Survey Finds That Students Use the Web but Recognize Its Limitations

Scott Carlson, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Jul 22, 2002
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Chronicle picks up on the OCLC study of attitudes toward library use by students and gives it a negative slant. While the vast majority of students use the internet for research and a strong majority feel they can sort the good from the bad, most students also feel there is not enough variety of information available to them online. This is spun with an unrelated quote into a criticism of online resources: "You have a real danger of students doing a search on the Internet and getting the Unabomber's rantings about technology and using that in a paper as if they are the same as Neil Postman's [scholarly writings]. That's the problem -- students don't see the difference in that." But this criticism is not substantiated by the study and should not be a part of a reliable report - a delicious irony that probably escaped the author.
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