Friday, January 18, 2008

Print vs. Online Sources - editorial piece

This is an interesting editorial on online sources (e.g. Wikipedia) versus print sources. As a librarian, I am slowly changing my mind about the validity of the information in Wikipedia. I do not agree with Magnus Linklater's idea that Wikipedia is the first and possibly only place to find information. I still feel that print sources are valid and that they should be a part of research. I do not know any thing about the UK's education system so I cannot comment on that. But I do know that education curriculum needs to change. Research, writing, peer-reviewing -- all of these things are changing with the "read/write" web and as an educator/instructor we need to prepare students for these changes.

Reference books? Give me Wikipedia

The sniffy critics of the internet think we should be traipsing down to the library to do our research

Today it is the University of Google that stands accused of purveying the new
socialism by offering equality of information to everyone. Modern students,
say the critics, are being handed unlimited supplies of dubious facts from
online sources such as Wikipedia, without the means of distinguishing
between the good and the bad. Because they no longer have to sift through
books and carry out their own research, the students' sense of curiosity has
been blunted. The internet provides “white bread for the mind” and it is
breeding a generation of dullards.

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