Smart Talks is an occasional series produced by Project Information Literacy (PIL). PIL hosts interviews with leading experts about PIL's findings and their thoughts about the challenges of finding information and conducting research in the digital age. Smart Talks are open-access; no permission is required from PIL for re-use.
A list of all Smart Talks to date:
Peter Suber is the Director of the Harvard Open Access Project and the unofficial, though widely acknowledged, leader of the worldwide movement to make published scholarly works—books and journals—open access. In this PIL interview, we talked with Peter about his latest book, Open Access (MIT Press, 2012) and what open access means to scholarly communication, students, and libraries, and the work that lies ahead.
Ken Bain is the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of the District of Columbia and a Professor of History and Urban Education. He is an acclaimed educator who has lectured at over 300 universities and founded and directed four major teaching and learning centers. In this PIL interview, we talked to Ken about his latest book, What the Best College Students Do (Harvard University Press, 2012) and "reframing the very nature of education."
Barbara Fister is a Professor and Academic Librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College, a small liberal arts college near Minneapolis. In this PIL interview, we talked to Barbara about why the research paper is a flawed pedagogical practice but continues to be assigned, and what rethinking of research as "play" may mean to teaching today's college students.
David Weinberger, a senior researcher and Co-Director of Library Innovation Lab at Harvard, is a leading thinker about the impact of the Internet on society, markets, and the production of knowledge. In this PIL interview, we talked to David about his latest book, Too Big to Know (Basic Books, 2012), and what the rise of networked knowledge means for educators, librarians, print publishing and the very act of knowing, itself.
Jeffrey Schnapp, a cultural historian and pioneer in digital humanities who is faculty at Harvard, co-teaches a seminar in the architecture school on the past, present, and future of libraries. In this PIL interview, we talked to Jeffrey about what we can learn from the design of libraries from a course talk to in the architecture school about libraries, the "physicality of space," and the tangible elements, as envisioned by design students and librarians, that could be central to the library of the future.
Dr. Russell Poldrack, a renowned neuroscientist, who heads the Imaging Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin where he and his team use MRI scanners with the inordinate power to study the human brain, multitasking, learning ability, and the effects of information overload. In this PIL interview, we talked to Russ about new discoveries about the effects of multitasking on the human brain and the capacity for "deep learning."
Sandra Jamieson and Rebecca Moore Howard direct The Citation Project, a national study providing open access empirical data about how college students use sources when writing papers for composition courses. In PIL's interview, the researchers say of their latest results: "If your focus is on procedure and correct format, these papers are a great success. But if you look at this another way and remember for most of us, 'research' is about the discovery of new information and ideas, and synthesis of those ideas into deeper understanding, the majority of the papers failed."
Lee Rainie has headed up the Pew’s Internet & American Life Project since it's inception in 2000. He and his colleagues conduct large-scale periodic surveys, which both scholars and the press often rely on to stay current and monitor the impact of the Internet and other new media on life in America. In this PIL interview, Lee talks about the impact of new media on "collaborative learning" in the academy, which studies Lee has always wanted to do at Pew, but has not, and the seismic changes to social order caused by what he calls the "new operating system."
Nick Carr is an author and blogger who has written three books about the impact of technology on society, culture and business. In this PIL Interview, Nick discusses what the "intellectual ethic" of the screen is, and how much it differs from the intellectual ethic of the book. He also discusses an incipient anti-Net backlash, which is a "tiny eddy in the broader cultural current."
Howard Rheingold has been a chronicler of the political, cultural, and social impact of new technologies for almost two decades. In this PIL interview, Howard discusses what he calls "the myth of the digital native," the use of social media in learning environments, and what digital literacy has come to mean for preparing students in the 21st century.
Dale Dougherty, co-founder of O'Reilly Media, first coined the phrase "Web 2.0" in 2004. In this PIL interview, Dale discusses the impact of Web 2.0 capabilities on education, especially how information is shared, knowledge is created, and learning occurs and what it means to educators, students, and publishers.
John Palfrey, co-director of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, is the co-author of *Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives* (2008). In this PIL interview, John discusses the changing nature of plagiarism, policy implications, and the rise of the "copy and paste culture" on campuses.
Andrea Lunsford, the director of Stanford University's Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR), is the force behind the *Stanford Study of Writing*, a longitudinal study that investigates how today's students write, including everything in-class assignments, formal essays, and journal entries to emails, blog posts, and chat sessions. In this PIL interviews, Andrea discusses how college students integrate writing with research and learn the process of critical inquiry.
Peter Morville co-authored the IA Bible--*Information Architecture for the World Web (*1998) back when most of us were still learning HTML. In this PIL interview, Peter discusses "the relationship between search, learning, and decision making," and why difficulties arise with the search process.