Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Digital natives

Very interesting article in Inside Higher Ed titled What Students Don't Know.  It summarizes the results of the ERIAL (Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries) project, a two-year, five-campus ethnographic study examining how students view and use their campus libraries.

The study found that students relied almost exclusively on Google, did not use or misused scholarly databases, and even with the reliance on Google, didn't know how to frame a decent search.  As the article states:  Today’s college students might have grown up with the language of the information age, but they do not necessarily know the grammar.  One subtext of the study was that student's had no idea they sucked at library research and were loath to ask librarians (or professors) for assistance.

The so-called "digital natives" are illiterate and don't even know it.  Surprise, surprise!  No different than their remedial English and math skills that shock them so much when they enter college in the fall.

Meanwhile, professors and academic librarians respond with No shit Sherlock.  Anyone who's read "research" papers by college students knows that a quick Google search and the first Wikipedia article that pops up is most of what constitutes "research" for most of them.  Here's one amusing take on the article.

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