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January 15, 2008

White bread?

Via Emma Place and The Times Online I note that:

Google is "white bread for the mind", and the internet is producing a generation of students who survive on a diet of unreliable information, a professor of media studies will claim this week.

Good grief.  Emma is right to say that this is an important issue and I completely agree that "Internet research skills should be actively taught as a formal part of the university curriculum. Students may well be savvy when it comes to using new Internet technologies, but they need help and guidance on finding and using Web resources that are appropriate for academic work" but the debate isn't helped much by sound bites.

Blaming the Internet for "a generation of students who survive on a diet of unreliable information" is a bit like blaming paper for the Daily Star.  How about blaming an education system that hasn't kept up with the times?

The Internet, Google and Wikipedia are tools - no more, no less.  Let's help people understand how to use them effectively.

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