Greenflame

Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

Cyberspace, General, Writing & Research Tools

Speed Searching and the Killing of Knowledge

Nice summary of a talk given on the influence of Google (and like) upon the identification of critical and helpful knowledge, particularly within the academic world, over at planet telex » Blog Archive » The University of Google – Speed Searching and the Killing of Knowledge. A problem that I come across regularly when marking essays. Seems that the essay question is typed into Google and the first few web sites retrieved crop up in several essays. Darren cites a list of criteria that the speaker, Tara Brabazon, gives to students to constructively educate them in using sources like Google. These include:

  • Who authored the document?
  • What expertise does the author have?
  • What evidence is provided?
  • What genre is the document, is it a journal piece, academic paper, polemic or a blog post?
  • Is the site funded by an institution?

I talk about the use of internet/electronic resources to students whenever I teach but on the whole it doesn’t seem to have that much affect upon a significant minority. Even citing Internet resources is poorly done. Now however, I think I’ll develop a more constructive strategy.

See also: Greenflame: Google Sociology.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks, this is a really useful link. I too find that students struggle to use internet sources well – either avoiding them entirely or using them with very little discernment. I’d certainly appreciate thoughts on ‘a more constructive strategy’. Part of the problem in history is that the first years I teach are already struggling to come to grips with the use of sources more generally. Internet sources just add to the confusion!

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