Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Rant For The Day

by JccKeith
Famous Abraham Lincoln Quote... 
I'm not really sure exactly what to rant or rave about so I thought I would go with the thing that annoys me most recently.  Having three children in school, one in high school to be exact, I am all too familiar with the abundant use of the Internet to solve any school related problem from math problem solutions to information for papers.  The math problem solution thing, I just don't get.  They waste more time tracking down the solution on the Internet than it would have taken just to do the problem themselves.  Seems counterproductive to me.

2x + x = ?  Hmm....let me look that up on the Internet

But alas, I am not truly annoyed with math on the Internet, at least their solutions are clearly worked out and correct.  My rant is about students who rely completely upon the Internet for information on any subject they have an assigned paper concerning.

  • They log onto yahoo or google or whatever search engine they prefer, type in a few key words and... viola!  Loads and loads of information at their fingertips.  No trip to the library required.

The problem I have with this is, most will not scan through the sites to see which is the most reliable.  They just click on Wikipedia or whatever site pops up first or second and go with whatever that site tells them is true about the subject.  As most of us who grew up before the wonders of the Internet know, not everything you read on the Internet is true.  We know this because we spent our childhood years looking up information in a library, in encyclopedias and in other assorted reference books.  Remember the trips to the library in English class just to show us how to use the reference section?  I do.

This brings to life another issue.  We were taught how to use reference books correctly and where to find accurate information.  Why can't students be taught the same if they are going to find all their information on the Internet.  At least teach these kids what sites to visit for accurate information.  Teach them how to verify information, which is easy to do on the Internet.  Teach them how to spot false information, teach them how to correctly use a search engine.  And please, please, teach them how to write papers correctly, how to correctly list the sources where they found their brilliant insights or information.  I have a feeling many kids aren't even using the information, if they find correct information, in a decent way.  I would argue that many simply copy and paste rather than read it, understand it and put it into their own words and then document their source.

Alright, well, that was my rant for the day about students over-using the Internet and all of these ridiculously incorrect and unresearched sites they find.  If we're going to look the other way while students abuse the information online, let's at least teach them where to find correct information for their plagiarism.

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