“The workforce of the future will always be connected to the Web, and learning how to triage information is a crucial professional skill”
“If the Web is our new library, it is both exponentially larger and less reliable than the old library”
Bowen (2012 p.145)
Today the internet gives us access to a vast amount of content that no physical library could ever hope to match, but unlike a campus library whose content is chosen and curated by librarians, the content on the internet is full of misinformation and opinion. Teachers tend to think that just because students today have grown up using the internet that they are proficient in using the internet when doing their research. The ERIAL (Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries) project found that students tended to overuse Google and had problems conducting proper research queries. It also found that students were averse to seeking help from their campus librarians and instead would consult with the instructor who gave them the assignment in the first place. Learning to use the internet to research is a necessary skill, critical in todays world.
You can take any position, on any topic and using the internet to research your position or topic you will find data and information to back up and support your views. The difference is the credibility of your sources. Anyone can write anything, you will find websites that support all kinds of views and information that we know is scientifically invalid. This also reminds me that the importance of teaching is not to provide content to students, that they can find on their own, the important thing is to teach students to not only find information online but to evaluate it too.
As someone who didn’t grow up using the internet I question my own internet research skills. Not having obtained a university degree I have never really used the internet to research formal papers and it is not something that I use in my career. I find that when I surf the web that I tend to concentrate on websites that support my basic assumptions and beliefs and I would imagine that most students do the same. Taking the PIDP program has introduced me to reading and using scholarly articles and papers and using the internet to research academic topics that I have never done before. By looking at my own deficiencies in using the internet to research topics I can see what is necessary for students to learn if they want to use the internet as a research source.
As I move through the PIDP program I plan to educate myself to not only learn to use the internet to improve my research abilities but to learn to critically evaluate the sources of information that I acquire there. As I have been researching this journal entry I have found many sources of information that I plan use to instruct myself on this topic. When I am teaching students I plan to asses their internet research skills early on and not assume that just because they are familiar with the internet and navigate through it adeptly that they can frame research queries properly and critically evaluate the information that they find there. This will allow me to address any deficiencies I find. As more and more Web 2.0 tools become available I will learn about them and use the tools I find most appropriate. I also plan to familiarize myself with my campus library and the librarians that work there to see how I can integrate this resource more effectively with my teaching and act on any advice that they might have for me.
Alexander, B. (2006). Web 2.0: A new wave of innovation for teaching and learning?. Educause review, 41(2), 32.
Asher, A., Duke, L., & Green, D. (2010). The ERIAL Project: Ethnographic research in Illinois academic libraries. Academic Commons, 13.
Hampton-Reeves, S. Day, H. Hart, A. Lumsden, P. Mshiter, c. Westaway, j. (2009). Students’ Use of Research Content in Teaching and Learning: A report for the Joint Information Systems Council (JISC) 2009. Centre for Research-Informed Teaching, Universtiy of Centeral lancashire.
Maness, J. M. (2006). Library 2.0 theory: Web 2.0 and its implications for libraries. Webology, 3(2), 2006.
Voogt, J., & Roblin, N. P. (2010). 21st century skills. Discussienota. Enschede: Universiteit Twente iov Kennisnet.