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Updated: 12/10/2004; 9:41:03 AM.


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Friday, December 10, 2004
Students ditch the books in favour of online information
An article in Technology section on CNN reports that students are staying away from text sources even when asked to do so for an assignment.  One student's response was,"Excuse me, where would I get a book?"

In a study on research habits, Wellesley College researchers Panagiotis Metaxas and Leah Graham found that fewer than 2 percent of students in one Wellesley computer science class bothered to use non-Internet sources to answer all six test questions.

And many students failed to check out multiple sources. For instance, 63 percent of students asked to list Microsoft Corp.'s top innovations only visited the company's Web site in search of the answer.

It's a paradox to some that so many young Americans can be so accepting of online information whose origin is unclear.

"Skepticism ... is part of their lives, yet they tend to believe things fairly readily because it appears on the Internet," said Roger Casey, who studies youths and pop culture at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.

One concern is commercial influence online; some search engines run ads and accept payments to include sites in their indexes, with varying degree of disclosure.

"If I'm going to go to the library, chances are somebody hasn't paid a librarian 100 bucks to point me to a particular book," said Beau Brendler, director of the Consumer Reports WebWatch.

9:40:58 AM    comment []  

© Copyright 2004 Johan Ragetli.

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