This series is aimed at getting to know exceptional UBC staff and faculty who are doing anything but the typical day to day. Discover the stories of these UBC Vancouver and Okanagan individuals, who contribute to making UBC an inspiring place to be.
Eric Meyers is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies — The iSchool@UBC — more commonly known as SLAIS. Before teaching at UBC, Meyers earned a Bachelor’s of History and Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan. He taught in the K-12 system but quickly discovered he wanted to be a school librarian. He completed a library degree and worked as a librarian at both the elementary and middle school levels until he decided to enrich his career further by pursuing a degree in Learning Sciences at Stanford.
He fell in love with research and after receiving his PhD at The University of Washington, he began teaching at UBC where he incorporates his research on youth programming, learning spaces and technology focussed curricula into his teaching. Although it may seem as though he has changed career directions several times over the years, Meyers contends the idea of learning and information technology is the thread that connects all of his career experience.
A: Children are growing up with technology in very interesting ways, ways that are not like my childhood. They are constantly bombarded with media messages through a variety of channels. They also have tremendous access to digital technologies at a very early age. These technologies are ubiquitous. They are mobile so children aren’t just watching television in the living room with a television, but instead they can watch television on their parents’ phone in the grocery store line.
This is true at least from our very privileged North American perspective; it is important to recognize that there are also children in North America who don’t have that kind of opportunity or privilege. But also there are probably six billion people in the world who don’t yet have Facebook. The billion who do are very much the minority in our world. Given that, I think we are facing some real challenges in terms of how we manage online information and how we understand it. How do we make sense of the information and use it wisely to make the best decisions? We need to start talking about this and having conversations about it in the home. We need to make this a part of growing up. While we’ve gotten really used to the idea that we can answer our email anytime anywhere, it’s also creating cycles of busyness. Constant availability means you’re constantly working. How do we create protected time and protected space for reflection?
While we’ve gotten really used to the idea that we can answer our email anytime anywhere, it’s also creating cycles of busyness. Constant availability means you’re constantly working. How do we create protected time and protected space for reflection?
Eric Meyers is currently teaching courses at UBC in The Instructional Role of the Librarian, New Media for Children and Young Adults, and Library Services for Young Adults.
Meyer’s research has not gone unnoticed. In 2008 he was awarded the Jesse H. Shera Award and named to the inaugural cohort of HASTAC Scholars in the Digital Humanities. He won the ALISE/ Eugene Garfield Dissertation Prize in 2012 for his dissertation on middle school science information problem solving. For more details about his work visit his website.