Point. Click. Think?
from the did-you-learn-anything dept
I’m involved in a few email mailing lists where lately I’ve been causing some trouble by arguing over how too many people think superficially when making an argument, and simply post articles that support their position without ever looking critically at them. I hadn’t really thought about this before, but the following article suggests that many students today aren’t thinking as deeply about issues because they do all of their research on the web. They get a quick (often faulty) summary for what they need to learn, mix the words up a bit, and they’ve got a complete paper without the slightest understanding of what they’re talking about. I’m always a little nervous about articles that blame technology for some sort of woe, but this is an interesting theory that’s worth thinking about. Certainly, in the pre-web days many people still did the same thing by skimming books, magazines, and journals, and throwing stuff together, but now it’s become so easy for people to research any topic just by looking up related websites, that it’s much less likely for someone to really research a topic before cementing their opinions on it. I’d imagine things like blogs (yeah, I’m guilty), where opinions and analysis are crammed into even smaller spaces, don’t help this much, either.