Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In Google We Trust?

An article on Read Write Web claims that, contrary to popular belief, "Digital Natives" are not really media savvy. But after reviewing the study, what it really shows is that Digital Natives don't know how to conduct research. Duh. But this isn't a new problem. Digital Immigrants (those of us who weren't born with built in computer skills) improperly conducted research back in the day when we had to choose between a print copy of an academic journal and a print copy of The New York Times. Indexes contained lists of articles in miniscule type that were organized by subject in these door-stopping tomes and if one was lucky enough to find a promising title, you crossed your fingers hoping that your school library subscribed to that journal. But after you read that "perfect" article and discovered it had nothing to do with the essay you were supposed to be writing, you used it somehow because it took you two hours to find. Today's educrats are complaining about an updated version of the same thing. Students still don't know how to tell a good source from a bad source and just use the first thing that pops up on a Google search.

As an old school purveyor of indices, this just strikes me as lazy. Digital Natives don't have to spend hours combing through an index, they don't even have to go to the library. All they have to do is go to their computer (or phone) while listening to music, answering emails, Facebooking, and taking that "gotta have an answer" text message. So what's up, you guys?

To be well informed you have to look at a number of sources, or websites, as the case may be. Know this, the first entry that pops up on a Google search may not even be close to the best source for your paper. So look through a couple. How about trying this for a couple of days, start on page SEVEN of your Google search and see what else is out there!

But there's an even better place to start your research and it's called Wikipedia. While I would not quote Wikipedia, if you read through a Wikipedia article you can get a good general idea about whatever subject you're researching. BUT here's an even better feature. Scroll down to the bottom of the Wiki page and look at the references. Most times you can find links to the best original research for whatever subject you're studying.

So Digital Natives, don't be lazy, just add another item to your technological "twitch speed." You can squeeze efficient researching in between answering emails and making that final level in Worlds of Warcraft.

19 comments:

  1. Some people rely on Google to much when they are writing a paper. I agree that many students will just use the first few sites that come up in their Google search even if it does not completely relate to their topic. Wikipedia is a good starting source but not a very trustworth one since anyone can add information to it. I admit that when I really dont feel like putting any effort into writing I will just use whatever sites come up first, usually I end up with a grade lower than Iam use to, but I always know why. Putting the time into finding good sources will definitely benifit you in the long run so it is better to just do it.

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  2. I totally agree with the article that I think digital natives are too lazy for doing a reach. They are really good at internet search but they are not willing to do a reach on internet. It is a good idea that start on page SEVEN of your Google search. I always just look up a couple pages if I can not find it, than I will change the key words. Wikipedia is a good resources that we can get information, but for academic paper we can not basic on Wikipedia. I haven't try those references link yet, but it is good that we can find the original materials.

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  3. Chenglin Long (English1001-04)April 23, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    I have some my own points. Indeed, the internet has continued to play a greater role in research. Today, it is particularly common that individual would rush to the Google whenever they want answers to various things. It is this behavior that has raised the debate of whether Google is making us stupid. This is through the behavior of running to it whenever we face challenges. Through this article, we are thrown into a world of endless debate on the effects of the internet to research. Nicholas has indeed, provided critical examples to explain how humans have become highly dependent on the search engines. However, what raise a debate is whether the use of these search engines makes us follow them blindly and whether it expands or limits our ability to reason. It is through these incites that we are able to appreciate the positive and the negatives that come with internet research.

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  4. I totally agree with this blog. People now when they do research are lazy. Now days there is so much information readily available and easy to access but people are sometimes just lazy, even myself at times. I sometimes just want to be done with something so I hurry through it to find information on my topic and the source isn't always very reliable. I recently took a research literacy class which is a pre requisite for the nursing program at LMC and at first I was not interested in it at all, I just wanted to get it done. It was a 1-unit course that was online and I considered it just one more thing I had to do for this program. I took the course and ended up learning a lot about researching and finding good, reliable sources. I now know how to find sources a lot faster than I used to and know what to look for. That class, even though it was only 1 unit, taught me some very useful information that I will need to know for future assignments. I now understand why this course was a pre requisite for the program. knowing how to find good information on the internet is important because there is a lot of unreliably sources and advertisement on the internet.

