Identifying Digital Trends/Shifts

Identifying Digital Trends/Shifts

The Youtube video “Did you Know 4.0” gives an overview of the changing media landscape that we are experiencing today. I have used this particular video and some other versions of it as an opening to my parent workshops on cyber safety and the digital environment.

It explains digital convergence which is for some quite a difficult concept to understand.

According to the Australian Law Reform Commission, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) defines media convergence as;

“the phenomenon where digitisation of content, as well as standards and technologies for the carriage and display of digital content, are blurring the traditional distinctions between broadcasting and other media across all elements of the supply chain, for content generation, aggregation, distribution and audiences.”

 5 Digital shifts identified in the video. (Traditional Media versus Modern Media)

1.     Newspapers down, Online readers UP

The statistics in the video show a significant shift towards e-books and e-readers. Libraries needs to make these platforms available and be aware of the issues and costs involved. Copyright can be an issue if people are downloading books from unknown sources and in a high school library it is very easy for students to download inappropriate reading material, especially if they own their device. A policy for e-books and e-readers may be warranted, at the very least these resources need to be an addition to the collection policy.

2.     95 % of copyrighted songs downloaded are not paid for.

Many students and patrons do not realise that information online has the same copyright restrictions of those in traditional print. All patrons must be aware of copyright issues associated with the internet. Students must be aware of the copyright associated with all media.

3.       1 million books are published each year and 1000 pages are loaded to the net every hour plus the growth of video content on Youtube is exponential.

Libraries must look at the ways they are cataloguing digital content. Hence the development of Resource Description and Access (RDA) (O’Connell, 2013, p. 4).

4.     20 year existence ABC, NBC-  with 10 million viewers/     

Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest – Less than 6 year’s existence with 250 million viewers.

Social media is growing at exponential rates. Wikipedia has over 13 million articles. This explosion of information means people need education in content curation and libraries must look at the ways they are cataloguing digital content. Students need to be taught digital citizenship, internet safety, copyright, how to evaluate information, disambiguate legitament human behaviour from spam behaviour and that reputation and reciprocity are paramount.

5.     Traditional fundraising- $11 million versus online social media fundraising – $55 million.

Though we may leverage social media for our benefit we must always be aware of our digital footprint and what we are posting online. Giving away personal information can be detrimental as can loading photos and images of friends and ourselves. Social media policies are needed to provide boundaries and expectations of students and staff, bearing in mind this may require separated policies for students and staff (Kroski, 2009).


The changes associated with convergence, digitisation and networking have been seen as providing the basis for a new ‘techno-economic paradigm” (Australian Law Reform Commission, 2014).

Within my school library context as media convergence becomes ubiquitous, this means that there is a significant influence on teaching, learning and literacy (O’Connell, 2013, p. 8). O’Connell (2012, p. 218) makes the important  point that as internet resources are  so easily available students must learn about plagiarism, evaluation strategies, search strategies, critical thinking and problem solving, networked conversation and collaboration, cloud computing environments, ethical use of information and information curation (O’Connell, 2012, p. 221), in order to safely navigate this digital environment.

As our students and staff navigate this digital environment a social media policy is essential in outlining guidelines for positive digital citizenship, internet safety and the clarification of library and organisation values. It provides a clear statement to employees and students of required standards and unacceptable use of social media.

Our challenge is to find ways to teach our children how to navigate the rapidly moving digital landscape, consciously and reflectively (Ohler, 2011).


Kroski, E. (2009). Should your library have a social media policy? School Library Journal, 55(10), 44-n/a. Retrieved from

O’Connell, J. (2013). Knowledge flow and the power of networks – a powerhouse for innovation. Access, 27(4), 8-10. Retrieved from

O’Connell, J. (2013). RDA for school libraries: The next generation in cataloguing. Access, 27(3), 4-6. Retrieved from

Ohler, J. (2011). Teaching Screenagers:  Character Education for the Digital Age. Educational Leadership, 68(5). Retrieved from


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