how bad Google is, and what does she recommend? Why... Google Scholar! If the woman had a single clue she'd be talking about other search engines, flexibility in research, the use of real time search and so on. Whenever I see anything that she does I feel like getting down on my knees and thanking God she never taught me.

She's a cross between Joan Rivers and a trainwreck. Awful.