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  5. I think that a big problem with conducting research as a college student is that professors literally scare students away from using the web as a legitimate resource. They warn us to steer clear of sites and search engines like Wikipedia and Google, thus confining us to the limited quarters of the school's library and web data base. The issue is that as students, we don't always know where to start. We may have limited knowledge on the topic we are attempting to research, and be unaware of key terms that would yield the best results. Professors need to stop telling their students not to use the web because it is the most efficient way for a student to gain basic information on their topic. There is a wealth of information available on the world wide web that can guide an eventual search of scholarly articles in the right direction. Instead of condemning the internet and highlighting its risks, professors should spend more time emphasizing how to determine bad articles from good ones, and how to find and utilize key concepts and information essential for conducting thorough research. Mandy

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  6. Us Digital Natives are not bad researchers, we just refuse to take no for an answer. If an article doesn't quite fit the essay we're writing, change the essay! Hell, change the article. If the article isn't quite academic enough, at twitch speed, we: soak it in, ring it out, stir it a little, add some purple, and pretend that it's our own delicious grape flavored idea. We were born with right brains to be able to take any source and paraphrase it in an essay, Google just makes it even faster. All Digital Natives hail Google!

    By the way, this response is intended to be humorous. I assure you I write as ethically as possible. So don't try and blame your plagiarism on me.

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  7. I agree with the author that nowadays “digital natives” are getting lazier. I, being what he calls a digital native, grew up with computers and I find myself doing this all the time. When I search goggle I usually will just look at the first page or maybe the second but no further then that. We believe that google will show us what we need right away without having to put much effort but that isn't always the case. Teachers try to help students to not only depend on the internet by assigning research papers with one internet source and one print source. This is helpful because it makes us actually take the time and go check out books. The advice that the author gives is very helpful if people took the time to do it. Sometimes we should go straight to the seventh page and see what is there since most of us never do. It is much easier for us then it was for generations before.

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  8. This article was critically spot on, with the type of people we have today. People who just go online to a database like Google, and seriously use the first three links given. Including myself, I am at fault for doing the same thing thousands of others do every day when working on an assignment that requires research. Even today in college my professors persist on us to constantly use multiple databases, and to check if it’s creditable afterwards. At times I believe it just be easier to walk to the library, and just ask the librarians who actually do what I need for a living for books based on my research. But, as many other students I'm lazy and prefer to use the internet. This is much easier, and faster, of course. But what students like myself need to remember is that the internet is our best friend, if its sources are creditable. And it’s up to us to check who post these sources and make sure they're reliable.

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  9. I can relate to this blog, when I was younger I would always use the first source that would pop up on Google, because I was lazy and I just wanted to finish the assignment. I always believed that the first sources were the most accurate and related the most to my topic. However, throughout my high school years I learned that in order to get a grasp of my topic I have to read over several sources and pick the best ones. I feel as if our generation lacks focus while trying to research. When researching we get distracted by our social media and other factors that make it hard for us to make sure articles are actually credible. I personally believe that Wikipedia is a great place to start with background information and understand your topic. However I know never to cite it. As much as people think the internet is making our generation lazy, I do not know what I would do without it.

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  10. To be honest to myself and to everyone else, I am really lazy when it comes to research. I usually just take the first things that I find when I type in on the Google search. This does make me think that I need to take some time and look at many other sources that I could be using that will be more credible instead of just using the first things that I find just because I'm lazy. I believe that younger generations are getting lazier and lack good research because of it. Research is very important though, and we should all take it more seriously, specially us college students.

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  11. I totally agree with you we have become very lazy when it comes to research. I know from personnel experience that us "Natives" dont go past the 3rd page on google when we are researching. When I thing about it, the people who didnt grow up with the internet are pretty amazing.They didnt have information just handed to them. They had to go out and really search for the answer to what they were looking for. They spent hours in the library while we spend maybe 1 hour on the computer looking for research.The people who grew up with internet take for granted the fact that we have research just a click away.Honestly I dont think we would survive school without the internet or google.It has become our lifestyle to just go to google and search our topic. It makes our lives easier while making us lazier at the same time.

