Google is like Wonder Bread: professor
University of Brighton professor Tara Brabazon argues that students need to learn critical thinking techniques before Googling.
If Google is "white bread for the mind," as she says, does that make the library 12-grain? I'm pretty sure people don't need a course to tell the difference.
Google is “white bread for the mind”, and the internet is producing a generation of students who survive on a diet of unreliable information, a professor of media studies will claim this week.
In her inaugural lecture at the University of Brighton, Tara Brabazon will urge teachers at all levels of the education system to equip students with the skills they need to interpret and sift through information gleaned from the internet.
She believes that easy access to information has dulled students’ sense of curiosity and is stifling debate. She claims that many undergraduates arrive at university unable to discriminate between anecdotal and unsubstantiated material posted on the internet.
“I call this type of education ‘the University of Google’.
Professor Brabazon’s concerns echo the author Andrew Keen’s criticisms of online amateurism. In his book The Cult of the Amateur, Keen says: “To-day’s media is shattering the world into a billion personalised truths, each seemingly equally valid and worthwhile.”
“We need to teach our students the interpretative skills first before we teach them the technological skills. Students must be trained to be dynamic and critical thinkers rather than drifting to the first site returned through Google,” she said.