Your Say

UnknownBy Bev Novak.

I came across this video of Jason Dorsey speaking to a large group of business leaders and was quite literally blown away!

Never before had I really focused on the enormous issue that within our school libraries we work with and aim to meet the needs of no less than four generations – concurrently!

This humorous presentation forces us to face the obvious: the majority of teachers in our schools are Digital Immigrants of the Gen W, X and Y classification who regularly interact with Gen Z.  Is it no wonder that transcending the barriers that divide the generations can at times seem insurmountable?  Is it any wonder that our Gen Z students look at us and wonder what we have to offer them when we don’t really ‘speak’ their language.   Is the incredible mix of generations within our schools coupled with the unrelenting rate of change in technology something that sets our education programs up for failure?

An interesting article Digital Immigrant Teachers and Digital Native Students: What happens to teaching? by Shelley Kinash, Kayleen Wood and Diana Knight in Education Technology Solutions (Issue 54, June/July 2013) raises some very interesting questions, most particularly

“….. that people who have grown up with personal computers and the internet (digital natives) function and think differently from people who had to adjust to and learn new technologies and approaches (digital immigrants).”

Included in this article is a table which helps focus our attention on the wide range of individuals either working in or being served by our schools: teachers, students, parents, grandparents and board members:

As we consider this wide range, it is worthwhile to keep in mind the words of Jason Dorsey:

“Generations are not a box.  They are simply clues, clues on where to start to better lead and manage people.”

For those of us working in school libraries, it is worthwhile to have a read of the discussion presented by Steve Mattews on the 21st Century Library Blog:Customer is the Purpose which also alludes to the different generations that we are dealing with on a daily basis.

As I reflect on the essential need for teachers to embrace lifelong learning not only for their own professional development but as a way of retaining their own relevancy in the eyes of students, I find these readings valuable and enlightening.


Bev Novak currently works with senior students as a Teacher Librarian in a large co-educational school. Over the last 20+ years she has worked in a variety of school libraries indulging her passion of connecting students and staff with the world of literature. Recent explorations of all things related to the web has ignited her passion and thirst for knowledge. In between constantly exploring, discovering, and experimenting, she is often encouraging others to join her on a learning journey.

For more, please visit Bev’s blog at:

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