Point. Click. Think?

posted Jul 17, 2002

Quote [from Washington Post]: "'[The Web] never presents students with classically constructed arguments, just facts and pictures.' Many students today will advance an argument, he continues, then find themselves unable to make it convincingly. 'Is that a function of the Web, or being inundated with information, or the way we're educating them in general?'"Comment [from Greg Hanek on SiT]: This article provides examples of how poorly many people interact with information and information resources.

Is the US socio-political-education system (and it's focus on multiple-guess/standardized exams) a causal factor in how students interact with the Web to accomplish their assignments? What do you think? (via Craig's Booknotes)

[via Serious Instructional Technology]

The article is actually fairly balanced, as a later part shows how good use of the Internet results in things like '[Jeffrey Meikle's] best undergraduates come up with new takes on old subjects as quickly as graduate students did years ago'. Two questions:

The real problem here, IMHO, is the difficulty of forcing someone to think for themselves. I do not mean this as a defeatist or elitist point; I think this problem should be addressed directly, which despite rhetoric, it rarely is. The Internet is a bugaboo, an excuse, a distraction. Why are you assigning assignments that can be completed in a couple hour session with copy and paste? (There may be good reasons, but the reasons should probably be explored.)


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