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  12. In nowadays society, in the world of modern technology, we are surrounded by all kinds of information sources about millions and millions different things. Internet made it possible for us to enter the world of limitless information Is available to us anytime of the day. All we need is to make couple moves with on a screen and we are good to go. But does it make us smarter or more knowledgeable, No it doesnt. Humanity nowadays left their knowledge on the internet and everything that is behind that is not correct. Thats the sad part of the human history. everybody is talking about artificial mind and when it is going to be exposed to the world, but people cant you see that u have been exposed to it since 90s, the internet is that artificial mind that nowadays thinks for 6 billion people around the world and no one can even mention that. We have been dragged into storm of mas information that doesnt allow us to get out of it and it will keep and keep on consuming our ideas and our findings until there is nothing left from humanity.

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  13. Technology has taken over the way people use to run things like communicating or finding information. The internet has made it easier for the resource you need be provided to you. Google is every new generation's best friend anything you do not understand, google has the answer to what you are looking for. SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM? Well, sites like Wikipedia make it makes people question the information that is given to you will correct. All of the people who were born before the the computers stated to expand have a harder time believing in it because they were use to looking for the information at the library, like this article says. But, as the more involved we are with the internet the more engaged we are with the information is providing for us. No ones complaining today, they just question the information.

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  14. I liked that the post advised you to start your research on Wikipedia. Several of my teachers always said Wikipedia is a no no. I think this is really good advice because, like the post said, it gives you an over view of your topic. While reading this post I realized I am who the post describes. I am guilty of being a product of this generation because I do “lazy research”. Technology has become a big part of our lives so I feel it makes sense that the way we research changed as well. I feel like we are “lazy researchers” because now a days we grew up doing research differently with search engines, like Google. I love Google; I think it is amazing and very helpful. However, it is laziness because we have databases which students can use. Databases can also be accessed online, like Google, but they are much more reliable. I think students should become accustomed to using this. Although, I admire how in the past people would go to the library for hours and do research. Nonetheless, I agree with the post about how we need to put more effort into our research. I also liked how the post advised to start research on page 7 or further.

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  15. I agree that this generation is pretty lazy and just take any source that they find. It may be helpful or maybe useless but these days everyone knows how to find a way to make the information they obtained beneficial. When you conduct a research, one of the common site that pops up is Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a common source utilized by majority of the people. I mean it’s not a bad source, majority of the information are reliable but you should confirm it with another source. When you look at pages such as number 6 or 7 they usually contain information that are irrelevant. The google search makes sure that it contains the more related information to your search in the first couple of pages.

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  16. I completely agree with what the author was saying about how this generation is not properly utilizing the technology they have at their disposal. Especially being a college student, having strong credible resources is essential. Not only Iran (the country that I was born and raised in) is a backward third-world country, but it also is a religious dictatorship. This means that growing up in Iran (when there was no computer, let alone internet!), I had to physically research the information I wanted: I had to go to a library and search until I got what I needed. But since the government censors all of the media and information, going to a library does not necessarily guarantee finding a reliable source. But fortunately it is totally the opposite here. With search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, any and everything I could ever be interested about is at my fingertips (one of the many things I love about this great country, the U.S.)! That is why sometimes I get frustrated to see the generations younger than me (especially those from first-world countries) take this fabulous technology for granted. Having this technology is somewhat of a blessing and a curse though. It’s a blessing in the sense that all of this information can be found in one location, but the curse that comes along with this blessing is that no one wants to venture out of that comfort zone. I feel that finding a balance between the dependency of search engines and physical print will be the key for any successful scholarship. Being well rounded in different types of media will only benefit individuals if they take that extra time to learn to do so.

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  17. I agree with this blog. Too many students are too lazy to find an actual credible source. Most people just click on the first few results from google and then pull evidence and quotes without really reading into the text. The big mistake students make is using Wikipedia as a source. Any one is allowed acsess to change the information on any given site for any topic. Now how credible does that sound.

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  18. I agree with your idea that Wikipedia is a good outlet to use to get a general overview or general statement about a topic. I do that as well when I am introduced to a new topic or if I'm curious about something that I know little about. I usually skim through to see what I'm for, or just look through to get a general gist. Then, I will move on to more credible sources once I have a good foundation.

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    1. I also actually do the same thing about the Google pages. I go to page 4 or 5 and see whats out there because I feel like the more hidden sources can(sometimes) be hidden in all of the basic sources. Also, it opens doors for more evidence and perspectives, which is really important, especially in English classes. I think we as students are super lazy to find good sources, because we like things handed to us. But, if you put in a little more effort, especially since you are given access to so many good sources, you can find great supporting evidence.

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