In this day and age, it is astounding to read that a lecturer, Prof. Tara Brabazon, from the university of Brighton, has banned her students from using websites such as Google and Wikipedia to conduct their research.
However she seems to have quite a logical reason behind this diktat. She has found that most of her students just reproduce the same information that they find on the search engine and online encyclopedia.
In truth, most citizens in developed countries have totally surrendered to the wonders of technology, but in the process have given up using and developing their own minds to understand and analyze. It looks almost as though students pay good money and attend universities only to learn how to use Google!
The result of this blind allegiance to the wisdom of websites like Wikipedia is that students come up with average and humdrum results on their research projects; whereas what is required of students at the university level is the ability to study various issues and then think for themselves and come to their own conclusion regarding the issues at hand.
Prof Brabazon believes that it is upto the educational institutions to prevent students from having a sheep mentality where everybody blindly follows the internet. Speaking to a local newspaper she said, “”I ban my students from using Google, Wikipedia and other websites like that. I give them a reading list to work from and expect them to cite a good number of them in any work they produce.”
It is convenient for lecturers and professors to allow their students to just use easily accessible online resources for the projects assigned to them, but that is not what they are paid to do. It is the job of each teacher to impart knowledge to and guide students to think for themselves and experience things first hand rather than rely solely on computers.
Professor Brabazon personally forbids her students to use search engines for their projects. While this does seem rather drastic, it is really worthwhile wondering if she may be right in doing so, as we seem to have become slaves to the world of technology; computers in particular.