Tuesday, 15 January 2008

White bread for young minds

Wow, what a furore the article reporting that Tara Brabazon, Professor of Media at University of Brighton (and author of "University of Google") which appeared in Times Online seems to have caused! I suspect that she has been somewhat misunderstood, but even so, I do not believe banning the use of Google and Wikipedia by students is the best course.
Now I know you would expect me to say this (!) but its impossible to enforce and more important, it shuts off the huge amount of useful material there and the value of learning how to evaluate the best which can be found there.
Phil Bradley in his blog says it all really.
Information Literacy librarians should not be afraid of students using Google, Scholar or Wikipedia. Our job is to help students use them sensibly, sifting the best content, using them as starting points, and working with academic staff to build assignments which engage and assess student learning that uses the full panoply of resources available. I suspect that we are not far from Tara Brabazon on this really and that she is not proposing a kind of Luddite return to print, but we will have to see when she addresses LILAC 2008 in Liverpool!

1 comment:

Peter1972 said...

Hi Peter. I went to the lecture given by Professor Brabazon last night, and, I think the point she was trying to make was that Google & Wikipedia have become too successful, too ubiquitous. There's less diversity of material being brought to the , as it's too easy to 'get everything' from Google etc. The banning of materials was to provoke and stimulate students - and it was for the first year students only. As I'vve mentioned in my blog - I feel the answer lies in a) making library materials more accessible and b) raising the perception of info literacy sessions from 'useful' to 'crucial'.