I posted this article on FB, but the topic is one close to me beating heart......this quote gives a short summary (link below). 

"The most alarming finding in the ERIAL studies was perhaps the most predictable: when it comes to finding and evaluating sources in the Internet age, students are downright lousy. Only seven out of 30 students whom anthropologists observed at Illinois Wesleyan “conducted what a librarian might consider a reasonably well-executed search,” wrote Duke and Andrew Asher, an anthropologist at Bucknell University, whom the Illinois consortium called in to lead the project.Throughout the interviews, students mentioned Google 115 times -- more than twice as many times as any other database. The prevalence of Google in student research is well-documented, but the Illinois researchers found something they did not expect: students were not very good at using Google. They were basically clueless about the logic underlying how the search engine organizes and displays its results. Consequently, the students did not know how to build a search that would return good sources. (For instance, limiting a search to news articles, or querying specific databases such as Google Book Search or Google Scholar.)"


          The issues that should concern everyone are the homogeneity of search information and search skills. Many thought that the internet would breed a greater degree of individuality. Has that come to fruition? We're so delighted when we hear of some school adding all new computers, but what are they learning? E-mail. Youtube? Facebook? Perhaps we should become more excited when test scores rise, more scholarly work is created or more students daring to tread outside the box.

          We hear over and over about new technology "leveling the playing field." Maybe we're just leveling the students. Are students all working on the "same paper?" When students arrive at the Circulation desk and they want HIV data or health reports in Baltimore City? Are they working on the same results, coming to the same conclusions----are they going off the beaten track to find anything? Unfortunately, the internet can't make you search creatively. It can't make you want to take a second look at anything.  



Alonzo LaMont

Posted in: Hopkins Community , Technology Updates  Tags:
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