Google, Wikipedia are ‘white bread for young minds, says university professor

January 14th, 2008 - 5:00 pm ICT by admin  

London, January 14 (ANI): The Internet is putting a bad impact on the students expertise levels because it often make them rely on unreliable data, and they give the same credibility to every piece of information, says a professor of media studies.

Tara Brabazon said, while delivering her inaugural lecture at the University of Brighton, that easy access to information had dulled pupils curiosity.

She said that most of the undergraduates could not discriminate between anecdotal and unsubstantiated material posted on the internet.

I call this type of education the University of Google. Google offers easy answers to difficult questions. But students do not know how to tell if they come from serious, refereed work or are merely composed of shallow ideas, superficial surfing and fleeting commitments, Times Online quoted her as saying.

Google is filling, but it does not necessarily offer nutritional content, she said.

Professor Brabazon, who has an 18-year teaching experience, says that she does not consider schools for students cut-and-paste attitude to study because the Internet is proving to be important these days due to decline in libraries and diminishing stocks of books.

She, however, believes that says that teachers at all levels of the education system should equip their students with the skills that are necessary to use the Internet properly.

We need to teach our students the interpretative skills first before we teach them the technological skills. Students must be trained to be dynamic and critical thinkers rather than drifting to the first site returned through Google, she said.

Professor Brabazon does not allow her students to use Wikipedia or Google as research tools in their first year of study.

She instead provides them with 200 extracts from peer-reviewed printed texts at the beginning of the year, supplemented by printed extracts from eight to nine texts for individual pieces of work.

I want students to experience the pages and the print as much as the digitisation and the pixels - both are fine but I want students to have both not one or the other, not a cheap solution, she said. (ANI)

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