Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Google Generation" Myths

Are the kids born after 1993 really that different from older people when it comes to searching? An article from the Christian Science Monitor suggests that is not the case. The article is titled 'Google Generation' myths.

The article reports on a study that both kids and adults begin searches for information on search engines and that both groups bounce from source to source. The big difference between the two groups is the respect for copyright law and intellectual property. The kids are really bad in this regard.

Here are a few quotes relating to information literacy:

- Though students usually show a high degree of computer literacy, their "information literacy" (ability to find and absorb high-quality information) is often not good, the study says. They spend little time evaluating information found on the Internet. They need to be taught better skills for weighing the accuracy, relevance, and authority of what they find.

- To provide this help, libraries will have to change their image. Students often think of them as just places full of books, not high-tech information resources. That's true even of college students, 89 percent of whom begin their research using a general search engine rather than a library website. Nearly all of those college students were satisfied with their search. And that's the problem. If libraries are to be relevant, they must teach more sophisticated research methods.

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