google generation lacks critical and analytical skills needed to assess information

Via Espen Anderson, I found this report about a recent study that seems to confirm some of my arguments in the talk I gave a month or so ago at Fleksibel lÊring, where I argued that young university students are far less digitally literate than we assume:

A new study overturns the common assumption that the ëGoogle Generation’ ñ youngsters born or brought up in the Internet age ñ is the most web-literate. The first ever virtual longitudinal study carried out by the CIBER research team at University College London claims that, although young people demonstrate an apparent ease and familiarity with computers, they rely heavily on search engines, view rather than read and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to assess the information that they find on the web.

There’s also a Slashdot discussion about the article.

Espen’s daughter’s homework apparently, at least on some days, consists largely of searching for answers on Google. We teachers certainly have a lot of challenges in figuring out how to help students not only learn to find information but learn those critical and analytical skills that do not come automatically.

18. January 2008 by Jill
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