Friday, January 18, 2008

Google Generation

Pioneering research shows ‘Google Generation’ is a myth: "Pioneering research shows ‘Google Generation’ is a myth.

* All age groups revealed to share so-called ‘Google Generation' traits
* New study argues that libraries will have to adapt to the digital mindset
* Young people seemingly lacking in information skills; strong message to the government and society at large

"A new study overturns the common assumption that the ‘Google Generation' – youngsters born or brought up in the Internet age – is the most web-literate. The first ever virtual longitudinal study carried out by the CIBER research team at University College London claims that, although young people demonstrate an apparent ease and familiarity with computers, they rely heavily on search engines, view rather than read and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to assess the information that they find on the web."

What fascinates me about these studies is that they never take into account what the students will need to know and what skills they will need after they graduate. The methods and techniques they are being taught with now will teach them how to be an early nineteenth cent. clerk or book-keeper's assistant (think "Bob Crachit"). I am not saying that critical thinking and information literacy are not important, I just seriously doubt they can be taught by people who do not understand the way information and technology is changing the way people think and process information.

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