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söndag 27 november 2011

Why Kids Can’t Search

The November issue of Wired has an interesting article on a new form of (media) illiteracy: the generation of so-called digital natives seems to lack the means to determine the credibility of the information they find online.

A group of researchers led by College of Charleston business professor Bing Pan wanted to know how skillful young folks are at online search. His team gathered a group of college students and asked them to look up the answers to a handful of questions. Perhaps not surprisingly, the students generally relied on the web pages at the top of Google’s results list.

But Pan pulled a trick: He changed the order of the results for some students. More often than not, those kids went for the bait and also used the (falsely) top-ranked pages. Pan grimly concluded that students aren’t assessing information sources on their own merit—they’re putting too much trust in the machine.

This reminds me of my parents generation who - if another blatant generalization is allowed - might think everything that has been seen fit to print in a newspaper must be true. Thank goodness for the X-Files teaching me not to trust anything.

1 kommentar:

  1. Not trusting "anything" is equally problematic. You should of course trust me - your teacher ;-)